Explain how the media frame controversial issues by Jim Kuypers.

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Course Description:
This course is designed to provide supervised opportunities for students to pursue projects of special interest within the discipline and/or to extend knowledge of particular areas through directed study. Students are allowed to propose and submit projects of their own design to appropriate faculty and the department head for approval.
Course Information:
The student and faculty member will work together to develop a plan for the class based upon standard upper-level communication course guidelines. The plan must include information about assignments, grading standards and due dates for course work. Both the student and the instructor must sign a form agreeing to the terms of the Directed Study. The syllabus and course agreement must be approved by the Instructor and the Division Chair.
General Course Goals:
1. Students will submit a research proposal.
2. Students will investigate and engage in intensive study of communication phenomena.
3. Students will write a well-informed and well-researched document that demonstrates their research activities and findings or produce a project that demonstrates extensive work in communication.
Learning Outcomes:
Student Learning Outcome 1: Produce a grammatically and mechanically correct written document with proper sourcing, if required.
Student Learning Outcome 2: Organize a coherent and cohesive written document.
Student Learning Outcome 3: Utilize critical thinking when producing a written document.
Student Learning Outcome 4: Correctly apply an appropriate mode of writing considering the context and purpose of the document.
Student Learning Outcome 5: Produce a well-designed and executed project that demonstrates critical application of communication concepts.
Student Project Information
(Proposed) Project Topic:
Specific Project Goals:
Assignments and Grading:
Final Project (describe what the final project/submission will entail):

Sample Independent Study Proposal #1
Independent Study Proposal The Representation of Housewives in the media, in the 1950’s 1. A Statement of the purpose/goals of the project The purpose of my project is to study how films contributed to the images of married women and observe if these images reflect the ones found on other 50’s media. 2. A description of the subject matter My subject matter will include films that were nominated for awards from 1950-1959. For a second media to contrast my findings in the films I will research magazine articles written in the 50’s, intended for married women. To gain a different perspective I will use Life or Look magazines and Time or Newsweek magazines. I will observe the characters of the married women and their roles both in society and the family unit. I will compare the images I find to the advice in the magazine articles. 3. An explanation of its relevance to my interests and major area of study This subject is relevant to my life in several ways. As a communication major I have studied both film and other forms of media throughout my college career. I enjoy studying films from all decades and am very interested in the portrayal of women in the mediums of film and music. As a woman this subject is interesting to me, in seeing how far the images of married women have come in fifty years. 4. A Description of my proposed research methodology For my research I will be viewing the movies nominated for academy awards from 1950-1959. These movies will represent films thought of as the best of their year by the academy and will be available on video for me to find. I will also look up old reviews written about the movies during their time period. I will look in archives to find the magazine articles from the 50’s. I will conduct a textural analysis of the films and watch for images that female stars create as the perfect wives. This analysis will also include advertisements. In the magazines I will also be looking for advertisements directed towards women and the images these convey and will continue the textual analysis to advise articles written specifically for women. 5. A preliminary working bibliography 1950: All About Eve, Born Yesterday, Father of the Bride, Kings Solomon’s Mines, and Sunset Blvd 1951: An American in Paris, Decision before Dawn, A Place in the Sun, Quo Vadis?, A Street Car Named Desire 1952: The Greatest Show in Earth, High noon, Ivanhoe, Moulin Rouge, and The Quiet Man 1953: From Here to Eternity, Julius Caesar, The Robe, Roman Holiday, and Shane 1954: On the Waterfront, The Caine Mutiny, The country Girl, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Three coins in a fountain 1955: Marty, Love is a many splendored thing, Mister Roberts, Picnic, and The Rose Tatoo 1956: Around the World in Eighty Days, Friendly Persuasion, Giant, The King and I, The Ten Commandments 1957: The Bridge on the Rive Kwai, Twelve Angry Men, Peyton Place, Sayonara, Witness for the Persecution 1958: GiGi, Auntie Mame, Cat on a hot tin roof, Defiant Ones, and Separate Tables 1959: Ben Hur, Anatomy of a murder, Diary of Anne Frank, A Nun’s story, A room at the Top Amber, George. The New York Times Film Reviews. Arno Press Inc; New York, 1971 Bohn, Thomas and Stromgren, Richard. Light and Shadows, A History of Motion Pictures. Mayfield Publishing Co.; California, 1987. Powdermaker, Hortense. Hollywood the Dream Factory. Little, Brown and Company; Boston, 1950 Time magazine, Newsweek, and Life Magazine will be used for my research as well. 6. Information on the form and Length of the final report: I would like to do a fifteen page paper on my research. The paper will include my findings, and the evidence with which I came to my conclusions.

Sample #2, Independent Study Proposal A Content Analysis of Time and Newsweek 1.

Purpose/Goals This proposed study is about the media coverage of America’s “war on terror.” Since the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center, news coverage has been both lengthy and intense. The consequent war in Afghanistan has been the subject of long periods of saturation coverage. To the extent that the average U.S. citizen knows anything about the Middle East, it is from information provided by the news media. Consequently, the news media play a major role within our democracy; the decisions voters and policy makers formulate are based upon information gathered and packaged by news organizations. It is therefore crucial to the health of our democracy that American citizens continuously evaluate and re-evaluate the news. 2. Subject Matter I began my critique by looking at two content analyses of the news. In Is Anyone Responsible: How Television Frames Political Issues, Shanto Iyengar found that “during the 1980’s, network newscasts showed hundreds of reports of particular acts of terrorism, but virtually no reports on the socioeconomic or political antecedents of terrorism”(Iyengar 2). In other words, information about underlying historical, economic, or social circumstances of terrorism, did not accompany news about specific terrorist acts. He described news as being framed “episodically,” rather than “thematically.” The episodic news frame focuses on specific events into some general context. The essential difference between episodic and thematic framing is that episodic framing depicts specific, what Amherst College Professor Barry O’Connell refers to as, “illustrations of the already known.” Thematic framing presents collective or general evidence to put the “already known” into a broader context. Terrorism stories framed episodically are event-oriented reports that depict terrorism issues in terms of particular instances. The thematic frame, by contrast, places terrorism issues in some more general abstract context and reports historical conditions and/or general outcomes. Iyengar used content analysis to expose the degree in which news was framed episodically as opposed to thematically. He defined content analysis as “a systematic effort to classify textual material” (Iyengar 18). Iyengar used the abstracts of daily network newscasts as his “texts.” His sample consisted of every story aired by ABC, CBS, and NBC from January 1981 to December 1986. Using a keyword search, Iyengar specified his sample to stories about crime, terrorism, poverty, unemployment, and racial inequality. He then put each story into either the episodic or thematic category in order to assess the degree of thematic or episodic framing in television news. “The episodic category (which proved most frequent) consisted of stories that depicted issues predominantly as concrete instances or events, while the thematic category included stories that depicted issues more generally either in terms of collective outcomes, public policy debates, or historical trends” (Iyengar 18). Utilizing a multiple method research approach, Iyengar found that “exposure to episodic news makes viewers less likely to hold public officials accountable for the existence of some problem (i.e. terrorism) and also less likely to hold them responsible for alleviating it” (Iyengar 2). Iyengar surveyed residents of the Three Village Area of Suffolk county (Eastern Long Island, New York). The sample was gathered through newspaper and other advertisements, which offered ten dollars in exchange for participation in “television research” (Iyengar, 20). Part of the sample viewed news reports framed episodically, while the other part viewed reports framed thematically. Sample members were then each required to answer a series of open-ended questions about the issues that had been reported to each of them via the news. In regards to terrorism, those being surveyed were asked what causes terrorism and what is the best way to reduce terrorism. Iyengar found that the attribution of responsibility is a function of how the news story frames the issue. As defined by Iyengar, “casual responsibility focuses on the origin of a problem, while treatment responsibility focuses on who or what has the power to alleviate (or forestall alleviation of) the problem” (Iyengar 8). By presenting the news in either thematic or episodic form, the news story influences attributions of responsibility both for the creation of terrorism (casual responsibility) and for the resolution of terrorism (treatment responsibility) (Iyengar 3). The other content analysis that I studied is Herbert Gans’ Deciding What’s News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek and Time. Like Iyengar, Gans’ text, or unit, is the individual news story. His observations come from six-month samples of “stories appearing in alternate months during 1967, 1971, and 1975” (Gans, 6). Gans’ classified stories by which “actor” or “activity” dominated each. He further classified the actor category into three sub-categories: “Types of People in the News,” “Knows in the News,” and “Unknowns in the News” (Gans 9, 10, 13). (continued)Sample #2,
Independent Study Proposal 3.

Explanation of Relevance This independent study will afford me the opportunity to learn a valuable media analysis technique, to work with print media, and to apply what I have learned to the discourse analysis component of my thesis. I am currently working on an evaluation of television news coverage of the Middle East using an audience research method for my honors thesis. 4. Research Methodology I will conduct a content analysis of Time and Newsweek to determine the degree to which they cover the war on terror in episodic or thematic frames. I would also like to break down the episodic news frames into actors (“knows and unknowns”) in order to get a sense of “who speaks?” I’ve chosen Time and Newsweek because they have a large general readership. 5. Bibliography Berger, Arthur Asu, (1982) Media Analysis Techniques Sage Publications, Beverly Hills Gans, Herbert (1980) Deciding What’s News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time, Random House Inc, New York Gerges, Fawaz A. (1999) America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests?, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom Humphreys, R. Stephen (2001) Between Memory and Desire: The Middle East in a Troubled Age, University of California Press, Berkeley Iyengar, Shanto (1991) Is Anyone Responsible?: How Television Frames Political Issues, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago McCombs, M., Danielian, and Wanta, W. (1995), ‘Issues in the News and the Public Agenda’ in Salmon, C. and Glasser, T. (eds.) Public Opinion and the Communication of Consent, New York: Guilford Press, pages 281-300. 6. Form At the end of this independent study, I will submit a paper with five sections: introduction, theory, methodology, results, and discussion.Sample #3, Independent Study Proposal Independent Study Proposal Independent Study: The Media’s Role in the 2004 Battle for the White House 1. Statement of purpose and goals of project The research project I propose will track and compare the presidential campaigns of both the democratic nominee and George W. Bush by executing daily log, analysis and collection of various media. I will examine the imagery and rhetoric the media use while reporting on the presidential race by keeping a daily journal, and create a scrapbook of stories and images that appear in specified newspapers and weekly magazines. The log and scrapbook I create (in addition to various readings) will ultimately serve to inform my final paper, which will attempt to prove that the media will play a vital role in the 2004 presidential election. 2. Description of the subject matter The subject of this project is political communication. I will study how media report on and frame stories about the candidates through the first quarter of their campaigns, as well as how media frame the candidates themselves. 3. Explanation of relevance to interests or major area of study This project is very relevant to both my interests and major area of study. As a communication major, one of the topics I have enjoyed most is political communication. I am very interested in the role media play in everyday American society and culture, but fascinated by the very significant role it can play in the governance of the country – especially in a presidential election. 4. Description of proposed research methodology I will on a daily basis read and keep clippings of stories about the democratic nominee (or leading nominee until he is chosen) and George W. Bush from three newspapers: the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. I will also read and keep articles and pictures from two weekly magazines, including News Weekly. Also, I will watch two to three news programs each day (preferably Fox, MSNBC, and CNN), taking notes on the stories about and images of the candidates. I will write daily journal entries summarizing my observations and read the texts I have specified in part 5. 5. Preliminary working bibliography Public politics: how political advertising tells the stories of American Politics by Glenn W. Richardson Press bias and politics: how the media frame controversial issues by Jim Kuypers Bad news: where the press goes wrong in the making of a president by Robert Shogun It’s show time! Media, politics, and pop culture by David Schultz What liberal media? The truth about bias and the news by Eric Alterman 6. Form and length of final project My final project will consist of a final paper that is 30 to 45 pages in length, as well as my daily journal entries and the scrapbook of news clippings I will create.

David Thomas
Dr. Stewart

Independent Study Proposal: Sustainable Practices in Fish Farming

1. Statement of Purpose/Goals:
The primary objective of this independent study is to investigate and propose sustainable practices in the field of fish farming. The focus will be on exploring methods that promote environmental stewardship, ethical treatment of aquatic life, and economic viability for fish farmers.This study aims to contribute valuable insights to the evolving landscape of fish farming, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices for the well-being of aquatic ecosystems and the long-term success of the industry.

2. Description of the Subject Matter:
The subject matter will encompass various aspects of fish farming, including but not limited to aquaculture techniques, feed sustainability, waste management, and the overall ecological impact on the ocean . The study will delve into both traditional and innovative practices within the industry.

3. Explanation of Relevance to My Interests and Major Area of Study:
As a senior majoring in communication with a deep interest in sustainable practices, this study aligns with my academic pursuits. Understanding and advocating for sustainable fish farming practices holds relevance in the broader context of responsible communication and fostering positive change.

4. Research Methodology:
The research will involve a comprehensive review of existing literature on sustainable aquaculture practices. Additionally, interviews with experts in the field, visits to sustainable fish farms, and analysis of successful case studies will contribute to the development of a well-rounded perspective.

5. Preliminary Working Bibliography:
– Tidwell, J. H. (Ed.). (2012). Aquaculture Production Systems. John Wiley & Sons.
– Smith, T., & Brown, R. (2008). Water Quality Management in Aquaculture. Springer.
– Costa-Pierce, B. A. (Ed.). (2019). Sustainable Food Production in the Marine Environment. Academic Press.
– Boyd, C. E., & Tucker, C. S. (1998). Pond Aquaculture Water Quality Management. Springer.

6. Information on the Form and Length of the Final Report:
The final report will take the form of a comprehensive research paper, adhering to MLA format standards. The paper is anticipated to be 30 to 40 pages in length, encompassing the findings, proposed sustainable practices, and evidence supporting the conclusions

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