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HON 4960 Lifehacking the Literature: Media


  • Where do you get information about current events from?
  • How does the decentralization of news media to from TV/Cable networks to other outlets affect the content and quality of news?
  • How does the centralization of broadcast media ownership affect the content and quality of news?

Required Materials

Supplemental Materials

Media Assignment

Find 3-4 different articles or broadcasts on the same topic or event from each of the following types of media

  • a newspaper,
  • a television or radio broadcast news,
  • a blog not associated with a mainstream media outlet.
  • an international news source (this item can count as one of the above media types).

Turn in copies of all articles or link to video.  Analyze and contrast the news reports in terms of how they reported on or reacted to the event, if they took a biased or slanted approach, and your judgments of their credibility.  Back up your analysis with quotations from the sources.

TED Talk: Paul Lewis "Crowdsourcing the News" (17 min.)

With social media, the next big news story might just be broken by you. Just about every cell phone can record video, take photos, and upload it all to the Internet, turning every Twitter stream into a potential 24 hour news channel. Reporter Paul Lewis shares this talk that explains the future of investigative journalism through crowdsourcing.

TED Talk: Clay Shirky "How Social Media Can Make History" (16 min.)

Social media offers a unique way for the masses to have a voice. In countries where the news media is often controlled by the government, real news doesn’t always make it out, and a “top-down” control of news means that citizens in repressive regimes may not be able to share their stories. In this talk, Clay Shirky discusses how citizens can use Facebook, Twitter, and texts to bypass censors and report on real news.

TED Talk: Alisa Miller "The News about the News" (4 min.)

Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less. Eye-opening stats and graphs.