How does news media function in America?

Essay Assignment #2: Examining the Role of News Media

The focus of this essay will be on argumentation. Remember that college level writing often involves entering an academic conversation, to which you will be adding your perspective on the issues being discussed. In this assignment, I will be asking you to focus on one article only, “The Press and Public Misperceptions About the Iraq War” by Steven Kull. Think about the points that Kull is making regarding the function of the press in a democratic society and the consequences of bad information. In a well developed, organized essay of 2 – 3 pages, answer the following question: How does news media function in America? What role should news media play in a democratic society?

• Isolate a few of Kull’s main ideas and argue with or against them as you put forth your educated opinion regarding the function and role of news media today. In order to do so, it is important that you have a thorough grasp of his arguments. Review the homework questions to help you with this.
• Follow the “quotation sandwich” structure (introduce the quotations, write the quotations, explain and analyze the quotation).
• Assume the reader has not read the article, and provide adequate background information.
• The question involves 2 perspectives on the topic: 1) what role is news currently playing? 2) what role should it be playing? Make sure you are addressing both parts of the question.
• Whenever possible, draw from observations of current news programming. All of the major networks have websites where you can stream episodes.

• Start your introduction by establishing a context or relevance of your topic. Why should we discuss issues regarding news media in American society? Your thesis should be placed at the end of your introduction paragraph.
• Your essay body will have at least two sections- one that deals with each part of the question. However, you will likely have more than one paragraph per section.
• Devote each paragraph to one idea only.
• Each topic sentence (1st sentence of every body paragraph) should tell what the main idea of that paragraph is.

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