Topic: exploring the reporting on gentrification from two Vancouver-based outlets, The Vancouver Sun and the Daily Hive.ONDUCTING AN ANALYSIS: You need to produce a paper that analyzes news discourse, not just describes it. Choose a few (two or three) concepts from the course to consider in your analysis. Some examples of concepts you may wish to apply:
Media Research Materials: You must use mainstream media content mostly current in this semester. As previously noted, some broadening of your sample of news texts in terms of temporal scope may be possible, subject to approval by the TA or instructor. After consulting with your TA or instructor, you may want to include diasporic media published in Canada or elsewhere. Other ‘alternative’ media sources are welcomed. Appendix: Papers must include an appendix that includes all news materials substantively used in the analysis. This must include a minimum of 10 articles and/or summary descriptions of radio or TV items that you will use in your analysis (5 from your chosen mainstream media outlet and 5 from another one or from your chosen alternative media outlet). Choose a specific topic or issue related to larger themes such as politics, environment, poverty, race, gender, labour, etc. and find a way to compare how it is covered in the mainstream media compared to alternative media, using several different outlets. You can also compare two mainstream media outlets from the same country or from different countries. You can also compare mainstream media and alternative media outlets. It is important that you find some method of comparison in order to justify and add credibility to your assertions and analysis. As John Hartley said: “…one of the most valuable methods you can use [to analyze news] is comparison. Comparison brings out the distinctive features of the object of study, by showing which of its characteristics are unique to itself, which are common with others, and what possibilities are absent altogether” (Understanding News, 1982). Notes: Your analysis should show evidence of familiarity with and grounding in an ongoing “soak” in or “tasting” of several different news media. Your media ‘tasting’ in the first several weeks will thus be highly useful.
A certain amount of quantitative content analysis (for example, how many stories are there on different topics? What kinds of people are quoted in the first paragraphs of different media?) may be appropriate to your topic, but in the main, your methods should be qualitative. The number of articles that you subject to a more detailed qualitative analysis should be large enough to find patterns, but not too large as to make the project unwieldy. About 10 articles or stories may be sufficient, depending on length. Try to select media of the same technological type (press, magazines, online news sites, TV, etc.); we are interested in political/ideological and discursive rather than technological contrasts. You may suggest an alternative approach to the paper, but it has to be approved by your TA or instructor. In making your argument, be careful to distinguish between (a) statements about the textual characteristics or ‘content’ of news stories, and (b) speculation about the ‘causes’ or ‘effects’ of such content. CONDUCTING AN ANALYSIS: You need to produce a paper that analyzes news discourse, not just describes HINTS Make sure you have defined key analytical terms, such as “ideology” and “objectivity.” Practice this kind of analysis each week in lecture and/or tutorial by bringing in news examples and working to apply course concepts to them, in order to develop a deeper understanding GENERAL MARKING CRITERIA: Content: Good sample of news media and articles; use of appropriate sources, especially course readings; use of/relevance to course themes. Argument/Analysis: Do you present a coherent and reasonable argument? Is it consistent with, and supported by, your evidence? Is it logically consistent? Does it take into account major possible objections or counter-arguments?