Below are the instructions given to me by my professor. You can pick whatever topic you want, but please
email me to confirm first. The paper needs to be at minimum 750 words and at maximum 1050 words. I
selected 825, but as long as you are within 750-1050 it will be fine. I will attach a grading rubric in the files
for you to reference. Thank you, please reach out with questions.
In class, we will discuss the power of the media and the process of framing that occurs in the media. For
this assignment, you pick a current or recent newsworthy topic (including election coverage), compare how
that topic is treated (i.e., framed) by three different media outlets, and analyze what message those media
sources are sending implicitly as a result.
Each paper should be:
•750 – 1050 words in length.
For this assignment, you are to compare three (or more) media sources, and walk through the various,
possible frames being used to convey a single news story… of your choice. I recommend following these
steps fo each story and then comparing your findings. Then write up those comparisons as your essay:
1. Pick your story: Make sure your story is recent (within the last year) and has been covered by at least
three “legitimate” sources. This can be almost anything, as long as it isn’t tweets, Instagram posts or other
modes of social media posting.
2. Pick your sources: Try to choose different types of sources, or at least be able to explain how they are
different/similar? (For example, TMZ will cover Miley Cyrus quite differently from CNN). One key thing here:
I highly recommend you try to think beyond media political bias. In other words, try to choose outlets
beyond right-leaning and left-leaning political views.
3. Analyze broadly. Analyze the story broadly, including the structure of the article and where it fits in the
These questions are helpful to guide you:
1. What are the images being used with the story?
2. How long is each story?
3. Where is the story located on a news site? What section is it in? Is it on the front page of the news
website or something you had to find and if so, where?
4. What links to other “related” stories are included with it?
5. What is the article headline?
6. Who are the main players, as in who is quoted, including organizations and entities?
4. Analyze specifically. Analyze the specifics of each story. Use each question as a guide. This will be at
the textual level:
1. What specific language is being used? Are there particular words that stand out or seem important?
2. Does the article tend to use more quotes, more statistics or other methods to prove its points?
3. What pieces of information appear in one article, but not another?
4. What is the overall tone? Positive, negative, neutral?
5. What is the single, most important message (elevator pitch) being conveyed in each article?
5. Take a step back, and ask yourself?
1. What does all of this mean?
2. Which article, in your opinion, is most/least successful? Why?
3. What does this teach you about how to read articles or find news in the future?