radio, television, and the Internet), Anderson notes that they are participants in the policymaking process as ?suppliers of information; as agenda setters, in that they help determine what people think about; and whether intentionally or otherwise, as shapers of attitudes? (p. 68-70). However, he also says that, generally speaking, policy matters are not covered very regularly and when they are, they are covered with little depth.
Answer the following questions for your assignment. Are all media sources the same? Do some provide more policy coverage and more in-depth analysis of the policy?s details than others? Choose two different media sources from the group above to compare over the period of one week (this period of time may be the present or any week in the past; it is important, though, that you use the same time period for both forms of media). For example, do newspapers offer more in-depth policy coverage than the network evening news? In addition, does one of the media sources you have chosen tend to focus on certain types of policies while the other focuses on different policy areas, or are they the same? Finally, do the media sources that you are examining present their reports objectively, or does there appear to be bias?
If you choose television, focus on just one of the major network?s evening news program (ABC, CBS, or NBC), not one of the 24-hour news channels. If you choose newspapers, focus on just one of the major national newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, or Los Angeles Times, for example), rather than a small local paper. If you choose radio, focus on one hour of news/talk radio (if you choose talk radio, make sure that it is a program that is dedicated, at least nominally, to news coverage; for example, you will not want to choose Dr. Phil?s radio show). If you choose news magazines, focus on just one and make sure that the issue you use covers the period of time that you have chosen. If you choose the Internet, make sure that you use a reputable news site and not a personal weblog, or ?blog.? Also, be aware that some websites require paid subscriptions to view material while others require a free registration to view material.
Useful websites you may use:
Web search for?TVNEWS.Vanderbilt.edu?- The world?s most complete collection of archived television news. This site provides abstracts of what is covered in each news program, allowing you to see what issues were covered on a particular day. The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is a great resource if you intend to cover television news over a past period of time.
Web search for?ABC WORLD NEWS- The website for ABC?s World News Tonight.
Web search for?CBS News?- The website for CBS?s Evening News (be sure to click on the ?Evening News? link in the top navigation bar).
Web search for?NBC News?- The website for NBC?s Nightly News (be sure to click on the ?Nightly News? link).
Newspaper - Web Search For...
?The website for the New York Times.
?The website for the Washington Post.
?The website for the Wall Street Journal.
?The website for the Los Angeles Times.
?The website for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
News Magazines- Web Search for...
?The website for Time.
?The website for Newsweek.
?The website for US News & World Report.
Radio- Webserch for...
?The website for National Public Radio.
?The website for liberal talk radio programs.
?A website directory of conservative talk radio programs.
Internet - web search for...
?The website for the Associated Press.
?The website for the Reuters News Service.
?The website for United Press International.
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