Media Company’s Performance

THIS ASSIGNMENT HAS TWO PARTS: Each section requires a response, but you should put ALL parts into one single paper for submission.

FORMAT: As with all assignments for this class, submit your assignment to TASK 4 CANVAS FOLDER. Please make sure your name is at the top of every page of your paper. Double-space your paper and use 1 inch margins all around (it makes it easier to read). No cover page is necessary.

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The purpose of this assignment is for you (a member of the public) to review various coverage of a specific event or story presented by media and evaluate whether a media company’s performance is living up to the requirement TO SERVE THE PUBLIC’s INTEREST, CONVENIENCE or NECESSITY (PICON).


Become familiar with a media “watchdog” organization of your choice (see list below or choose one not listed, but let your Professor know). Watchdog organizations exist to improve media. So you can use the information you learn about their expectations to “judge or evaluate”; media content providers and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, come up with your own definition of THE PUBLICS’ INTEREST by which you will judge media’s performance.


Provide the following information about your chosen watchdog organization that you will find on its web site. If the information isn’t there, just indicate that in your answer. Specifically, you will provide the following information about your chosen media watchdog organization:

Mission: What are the stated goals of the organization? What do they stand for? What do they hope to achieve?
Economics: Who sponsors them? Who is their target market or target audience?
Ownership: Who owns the organization?
Affiliations: Are they affiliated with other groups? If so, which ones? If you can judge a person by the company they keep, what do these affiliations tell you about the organization you have chosen to research?
Involvement: How can you participate with this organization? List any actions this groups suggests you might take to become more involved with media.
PICON Definition: What expectations does this group set for media? How does this group define PICON? Serving the Public Interest Convenience Or Necessity?
Most important: Your paper must end with what will be YOUR concrete definition of PICON (not the Media Watchdog’s, but yours based upon what you’ve learned so far). You will use this definition as the deciding criterion to evaluate your station’s performance. Here is a brief list of media-watch groups. You may find others, but please run your choice by your Professor before you begin your research.

ACME WRITERS (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (Links to an external site.)The Center for Media & Public Affair (Links to an external site.)
The Center for Public Integrity
(Links to an external site.)Accuracy in Media (Links to an external site.)Free Press (Links to an external site.)
Media Education
Foundation (Links to an external site.)Media Research Center (Links to an external site.)
Independent Media Center (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)International Freedom of Expression Exchange (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)


Choose a media-covered topic you’d like to watch-listen-read-write about.

Find coverage of your topic from the following types of media outlets. Provide a brief (on paragraph) description of the content you find, how information was presented, and what effect you think it might have on someone consuming it, or what meanings might be created by audience members. IMPORTANT: Do you think the coverage SERVES THE PUBLIC INTEREST? Why or why not? End your paper with a paragraph explaining what information was consistent across the different coverage, and what information was different.


1. Left politically leaning Newpaper (can be online)

2. Center politically leaning Newpaper (can be online)

3. Right politically leaning Newpaper (can be online)

4. Visual content: Television/video (could be a TV show or film, an ad, public service announcement, etc.) Take a screenshot or provide the image (ad or whatever) that is representing your topic.

5. Non-USA based news source

6. Radio news or podcast

7. Online video, YouTube, etc. Something that isn’t specifically news.

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