Among the goals of GenEd courses is the intention to promote students'
"information or media literacy." While it is the case that we are
bombarded with information in this Information Age, how are we to
critically evaluate and analyze all the information? We know that not
all news is created equal, so how do we sort out the quality of
journalism? First, how do we evaluate the news source and any agenda
it may have; in other words, what can we know about the messenger and
intentions? Second, how do we critically analyze the stories' content,
or the message?
The tasks of this assignment are evaluative and comparative analyses. On several current topics compiled, and on any relevant potential topics now unforeseen, in small groups you will research varying media outlets on a given news story and then compare the stories across the news organizations. First, you'll question the media source. Second, you'll analyze the content across the sources.
For example, you may be asked to research news stories that discuss the causes of Haiti's catastrophic earthquake. While it is the case that most people think the cause was a natural disaster, there are others that give different attributions for the devastation, including religious, cultural, and political. Find three stories on causes from three different news sources (looking for different causes) to evaluate and deconstruct, contrast and compare.
Next, using the library page tab "Questioning the Media" you will follow the prompts to research the media messenger. The next task is to use prompts on the tab "Critical Analysis" to contrast and compare the three stories.
Answering as many questions as possible, together write a summary paragraph on the media sources and a paragraph comparing the stories. This group grade will be counted toward Attendance and Participation. Good luck !