How to Detect Media Bias and Propaganda

News media bias is most profound when news media sources take on very specific political perspectives. Yet, most Americans choose only news media sources that match their own political perspective. This creates what many call “the echo chamber.” For this assignment, you must choose two news media sources with very different perspectives. There are several political perspectives; the two most common are conservative (right leaning) and liberal (left leaning). It is up to you to figure out the political perspective of the sources you are considering. (Here are some links to help get you started: http://www.allsides.com/about-bias (Links to an external site.) Links to an external site. ; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/10/21/lets-rank-the-media-from-liberal-to-conservative-based-on-their-audiences/?utm_term=.551a19b03773 (Links to an external site.) Links to an external site. There are several formats from which to choose your sources; these include print (newspaper, magazine), radio, television and the internet. You may choose your sources from any combination of these formats (i.e. two internet sources OR one television source and one internet source).

CHOOSING YOUR TOPIC You must choose one topic from the list below. You will then search your two news media sources for this topic. You may need to further narrow your topic so that both of your news media sources are discussing an important element of the topic (i.e. Gun Control might be narrowed down to background checks for gun licenses). These topics are current, so be sure to find recent information presented by your two news media sources (within the last six months). Choose ONE article/broadcast from EACH source (TWO in total). Gun Control Immigration/Refugees NSA Surveillance/Wikileaks Pre-emptive Strike (and/or Drone Strikes) Same-sex marriage The National Budget/Debt Iran’s Nuclear Program Legalization of Marijuana Russian Interference in Elections Net Neutrality N. Korean Nuclear Program Healthcare Acts Immigration policy Abortion/Planned Parenthood Tax Reform If you have a different topic in mind, email me. DETECTING BIAS You will then critically analyze, by comparing and contrasting, how your two news media sources relay the information concerning the topic you have chosen. You MUST use this site to help explain main areas of analysis/BIAS http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/types-of-media-bias/ (Links to an external site.) Links to an external site. . Choose a MINIMUM of 3 main points of bias from this site and use these to develop an in-depth analysis of just how biased your sources are and how these biases affect you AND our political process. Support these points! When looking for specific examples to support your points, look for both verbal and non-verbal clues. Look at the visuals, the headlines, catchy or loaded words/phrases, placement of article, whether each side (or various sides) are discussed, look at the length devoted to each side. Look to see if names, events, places, organizations, etc. are explained in depth (i.e. is there enough background information to understand the topic). Re-read or re-listen to the articles/broadcasts/websites. Look for even the most subtle factors that might affect the reader/listener. The deeper your analysis, the better it will become (and the higher your grade!).

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