Welcome back everyone!
In honor of the fact that you would all rather still be on break, I figured that your first assignment post-midterm could be watching some tv. Specifically, you will be watching the prime time network news. Exciting, no?
Here’s the deal: Even in the age of the internet, television news still drives the narrative among average Americans. As a result, there is a benefit for us to know what is being discussed in the news in order to see how that impacts our national conversation. Are the programs covering the big issues of the day? Do you notice any strange/out of place stories, or things that are missing that seem to be important enough to discuss?
With that in mind, here is your assignment: You are to watch two half-hour news programs from the same network television statement (that means CBS, NBC, ABC, or FOX 5, no cable news). One of these half hour slots should be the local news (usually on at 6pm, so set your DVRs if you aren’t home by then), and the other should be the national news (usually on after the local broadcast at 6:30). The national news is the one with the big name associated with it.
As you watch each show, I would like for you to keep track of what stories are covered, in what order, and how long they spend on each story. It should look like this:
Once you get this list from each broadcast, write a short, one paragraph summary of your findings. Did they cover everything that they should have? Remember that the local news will be concerned with the New York/New Jersey area, while the national news is broadcast to everyone in America. Were the stories appropriate for the intended audiences?
Write it all up, and submit it by Friday, January 22. Your final product should include the accounts of both shows, and the summary for each. Make sure you clearly state what network and what night you watched.
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