In Assessment 1 – Rich Discussion Forum Post you are asked to identify how one newsworthy issue/topic is pitched and framed (presented) differently in two (2) different traditional media outlets and is designed to advance your understanding about how traditional media influences public opinion. It looks at the many angles by which an issue or topic can be presented, depending on the media outlet’s agenda. It prepares you for professional application in the discipline by requiring you to critically analyse the written word. It also promotes a solid understanding of the various mass media outlets and the audiences that consume them, while teaching you to engage with the tools of the learning portal.
Please follow the steps below:
Pick a current newsworthy topic or issue which is being widely reported and discussed in traditional and online media. Make sure it is quite a big story. Feel free to discuss further with your lecturer, either in class or via the learning portal.
Find two (2) differently framed (opposing) versions of the same news topic or issue reported in two different TRADITIONAL MEDIA outlets, e.g. The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, radio stories, ABC TV News, etc. Try to pick quite different outlets with an opposing take on the issue.
Create a new thread with your name and topic in the title in the ASSESSMENT 1 DISCUSSION FORUM. Write a post which gives a brief analysis (600 words) of the opposing different angles of the topic/issue you have found, and the media outlets.
Post links or screen grabs to the online stories (or digital versions if available), or describe them in brief if they are in hard copy (e.g. newspaper or magazine cuttings).
You will be contrasting and comparing each piece for tone, angle and content.
Discuss how these real-world examples relate to the concepts of agenda setting and framing.
Start by briefly discussing the mass media outlets / platforms you have investigated, and the types of audiences they reach.
For each media story, consider the following questions:
What is the angle of the story?
What is framing? How is this story being framed by the outlet? What is the key messages highlighted in each media?
Is the story positive, negative or neutral? Why do you think that might be?
Can you sense an agenda from the various outlets?
What can we find out about the media platform’s target audience, through online research, but also through the way this issue is framed?
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