1000-1500 words in length
For the last essay, the focus is on what happened, what is happening or what will happen in regards to the relationship between the media and politics. While not strictly mandatory, you will probably want to do at least some research to back up your position
What has happened: The books you’ve read have offered many theories about how the media led to or influenced the election of Donald Trump: what factor do you think was the most influential or interesting in getting Donald Trump elected? Only choose one, so as not to split your focus. Here is a possible list: the role of social media/twitter; “fake news”–either the fake stories published and circulated by people like Alex Jones or the use of the term “fake news” by the Trump campaign to brand the media as his enemies; the profit motive/disproportionate coverage of Trump; racist “dog whistles” and rhetoric. You may choose something outside this list if there is something I have forgotten.
What is happening:
As I write this, the day before the elections, there is a struggle for the Democrats to take control of the House. There have been a flood of attack ads across the country, many of them featuring anti-immigration scare tactics. This takes us back to the use of argumentative fallacies. Will they work? Do an analysis of some of these attack ads and discuss why they work in America, or possibly compare their rhetoric historically to other kinds of racist propaganda. Another possibility: take a look at the media and/or campaign advertising’s role in one particular race that has gotten a lot of attention nationally as being important. Possible candidates are Stacey Abrams’s attempt in Georgia to become the first female African American governor of any state, Beto O’Rourke’s attempt to unseat Ted Cruz in Texas, or the attempt to get the (almost openly) white supremacist Steve King out of the House in Iowa.
What will happen?
In terms of the media, what is going to happen over the course of the next five years? How will the media change or shape the future? what are the dangers to the media if things continue as they are going? This one is asking you to look at trends and back up your predictions about what is going to happen by looking at what has been happening.
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