Media Advocacy for Womens Issues in Society and Characterization Thesis Paper

In this assignment, you’ll work as a media monitor, then write an advocacy report to a media producer. Your report will acknowledge what the media producer is doing well and make suggestions for how the producer could change the product to better incorporate diversity issues. Start by thinking about a group you want to advocate for—a group you think is underrepresented or misrepresented in the mass media. This could be the LGBTQ community, older adults, women, Muslims, people who experience disabilities or any of the groups we’ve discussed in class. Then think about a medium in which you’re interested—social media, books, TV, magazines, newspapers, ads, news releases. Now combine the two. For example, you might decide to study romance novels for Latinas, men’s portrayals on commercials, or images of disability in movies. Then, get even more specific. Some examples: Images of masculinity in Bud Light commercials, body image of women in _People_ magazine, the presence or absence of African-Americans on _The Real Housewives of New York_ , depictions of older adults in Oscar-nominated movies. In your paper, you’ll want to explain why this is an important topic. Do some research on the broad topic you’ve chosen. You’ll want to spend some time in the library and on the Internet looking for articles to give your report some background. For example: If you study ads targeted at Hispanic voters, you want to do some research on the Hispanic population in the United States, voting patterns, and ad campaigns for minority populations. Use the articles to provide context and background for your report. Also, you may use some of the materials as evidence to support the arguments you make. Just be sure to attribute the information to the correct sources. Once you’ve decided upon your topic, determine how you will study or monitor the subject. You won’t be able to watch every TV show or see every movie about your topic. Instead, select a small “sample” that you feel is representative of what you’re studying. This might be a week’s worth of newscasts or newspapers, several months worth of magazines, a month of NBA games, five Web sites. In your paper, you’ll want to explain why studying this particular topic and medium is worthwhile (Monday Night Football has an audience of 2 million viewers; these five Web sites receive more than 10,000 hits per month). Also write about why your sample is representative of what you are studying. *Make sure you can access your entire sample in the short amount of time we have left for the class. Develop worksheets for each episode, issue, novel, edition, etc. to help you keep track of what you watched, heard, or read. Don’t rely on memory. **You must turn in your worksheets with the assignment. The worksheets, reference section, and title pages will NOT count toward your total number of pages.** You want this report to be addressed to a specific individual. It must be a real person. Somewhere in your report, indicate why you’re writing to this particular individual. (As the executive producer for _The Daily Show,_ you . . .). This is a great way to start your first paragraph of the report. In your report, tell the media producer what you think he / she is doing well. Give specific examples from your media monitoring notes. Tell the producer what he / she can improve to incorporate diversity. Again, give specific examples from your media monitoring notes. Finally, tell the producer what you’d like them to do from now on and be specific. Provide evidence about why your solution is ideal. Do you want them to add a Latina character to the cast of _Nashville_? Hire a woman to cover sports for the Lawrence Journal- World? These suggestions should flow logically from the research you’ve done. The tone of your report can be serious or sarcastic. You can use humor, or you can play it straight. **Be sure your paper demonstrates that you have systematically monitored the media, that you understand the concepts we’ve discussed in class, and that you have a point to your writing.** Don’t just rant. Your final report should be 10 to 12 pages, typed and double-spaced. **APA style.** With work sheet.

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