Media Analysis Assignment for Media and Politics

Media Analysis Assignment for Media and Politics


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You are being asked to prepare a conduct a mini-media content analysis on a specific media event.  First, you’ll need to come up with a research question to conduct a research question for your mini-analysis.


Here are some examples of a research question.

  • How do the Winnipeg Sun and the Winnipeg Free Pressdiffer in their coverage of the throne speech? What are the similarities? What does this tell us about the differences or similarities in news approaches?
  • How much hard news is there in CTV and CBCs 6:00 newscast? Are there differences? Are there similarities? Ensure you provide an operational definition of “hard news.”
  • Monitor two days of local news stories on the 6:00 news channel of your choice (CTV, CBC, etc). Count the number of female and male news sources. Are there more men than women? Types of sources? What does this say about our understanding of “experts?”


Things to keep in mind when thinking about setting up your research question:

  • You need to be focused. You can’t study all the storiesin all the world, in all the newspapers, so you’ll have to make a decision about which stories you will cover and why. And you need to explain why you chose the media that you did and the dates that you did and it has to be rational.
  • If you are comparing coverage (ie) different newspapers or different television stations, or television to newspapers, you have to provide a rationale for why it makes sense to compare the two. For example, you would want to write:  I chose the Sun and the Free Press because I wanted to understand how the newspapers in Winnipeg mediated the coverage and to compare if there are differences found in a broadsheet and a tabloid.
  • You will have to provide a preliminary copy of your coding sheet and you should try to think about how coding is done in detail.


The second step is the actual media analysis itself, which will result in writing a final paper. Your final paper will include a number of things.

  • A literature review that will inform your research. So, you will want to look at others who have looked at how others have done media research on similar topics. You’ll want to take full advantage of the Canadian Journal of Communications, Journalism Practise, Communication Research, Communication, Culture and Critique and others. You’ll also want to look for names like Alex Marland, Linda Trimble, David Taras, Tamara Small, Angelia Wagner, Jared Wesley and myself as authors for search terms to find out who’s writing in the field. You need to research your analysis within the current literature. In other words, what have others written about the way media speak about political events, how do the media evaluate issues like sources, how do they write about the way the media evaluate issues of Indigenous issues, etc. This will be the most important part of your overall study.
  • A discussion about your methodology. What did you decide to research and why?  What were your operational definitions?
  • Your findings. What did you discover
  • Finally, what does this mean and why is it important? Provide me with a discussion of what this means.


Of course all of the necessary components of an essay will also be included, such as an introduction and a conclusion as well as a References page.  Again, if you’re wondering how to cite things like a television broadcast, look at how it’s been done in other papers you’ve been asked to read.


Here are some additional hints.

  • Use, use, use, use other people’s works cited page to help you broaden your research. This will help you follow up on what’s current.
  • Academic Search Premier and CBCA are two great databases you can use from our library. They will have journals like Political Communication, Journalism Studies, etc which are great sources of information.
  • Be logical, be focused, and stay on topic. It will make your life easier.
  • Don’t leave this until December 21. You simply can’t do it in five days.
  • If you can’t afford a newspaper or can’t find archival newspaper content, contact me. I can help you.
  • USE ME AS A RESOURCE. I’m here for a reason and I don’t want you to fail at this.
  • There are several examples of how two write this up in essay format in your readings, beginning with Barbara Schneider’s piece, Fred Bastien’s work, and Bailey Gerritt, Linda Trimble, et. al’s piece.

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