freedom and control in media
Choose a cultural, media, or communications policy issue or debate and analyse how different stakeholders/policy actors utilise language and discourse to promote their agendas and worldviews, and to marginalise dissenting or oppositional positions.
NOTE: Debate/Case Study must be different than that used in the Minor Essay
- Analyse the manner in which this debate/issue is covered differently in different forms of media (for instance: online, print, local, international, public broadcaster, state broadcaster, independent media, private broadcaster, government-linked media/non-government-linked media, social media, etc).
- How are differing discourses employed by these media outlets and the stakeholders quoted within them to promote arguments and points of view and to marginalise others?
- How is the language and discourse utilised to persuade the reader towards the POV or perspective of the writer/policy actor/institution?
- Address the language (discourse) utilised in the policy document
- What is being said and what is not?
- Whose interests are being promoted?
- Whose interests are being marginalised?
- How does the manner in which this issue is portrayed in the various media illustrate the way in which policy is closely linked to competing discourses of freedom and power, citizenship, liberty, autonomy, the nation-state, authoritarianism, state control, democracy, liberalism, nationalism, etc.
- Ensure that you choose apolicy issue from the domain of media, culture and communicationand NOT a policy issue from another social area that may have received media coverage.
Possible topics might (but are NOT restricted to) include:
post truth / alternative facts / fake news
national culture and identity;
national/local screen media;
music piracy & file sharing;
copyright and intellectual property;
violence and gaming;
digital media and convergence;
local content regulations;
surveillance (e.g. meta-data);
public broadcasting budgetary cuts;
freedom of speech on media and communications platforms
wikileaks and whistle blowers
representation in screen media and social media;
digital right to be forgotten
social media and privacy
*Choose a media policy issue that involvescontrasting perspectives or representationsof the problem to enable productive analysis of different points of view on the problem.
- Make use ofpolicy documents/legislation and media commentaries(such as opinion pieces or editorials) on the policy problem.
- Look for evidence of the policy discourses/rhetorics covered in the unit. For instance, a public service or free market discourse, or discourses on nationhood and the public sphere.
- You must use at leastfive academic sources(i.e. a peer reviewed journal, an academic book, a conference paper, and/or a text from the Unit Reader). As a third year unit, you are also expected to demonstrate higher research skills. This means that you will also be carefully assessed regarding the use of original research material. Therefore, you shouldavoid depending exclusively on case study material that has been used in the webinars.
- NB: Thisdoes not meanyou cannot use any of the weekly readings.
- You need to structure your own response in analysing the representation of your chosen policy issue. This means examining different discourses operating in the case and identifying different policy actors and their respective positions. How do these positions inform their point of view on the policy issue? How do they make their argument and pursue their ends? What rhetorical frameworks, or discourses, are available to them?
Estimated return date:2 weeks after submission date
Criteria for Marking:
The Major essay should:
- Follow the instructions outlined in the ‘Details of the task’ and other guidelines provided
- Clearly explain which media, cultural or communications policy issue is being used, and use appropriate examples
- Clearly identify at least two, and preferably three, stakeholders and explain their arguments and positions using primary source documents wherever possible
- Use the academic literature in a relevant and concise manner
- Use appropriate scholarly referencing and citation systems to attribute sources of ideas and material used (use either the APA or Harvard referencing style)
- Have consistency and accuracy in citation, spelling, and punctuation
The assessment will also take into account the relevant use of:
- Primary sources: i.e. policy documents, ‘White Papers’, laws, press statements, survey and statistical data, news articles, etc.
- ‘Topical’ sources: i.e. newspaper, current debates, blogs/online discussions, etc.