CMST 240 — Media Literacy Persuasive Writing Assignment
GOAL: Write a 4 page research paper about a mass media-related problem. In your paper, explain this problem, discuss possible causes, and propose one or more institutional solutions to solve the problem.
TOPIC: Research a problem which relates to one or more of the mass media covered in class or in your textbook. Be able to identify this problem with a specific sentence. Examples: 1.) The “live broadcast” has become a thing of the past, replaced with time-delay and a censor standing by. 2.) Illegal downloading of songs threatens to cripple the recording industry.
STRUCTURE: Your paper should be divided into five sections. Many of you will thus choose to have five paragraphs; you may choose, however, to divide each section into sub-paragraphs.
The first section should gain the attention of your reader and introduce the problem about which you are writing. You may also want to justify why this topic deserves to be explored.
The second section should explain the problem and also explore the impacts of the problem. You might want to identify who is harmed, what different harms or potential harms may be incurred, and the scope and severity of these harms.
Throughout your paper, use a highly structured writing style. Make a claim, and then support that claim with evidence. Begin your second section with a transitional sentence or internal preview which makes clear what impacts you will detail.
Examples: 1.) The results of the death of “live broadcast” are an increased possibility for censorship of sensitive messages, and the death of an art form—the live performance. 2.) Illegal downloading of songs harms not only the many professionals who depend on song sales to make their livings, it also has the potential to seriously curtail musical expression in the future.
The third section should discuss two or three likely causes of the problem you are exploring. When attributing a problem to causes, consider “what are the reasons this situation has gotten out of hand?” or “what factors in the status quo prevent this problem from being fixed?” Begin with an internal preview sentence which delineates the causes about which you are writing.
The rise of social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and share information, but it has also given rise to a major problem: the spread of misinformation. Misinformation, or the dissemination of false or misleading information, has become a widespread problem in today’s society, particularly on social media platforms. This paper will explore the causes of misinformation and propose institutional solutions to combat it.
Problem and Impacts:
Misinformation has many negative impacts on society. Firstly, it undermines trust in the media, which is essential for a healthy democracy. If people cannot trust the information they receive, they may become disengaged from the political process or turn to unreliable sources for information. Misinformation can also have harmful consequences, particularly in the context of health and safety. For example, false information about vaccines can lead to reduced vaccination rates, which in turn can lead to the spread of preventable diseases.
One of the main drivers of misinformation is the profit motive of social media platforms. These platforms make money by keeping users engaged and spending more time on the site, which can lead to the spread of sensational or false information. Additionally, the algorithms used by these platforms are designed to show users content that aligns with their interests, which can create echo chambers and reinforce false beliefs.
Another cause of misinformation is the lack of media literacy among the general public. Many people lack the critical thinking skills necessary to discern between accurate and inaccurate information, which can lead to the spread of false information.
To combat the spread of misinformation, there are several institutional solutions that can be implemented. Firstly, social media platforms must take responsibility for the content on their sites and implement stricter policies for the removal of false information. Additionally, these platforms could prioritize accurate information over sensational or false content in their algorithms.
Another solution is to increase media literacy education in schools and in the general public. By teaching people critical thinking skills and how to discern between accurate and inaccurate information, we can reduce the spread of false information.
Lastly, traditional media outlets have a responsibility to provide accurate and unbiased reporting to counteract the spread of false information. They could also partner with social media platforms to fact-check and label false information.
Misinformation is a pervasive problem in today’s society, with negative impacts on trust in media and public health and safety. The causes of this problem include the profit motive of social media platforms and a lack of media literacy among the general public. However, institutional solutions such as stricter policies on social media platforms, increased media literacy education, and accurate reporting from traditional media outlets can help combat this problem. By taking action to combat misinformation, we can promote a more informed and engaged society.