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Notes for analyzing your news article

    IMPORTANT: Your news article must cover a political event, activity or issue, and must be xeroxed onto an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet (don't worry about getting the whole article, as long as I can read enough of the headline and lead grafs to know what it's about). Your analysis should adhere to the following format, and be typed on a single page. Except for the situation analysis, perhaps, each answer will require a sentence or less. You should be prepared to do a brief informal oral presentation on this.

    Format, upper left:

      Your name,
      class when assignment is due (e.g., "Class 7")
      Article headline, source, and date


    1. SITUATION ANALYSIS: Briefly describe what's at issue. This should be about one paragraph and it should outline the situation sufficiently to inform a classmate who doesn't know anything about the issue you have chosen.

    2. PRINCIPAL: Who's the client, the principal behind this news event? That is, pretend that someone wanted this article to appear in the media. Who was it (who benefits from it?) It may not be the same person(s) that the article is about. Use your imagination, get a little paranoid... who could be behind this story?

    3. MEDIA EVENT: What is the event that got this article to the attention of the news media? The media don't print ideas... they print stories based on events that they cover. An "event" might be that they received a press release. It might be a press conference. It might be a leak. If the story doesn't make it clear, use your imagination and make an educated guess.

    4. MESSAGE: Assuming that the news article did what the principal was trying to do, what was the message the client was trying to send?What did the principal succeed in putting across to the public who reads that newspaper?

    5. TARGET: In a sentence, generally characterize what kind of audience this story might be intended to impress?What category of voters or constituents or others was he/she/they trying to reach?

    6. ALTERNATIVE EVENT: Use your imagination: what other media event might also produce a story that sends the same message? You have a list of possible media events. Again, use your imagination.