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For your first assignment, obtain a PRINT copy of a major NYC or national newspaper (the New York Times, USAToday, the Wall Street Journal, the Daily News, the New York Post, A.M. New York) and read it cover-to-cover. When you’re finished, and use Media/Impact to assist you, write a 3 page analysis looking at the way that paper presents information, and to whom that information is being presented.
Consider the following (but please do not write a paper that just answers these questions by rote)
The front page, above the fold—What stories are covered, and how?
Headlines—is the language fact based, or sensational?
Photographs—big or small? Assisting the reporting or supplementing it?
Language—is the language primarily neutral? Is there a clear bias toward a particular political party, religion, or corporation? Is the language sophisticated or accessible?
Advertising—who is the newspaper’s primary demographic? How can you tell? Is this demographic reflected in the reporting as well?
You will need to write 3 pages with an identifiable thesis and supports. That thesis should attempt to tell me something essential about the paper that you’ve come to understand through your analysis.
(for example: were the subject magazines, you might write: “The New Yorker is a magazine covering culture and the arts, with a highly educated readership. This is made evident by sophisticated subject matter, advertising for elite university programs, and cartoons no one can understand.)
Follow MLA guidelines and check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Make sure to introduce your sources (author names, article headlines), and do your best to analyze your newspaper thoroughly.
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