Public enemy : media and politics

 SLO #3: Public enemy #1: How dangerous is the media today? 70% of students will successfully research and evaluate the role of the modern media in American politics; specifically, elections.  Students will also evaluate the rise and impact of “fake” news on the practice of our democracy, as well as consider how and if social media should be regulated by the government.  [SLO #3 fulfills the following Program Level Outcomes: Communication, Critical Thinking, Social and Personal Responsibility, as well as the following Course Level Outcomes: 1, 6, 7, 8]

Activity for Assessment:

For this discussion, we are going to look at a topic that has literally been all over the media outlets: Is the media public enemy #1? While a distrust of the media has been rising in the past decades, we are at a new crossroads with news reporting and information sharing.  Read pages 434-435 (What’s at Stake?) in your text as well as the following articles and then do any additional research as necessary and then answer the following questions:

1.) How has media changed over time?  Does the way information is delivered impact the message being delivered?  (think about the game of telephone we used to play as kids–does word of mouth, reading a newspaper, watching the evening news, reading an online news article or getting information on social media impact the message?)

2.) How do candidates/politicians use the media to get his or her messages across to us?  

3.) Reading “Whats at stake” in the text, what does this tell us about living in the information bubble?  How do you feel about this?

4.) We keep hearing about the media being an enemy to democracy.  Is the assault on the media new?  What has changed causing the media to be more “to blame” in politics?  

5.) Because candidates and lawmakers have unlimited access to social media, has this changed the exchange of information between citizen and politician? Explain.

6.) What about the “fake news” claims?  How valid are these claims and how seriously should these claims be taken?  If there really is a rise in fake news, how should we, the voters in this country, respond?  How can you spot the fake news? How will you as a conscientious voter (or potential voter), delineate fact from fiction and spot the bias in most news organizations. 

7.) Finally, as a citizen, potential citizen, voter, potential voter, what are your overall thoughts about the media?  Do you trust the information being delivered is the truth? How will you decide who you will vote for, knowing how information is delivered and the potentiality of it being fake, biased, etc? 

This assignment must follow MLA guidelines, be typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, and be a minimum of 1000 words with a works cited page.  The works cited are not included in the minimum word count. Any articles/web links given in the assignment prompt MUST be cited in your paper and works cited.  Any additional research must be cited as well.  

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