Question1: Watch a TV news program (local or national cable) and keep track of each story in a half hour segment. Then compare the news on TV against the news you get from Facebook (friends & news feed).
How are the stories presented? What is the difference between the two media sources? What is missing from either source compared to what is included in either? Do you detect a “filter bubble” as described in the TED talk? What is the difference between a structure of stories based on both interest and ratings vs. a structure based on clicks? Which source do you trust more? How do you determine whether to believe either source?
Question 2: Media Literacy Exercise – Gans’s basic journalistic values.
Pick up a copy of a major newspaper, or go to its online version (USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal) or the nearest urban newspaper (The Boston Herald or the Boston Globe) and look at the front page. Mark each example of Gans’s basic journalistic values that you can identify. Then, in a brief essay, do the following:
– Give the name and date of your paper.
– List every story by headline on the front page.
– List the basic journalistic values from Gans for each story, and provide examples of how you see them. Not all stories will fit perfectly but review them and give your best argument for why you think each story fits in one category versus another. (Some stories will fit into more than one category!) Be specific. HINT: You should have something to say about each story on your front page.
Then, explain which values you found and the evidence for them. Do you see any other values that you would want to add to the list? What would they be?
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