Short Writing Assignment #2

In Media Analysis Essay #1, you will be analyzing news coverage and crafting an argument about what constitutes good coverage. This short writing is a warm up for that essay.

Since class began, you have been reading news to keep up with current events. For this assignment, take a moment to reflect on what you have read and how well it has been reported.

Then pick one “story” and think about how it has been covered. By one story, we don’t mean only one news article, but an event or occurrence that may be covered in a variety of ways. (For instance, when President Trump issued an executive order with new limitations on immigrants and refugees, many newspapers ran multiple news articles, over several days, and also included opinion columns, news analyses, editorials and letters that also offered coverage of the story. All of that would be the newspaper’s coverage of that one story.)

You can consider just one new outlet’s coverage, or you can think about multiple outlets’ coverage of the story. In your writing, describe at least one aspect of the coverage that has impressed you, and at least one that you think could be better. These are your opinions, of course, but you should support your claims with reference to ideas from class. Recent lectures on purposes and practices of journalism, and readings such as the Kovach & Rosenstiel, are likely to be most helpful.

Remember: this assignment is not about whether you approve of the events being described (for example, whether you are for or against Trump’s executive order), but about your assessment of the work of journalists to communicate those policies to the public.

In terms of citations: as in short assignment #1, here we are not very concerned about formal citations. However, you should use your words to acknowledge where your materials and ideas are coming from, when they are not wholly your own. To cite a news article you want to discuss, you might say, “I read an article by John Smith in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel titled ‘The Budget Problem.’” To cite the Kovach and Rosenstiel chapter, you could simply say, “As Kovach and Rosenstiel describe …”

Your writing should be 500 words, and posted to by 5:00pm on Thursday, February 9.