Upon completion of this assignment you should be able to:
1- Understand the concepts and methods of discourse analysis and narrative analysis in
2- Apply these concepts and methods to examples of print and television news reporting.
3- Present your analysis and arguments about discourse and narrative in news in clear and effective
1- For this assignment you must choose two examples of news stories on the same national or
international issue or event.
2- One news story must come from CTV, CBC, or Global network television evening news
(broadcast or podcast version) in January or February 2012.
3- The second news story must be taken from the Globe and Mail or National Post newspaper
(print or on-line edition) from any day in January or February 2012.
4- Your written analysis must be 2000 words, double-spaced, 12-point type.
5- The title page must include the course code, assignment title, your name, student number and
your TA’s name.
6- No additional research or reading is required, but key terms and concepts should be defined with
reference to Chapters 11, 12, 17, 18, 20-22 in O’Shaugnessy, M., & Stadler, J. (2008). Media and
society (4th ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
7- All references should be properly documented using APA style as outlined in Northey, M.
(2009). Making sense (6th ed.). Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
8- You may wish to record your television news example for your own reference. VHS, DVD-R,
PVR, digital cameras and cell phones can be used to record a TV news segment. While television
news stories may be found on network web sites, these cannot easily be saved to your computer.
9- Attach a photocopy or print-out of the newspaper story with your analysis when you hand it in.
10- Attach the summary sheet provided to give a one-page summary of your television news story.
11- Read and sign the academic integrity pledge form, print your Turnitin.com receipt and staple
these to the assignment before submitting it.
1- Your essay must have an introduction, a manageable thesis statement and a conclusion.
2- Your thesis statement should explain how narrative structure and dominant discourse are used
to create meaning for the events or issues recorded in the news stories.
3- Use the course text (Chap.11&12) to define and explain the concept of discourse. Identify the
types of discourse (medical, legal, political, religious, or moral) used in your stories.
4- Use the framework given on pp. 271-285 (Chap. 17) to define and explain the six main steps in
narrative analysis. Applying this framework, give specific examples of the narrative structure in
each news story.
5- With attention to Step 4 in your narrative analysis locate the dominant discourse in each news
story. Give examples of the hierarchy of dominant, competing or emerging discourses.
6- Define and explain the role of binary oppositions and conflict in constructing the meaning of
news and give specific examples from both your examples (Chap. 18).
7- Describe how discourses in the news stories help construct the audience’s understanding of
national identity, natural environments, masculinity or femininity, ethnicity or race, class, or
criminality (Chap. 20-22).
8- In your conclusion, briefly compare the print story to the television story with respect to
narrative and discourse, describe the main differences and suggest why these might exist. Sum up
your evidence to make a concluding argument about how narrative and discourse contribute to
the meaning and interpretation of news in Canadian society.
Your essay will be graded on the following basis:
Comprehension and application of terms and concepts Grade: /5
Analysis demonstrates understanding of the terms and concepts of discourse and narrative.
Terms are clearly defined in your own words, with reference to course text and/or lectures.
Terms and concepts are applied to the most appropriate examples of narrative and discourse in
Thesis and argument Grade: /5
Essay has a strong thesis statement and conclusion.
Thesis explains how narrative and discourse are used in the stories to create meaning for news.
Argument develops convincingly throughout the essay, using evidence from the print and TV
Analysis demonstrates how news narratives are structured and identifies how specific discourses
Conclusion supports initial thesis and relates to examples given throughout.
Organization, clarity and format Grade: /5
Well written, using correct spelling, grammar, sentence structure and paragraph form.
Well organized ideas, expressed clearly and in a logical order.
Respects format and word length, gives enough relevant detail and avoids unnecessary repetition.
Properly cites concepts and arguments taken from the textbook or lecture.
Includes print version of news story and summary sheet for television example.
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