Critical Media Analysis Essay Assignment (4-7 pages, due Nov. 10, 20%)

Option #2: do a frame analysis of the news coverage of a particular election related event or candidate over a roughly five day period.

Be sure to carefully study the online guide to conducting frame analysis of news, and then choose a roughly five day period where there was a considerable amount of news coverage of an election-related event, and choose between one and four news outlets to collect everything the published during that time period about the event. Once you have collected all the news items, study and think about them carefully for a while, and using the guide, identify the frames that operating in the coverage. Then carefully, in essay form, explain what you found. Include either links to or copies of the news items you find.

Tips for doing frame analysis

1) Frames are NOT bias. Do not use the word “bias” to describe your articles. Frames reflect a point of view; that view may or may not support one or another politician, but that’s a separate question. There is no way to communicate without some kind of frame, some kind of assumptions about what matters and how the world works.
2) For this assignment, It does not matter what the news item or its author intended. Do not write about what a journalist intends, what they are trying to accomplish, what goal they have, or their purpose. Maybe the journalist has a particular goal, or maybe they are trying to be politically neutral and objective. The point is that they have to make choices about how to tell the story that reflect underlying assumptions. Write about those underlying assumptions.
3) Do not go through each news item one by one, talking about what’s in an article, then the next article, and so on. Rather, in your first paragraph, describe the event, the news outlets you chose, why you chose them, and, briefly, the frame(s) you found. Then go on to explain each frame and provide evidence from your news items that illustrate why those frames are there.
4) Show evidence for your frame(s), in the form of quotes and analysis, that demonstrate why you think that frame is there. Do not just state “I found a frame that says Bernie Sanders is unelectable.” Consider possible counterarguments: some might say, for example, that it’s a simple fact that Bernie Sanders is unelectable, so you need to explain why at the time the article was written that was not obviously true.