For this portion of the course, you will choose one media object, event, campaign (you name it!) to study. This project is a sustained exercise in deconstructing and analyzing media. You will choose a topic that will allow you to observe and analyze the representation of race and/or ethnicity in a medium or a genre of your choice. Mediums include: print, newspapers or magazines; television,film, music, social media or the Internet; Genres include: sitcoms, series, reality tv, music videos,etc. Possible topics could include: a minority/ethnic group portrayal in a television series, or in the news; the portrayal of race or gender in a particular series of magazine advertisements; or the remedy to negative portrayals of race and ethnicity in alternative media online (blog, twitter feed, Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc.). I suggest you track something you’re interested in and are passionate about—your favorite TV show,a twitter hashtag, an advertising campaign for a product you love (or hate!), or a blogger you already follow. You will need to report, (in the form of a 12-pg coherent paper – NOT bulletpoints) :
1. What is the media object? Describe it and tell us who produces it? What medium does it take(film, TV, twitter)? What is the explicit message? How do you plan on tracking it? (following twitter account/hashtag, collecting advertisements, watching a TV show and taking notes). Why did you choose this object?
2. Audience Analysis: who do you think the intended audience is? Explain why? Who else may be part of the audience? Who do you think is not a part of the intended audience? What does the media object offer the audience, how do they interact with it? You may have to do research for this—be sure to cite everything you find/use.
3. What does your media object do? Does it create a community? Describe? Does it isolate people? Does it shame people or make them feel good? What are some of the messages the media object is conveying, both explicitly and implicitly? What work does it do in the sphere of media in which it operates? What does your media object NOT do?
4. Final analysis—propose a larger study of this media object. Describe your initial findings and write up a defense of why we need a more in-depth study. Pretend you have all the time and money to do this project—what would you do to continue it? What would you do to answer some of the questions that arose? Describe and defend your claims and choices.
Use the additional materials at your disposal and cite them if necessary