J201 Media & Society –Spring 2015
Media Analysis Paper
Due (in class) Monday, May 11
For this assignment you will write a short paper that provides a critical analysis on a topic based on a form of mass media. The paper is worth 35% of your total grade. You must select a topic from the list below.
1. Newspapers –
Due to the growth and prevalence of internet news sources, many print newspapers have gone under in recent years. In your paper, discuss the effect that new media has had on the print newspaper industry. Is the newspaper dead? Or will it find a new niche market? What is the role of print news media in today’s society?
2. Radio – Consider the relevance of radio in today’s society. What is the current state of radio, and what lies in the future for radio? Answer this question focusing on one of the following topics: music, news, or public radio.
3. Television – There are many types of television available today. In your paper, analyze two of the four types listed below and discuss their similarities, differences, and how those differences affect content: Network television (ABC, NBC, etc.); Cable television (Bravo, MTV, etc.); premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.); and internet television providers (Hulu, Netflix).
° Example: Network television vs. cable television
° Example: Premium channels vs. internet television providers
4. Film – Recently, the highest-grossing films at the box office are super-hero and comic book adaptations. In your paper, make an argument as to why you think this new trend exists in the current film industry. What impact do you think this common narrative has on our culture? Try to touch on recurring themes, archetypes, etc. in these films. Make sure to include one paragraph about the recent history of the film industry as it relates to this topic.
5. Global Media – Based on our understanding of US media in this class, choose one medium in another country (eg. film in China, radio in Africa, etc.) to analyze based on its cultural relevance. Include a brief history as well as the current state and potential future of the medium.
The paper must be 4 pages Times New Roman (or equivalent) double-spaced with 1” margins and MUST have a thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph. An example of a thesis statement on the topic of the Iron Man films would be: “For this paper, I am going to explore the significance of the Iron Man films, and argue that the Iron Man films tap into social anxieties about technology and warfare.”
The paper must then describe and analyze the topic and finally relate the topic to a broader issue in society. You are following four steps in writing this paper:
1. Coming up with a thesis about the topic (you state this in your introduction).
2. Providing a description (what it is) of the topic. For the description of the topic include the relevant aspects as though you were talking to someone who knows little about the subject.
3. Providing an analysis (how it comes about, its relationship to society at large) of the topic. When analyzing the topic you need to have relevant evidence for the argument you are making. In order to gather appropriate evidence you must have between 3-5 sources and a separate bibliography – only ONE source can be from Wikipedia. You must provide citations for any sources that you use. Citations must be consistent and need to follow a standard format for citation (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.)
4. Including a conclusion that revisits your thesis and the argument made in your paper.
Email your assigned GTF with any questions!