News article assignment

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1. Choose a news story/topic. It can be anything you’d like, but try to pick news that is “above the scroll,” that is, that it is PROMINENT on several news sites, so that you can get a sense of various news angles. Please ensure that it is a currently, timely topic it will have been analyzed and evaluated from a variety of sources, such that you can determine different views and biases on the piece. Breaking news that is one to two weeks old is great example; you can check out the headlines from a variety of sources.

Here are some current ideas:

Silent Sam statue on UNC’s Campus

Confederate Statues

Federal Investigation into Election Hacking and Campaign Finance (White House and campaign staff charges, ongoing)

#MeToo

Climate Change

The Catholic Church

The MTV VMAs

Ongoing Federal Investigations on Russia’s Involvement with American Elections

Elon Musk/Tesla/SpaceX

Greece’s Economic Recovery

and many more!

2. Read the story/topic from a variety of sources from a critical thinker’s perspective (see Chapter 1). Be a blank slate, and read from several different sites or paper sources that you typically don’t read. Example: If you choose a local story about Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, try to find the same story as it’s told by various newspaper, TV, and radio outlets. Don’t just read ONE outlet covering the story. The same thing goes for any national stories. Use your critical thinking mind to engage with what you’re reading.

3. Another trick of the trade is to read Op-Eds (opinion/editorials) related to that story. This is where experts (or citizens) have presented an argument (claim) about a topic. Most newspapers (local and national) have an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor section. Nearly every major news story is followed by a string of op-eds, as folks want to give their opinion on said story.

4. Take notes. What did you observe from each of the sources or outlets? What is the claim (argument) being presented? How does the report/writer back up the argument (claim) with evidence (premises) that lead to a conclusion. What was the tone of the story? What facts were left out or included? How did the information (reporting) vary from site to site, or newspaper to newspaper, or channel to channel? Was an opinion expressed? If so, how was each opinion different (depending upon the source)? Did the headline change from site to site? Who weighed in on the story and what did they have to say about it? What questions do you have about the story that remain unanswered?

Washington Post chart (source: Pew Research Center): Direct link https://img.washingtonpost.com/pbox.php?url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/files/2014/10/PewNew2.gif&op=noop

Business Insider chart (source: Pew Research Center): Direct link http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5446619369bedd2b5b3ecd67-800-/pj_14.10.21_mediapolarization-01.png

Elmhearst College: Direct link http://s3.amazonaws.com/libapps/accounts/54358/images/mediabias.jpg

Here is an example format for the thread:

Topic: {Name the overall topic of the arguments here}

Argument/Claim #1: {What is the claim presented?}

News Source Name and Article Title #1: {state the name of the source–like CNN, Fox News, or The Root, as well as the article tile in quotation marks; hyperlink the article title to the actual article site/link so I can read it myself}

Premises/Evidence for Argument #1: {Based on Chapter 2, analyze what evidence is offered to support the argument. Bullet points are fine.}

Deductive/Inductive and Traits: {See Chapter 3, definitions on page 81. Bullet points are fine. }

Language Evaluation: {See Chapter 4. Bullet points are fine.}

Argument/Claim #2: {What is the claim presented?}

News Source Name and Article Title #2: {State the name of the source–like CNN, Fox News, or The Root, as well as the article tile in quotation marks; hyperlink the article title to the actual article site/link so I can read it myself}

Premises/Evidence for Argument #2: {Based on Chapter 2, analyze what evidence is offered to support the argument. Bullet points are fine.}

Deductive/Inductive and Traits: {See Chapter 3, definitions on page 81. Bullet points are fine. }

Language Evaluation: {See Chapter 4. Bullet points are fine.}

***I attached an example of the assignment of how it should look like and a list of news websites I’m only allowed to use***

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