Hum/176 Week 1
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Assignment: News Media, Option 1: Toolwire® Learnscape Credibility and Impact Purpose of Assignment: In this Learnscape, students take on the role of Deputy Speech Writer for Senator Owen Johnson.
Students use the Internet (via a Universe of Content consisting of 12 sites hosted on the Toolwire® system) to identify credibility issues related to the use of Internet content as it pertains to political issues. In doing so, they also have to discern which sources are most credible and be able to substantiate this. The student is also asked to review a speech outline from the senator and write an introductory paragraph addressing the effect of the Internet on politics.
Resources Required: Toolwire® Learnscape Credibility and Impact Grading Guide |Assessment A Part One – Credibility and Impact: Exploring the Internet and Politics | |Summary |This interaction is the first part of the assessment (Part A). The student opens the InVision Pro | | |application and uses a drag-and-drop list to assess the credibility of the sites from the Universe| | |of Content dashboard.
When the student has completed the drag-and-drop list, they close the | | |InVision Pro application and their BlackBerry® Smartphone rings with a video call from the | | |senator. | |Character |Text | | |InVision Pro |Instructions: Indicate whether each Web site is credible by dragging and dropping your | |Application |answer from the list at the left. | | | |[Student drags yes or no to the Credible? column from a list to the left of the table. | | | |The Why? column will automatically populate with notes from the Notepad of the Universe | | | |of Content interaction. When finished, the student is prompted to close the | | | |application. | | | | | | | |[Completed table should look like the below (answers):] | | | | | | | |Website | | | |Credible? | | |Why? | | | | | | | |The Drudge Report | | | |No | | | |News aggregator run by known conservative Matt Drudge – Certainly, he has his own | | | |agenda, but could someone pay Drudge to promote or bury a story? | | | | | | |Daily Kos | | | |No | | | |The largest progressive community blog in the United States – What are the | | | |qualifications of the posters? Do they research their posts or just spout opinions? | | | | | | |The Huffington Post | | | |No | | | |Named after founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington – Her personal views drive | | | |the content, which leans quite liberal. | | | | | | | |POLITICO | | | |Yes | | | |It looks like it tries to dig a bit deeper than mainstream media.
The half news, half | | | |blog format may make it hard to figure out what to take at face value. | | | | | | | |Salon | | | |Yes | | | |Self-described “award-winning online news and entertainment website. ” Forbes calls it | | | |”smart and provocative. It’s well respected, but where does the entertainment end and | | | |the news begin? What’s written to deliberately provoke? | | | | | | | |Colbert Nation | | | |No | | | |Is this truth or comedy? When comedy is the goal, can you ever tell what’s real and | | | |what’s skewed just for a laugh? | | | | | | |The Hill | | | |Yes | | | |Nonpartisan, nonideological with the largest circulation of the Capitol Hill newspapers | | | |– This is where Congress gets its news. Could it use its influence to sway political | | | |insiders? | | | | | | |The Nation | | | |Yes | | | |This site has been reporting since the Lincoln administration. The mission is clear: | | | |“The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary,| | | |make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a | | | |really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and | | | |misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred. | | | | | | | |– from The Nation’s founding prospectus, 1865 | | | | | | | |That is tough to argue with. | | | | | | | |Red, Green and Blue | | | |No | | |Environmental politics from across the spectrum – likely a bias towards only posting | | | |stories that support their position on the environment. | | | | | | | |Crooks and Liars | | | |No | | | |John Amato’s blog – All opinions with some references to real news outlets. But where | | | |are the facts? | | | | | | |The Washington Post | | | |Yes | | | |The hometown newspaper of national politics – A pile of Pulitzers gives WaPo all the | | | |credibility it needs. | | | | | | | |The New York Times | | | |Yes | | | |Internationally acclaimed, you cannot get more respected than ‘The Gray Lady. But that | | | |doesn’t mean there will never be bias or a conflict of interest. | | | | | | |Assessment A Part Two: Answer the Senator about Credibility, (at Student Office) – Credibility and Impact: Exploring the Internet| |and Politics | |Summary |This interaction is the second half of the first part of the assessment (Part A). The student | | |receives a video call on their BlackBerry® Smartphone from the senator.
After a brief hello | | |interchange, the senator asks the student to comment on credibility issues pertaining to using | | |information from Internet sources. The student answers via a 140-character short-answer format. After| | |the student sends that information, the senator will call back to acknowledge receipt. When the | | |student hangs up, the scene transitions to the student’s apartment. | |Character |Text | | |Senator Owen |Wow, that’s fast.
Now that you’ve done the legwork, I need you to comment on credibility | | |Johnson |issues pertaining to using information from Internet sources. What do you think? | | |Student (via |[Answer should include: You should look for more information about a Web site, as it’s | | |short-answer text |often not obvious whether it’s nonpartisan, leans left or right, or even employs | | |box) |professional journalists. To really find out if a site is credible, you often have to | | | |look past the home page.
Many sites have a long track record of credibility, but that | | | |does not exempt them from any and all possibility of bias, conflicts of interest, or | | | |misreporting in the future. The world’s greatest news outlets all make mistakes | | | |sometimes. You should look at everything with a grain of salt. Someone may leave out a | | | |fact by accident, bury a story that puts a friend in a bad light, or publish something | | | |deliberately false to advance their career. ] | | |Assessment B: Writing the Speech, (at Student Office) – Credibility and Impact: Exploring the Internet and Politics | |Summary This interaction is the second part of the assessment (Part A). The student is in their office to | | |write the introductory paragraph for the speech. The student opens the outline so that they may use | | |it for reference. They then open a new document in the InVision Pro application and write a | | |short-answer essay (100- to 350-words) in the application. Per the senator’s instructions from his | | |e-mail, the student then attaches the document to an e-mail to the senator. When the student clicks | | |Send, the interaction is complete. |Character |Text | | |InVision Write Pro |The student must write a short-answer essay (100- to 350-words) as the introductory | | | |paragraph to the senator’s speech about the effect of the Internet on politics. ] | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |[Answer should include: Politics now change very rapidly.
Politicians must be able to | | | |react quickly to what is happening in the world. More voter participation in Internet | | | |media provides politicians with more information about what Americans want. Internet | | | |technology allows politicians to reach more people, more often. ] | | |Written Response | |[Answers Vary: Students provide a 250 word response providing an explanation as to whether or not the information media have | |social responsibility. ] |