Task: To analyse news coverage of a crime, group of offender/victims the topic is to be chosen by the student, and the analysis should be based on either content analysis or narrative analysis (we discuss both of these in week 5). The title for the assignment should be your research question (see A Couple of Examples below).
Word limit: 2,000-2,500 words
The assignment should have the following structure:
Introduction (200-300 words): You should clearly outline the topic/group/event that you are focussing on, the resources you are using to carry out the analysis (e.g. newspaper coverage in two national newspapers in April 2010), and the method of analysis you are using. You need to explain your decisions (making reference to, for example, the ownership/ideological slant of the publications you have chosen, the reason for your choice of topic and particular method of analysis).
Findings (900-1200 words): You should outline your main findings. This will very much depend upon the method of analysis youve chosen. Content analysis, for example, will involve you having information on the volume of reporting and the central themes in the coverage. Narrative analysis will involve outlining the key narratives that are associated with particular crimes/incidents. You need to think about how youre going to display the information: in writing, with charts/graphs/tables.
Discussion (900-1200 words): You should explain your findings, with some reference to social/criminological theory. Why were certain themes/narratives particularly prominent? Are your findings part of a broader trend/social phenomenon? (Or, alternatively, do they disprove certain theories/assumptions?)
A Couple of Examples
1) How has knife crime been represented in UK national newspapers over the last decade?
2) What are the key explanations that are used in news stories about drink-spiking?
3) How is the metaphor of the epidemic used in news reporting on crime?
Referencing News Items
All news items you refer to directly in the report need to have an in-text and bibliographic reference. Heres how you write those references.
In-text referencing for a newspaper
If the author is given/known, you give the authors surname and year e.g. (Smith 2010)
If the author is not given you give the title of the newspaper and year e.g (The Times, 2010) In-text referencing for a TV news programme
Name of programme and date e.g. (News at Ten, 27th January 2001).
Bibliographic referencing for a newspaper article
If authors name is unknown:
Newspaper (year of publication) title of article, day and month, page number/s.
Example: The Times (1992) Picking up the bills, 4th June, p.28.
If authors name is known:
Authors surname, initial/s (year of publication) title of article, newspaper, day and month, page number/s.
Example: Fox, D.G. (2010) Knife Crime Epidemic, Daily Mirror, 24th June, pp. 2-3. Bibliographic referencing for a TV news programme
Name of programme, year, month, day, hr.
Example: News at ten, 2001. Jan 27. 2200 hrs.