Media comparisons

Due 3 p.m. June 17 to Dr. R

Write a 600-700-word essay in which you compare and contrast “quality” British news media with American news media. Format: MS Word document, 12 pt Cambria or Times (New) Roman body type. Line space 1½. Send as e-mail attachment. Use the following notes to guide you in your study.

Some media observers divide British national newspapers into “red tops” (sensational tabloids) and “quality” papers. Television gets divided into state-run television (BBC) and independent (such as Sky). Your assignment is to study the content of British media and write an essay comparing and contrasting British media with U.S. media. Give examples to illustrate your points.

First, you are asked to zero in on 1) the kinds of stories that get major treatment and 2) the way the top stories are reported. In other words, you will be answering such questions as a) Do British newspapers (TV, news websites) and American newspapers (TV, news websites) report on the same stories, different stories, or a mix of same and different?  b) When they report on major stories, do they report in the same way or different ways? c) in each case give examples and explain HOW they are the same and / or different.

Second, on TV: Be sure to watch late night (10 p.m. and later) BBC TV news. Make note of the kinds of things that get into the lineup with late night news in London that you would not expect to see in the U.S. and report this.

Newspapers: Focus most of your energy in London on the quality press, not the red tops. You should write a very short paragraph about the red tops and what they report.

Remember, throughout this process you are being asked to figure out what the British news media single out as important stories and the best way to report those stories. Then you are asked to compare how and what British media report with how and what the American media report.