History, Public Information, Manipulation, Propaganda
Format: Present your research in the form of an academic research paper with a clear thesis statement, research questions or objectives, review of related literature and other evidence, and an analytical conclusion that supports your evidence in answering the research question(s).
Criteria: Cite all sources used within the paper and provide a complete reference list at the end of the paper, using a standard academic style such as MLA, APA, or Chicago. Please consult the Course Information’s guide to writing essays for more information.
Use both primary and secondary sources in your research. Primary sources are works produced by government departments, such as policy statements, acts, discussion documents, annual reports, and departmental website information. Newspapers and magazines as well as websites of news organizations, such as the CBC and BBC, are also reliable sources. You should also use at least six secondary sources: critical peer-reviewed academic papers and texts. You may include course readings but use at least four outside sources as well.
The late Washington Post publisher Phil Graham referred to journalism as a “first rough draft of history.” Many journalists like to think they are producing public information of vital importance for citizens. But journalists and their media organizations sometimes use the ideal of public information as a rhetorical justification for manipulation and propaganda (whether commercial or political).
Write a research paper describing the interplay of freedom and responsibility in news production (providing examples). Your paper should:
your paper for you
Consider the circumstances under which reporters may agree or disagree on facts
Consider the circumstances that make it acceptable (or not) for governments or media organizations themselves to place limits on freedom of speech
Discuss the distinctions between truth and truthfulness
Consider whether it is normal/abnormal that journalists report from a particular “point of view”
As well, based on the readings in this course, differentiate between journalism, public information, manipulative discourse (with your own definitions), and propaganda and suggest solutions for journalists who want to work free of propaganda and censorship.