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JOUR 300: Journalism and Society

Final Paper

For your final paper, you will choose one of the following questions to research. Once you select a topic you will identify the background information needed to support your argument. Who are the people involved? What is the main concern or issue? Where does the event take place?

Use the Databases tab to locate resources for background information and resources to search for articles related to your question.


…it seems undeniable that the prevailing tendency in the media is towards the reproduction, amidst all their contradictions, of the definitions of the powerful, of the dominant ideology” (Hall et al, 2013, Policing the Crisis, p. 68). Critically evaluate this statement. In your answer (1) define the concepts of ideology and power, (2) outline the relationship between dominant ideology and the media, and (3) specifically discuss the role of the news media within this analysis. Use the example of crime reporting to support your answer.

2. “Since American journalism’s pivot many decades ago from an openly partisan press to a model of professed objectivity, the mainstream has allowed what it considers objective truth to be decided almost exclusively by white reporters and their mostly white bosses. And those selective truths have been calibrated to avoid offending the sensibilities of white readers. On opinion pages, the contours of acceptable public debate have largely been determined through the gaze of white editors”. This quote from Wesley Lowery highlights what some have called the “failures of neutral objective journalism”. Provide an overview of this debate, especially as it has unfolded in the context of the news coverage of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across many American cities in 2020. In your answer clarify how “objectivity” is defined and understood within journalism. To what extent is journalistic objectivity racialized?

3. “the bird is freed”. Tweet by Elon Musk on October 27th, 2022. Elon Musk has described himself as a “free speech” absolutist and has suggested that radically reducing the level of content moderation on social media platforms like Twitter is important for the health of democracy and the future of civilization. Musk has further suggested that “Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square.” In this essay, critically discuss the claim that social media platforms like Twitter are the new “public sphere” and that promoting free speech, with no or very limited restrictions, is vital for the future of civilization.

4. The state of journalism in America has been variously described as dying, if not already dead, and, conversely, in a state of revival and experiencing a resurgence. Drawing upon the ideas of key media commentators, survey the current standing of journalism in America. Pay particular attention to the power of market forces (capitalism) and the impact of new technologies on journalism

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