How social media are changing news consumption.

As we move through this class you will see many fascinating trends emerging in media and society. This paper assignment will give you a chance to write about some topic that engages your interest in the class. Though there are some suggested topics below, I will leave it to you to decide precisely what you want to focus on. Try to choose a topic that is creative, current, and consequential.

This will be a research paper, so you must find and clearly integrate sources. I will require that you use at least eight sources other than class readings (which you are also encouraged to use). It is best if you can locate books and journal articles in your research, especially academic sources from reputable publishers. You may also use some articles from popular sources such as magazines; however, you should not rely primarily on magazines as they usually do not provide the same depth of information as journal articles and academic books. If you make use of sources that originate on the Internet, be sure they are credible.

All sources should be cited correctly in APA style. This system, which originates with the American Psychological Association, is very commonly used. You can easily find good guides to APA style on the Internet; the Purdue OWL site provides one example ( All research materials should be cited in text within parentheses (Author, Year). Page numbers of quotations should be cited in parentheses. Your paper should end with a bibliography of full citations, The format varies for books, book chapters, and journal articles; again, consult a guide for specifics. Be careful to cite all sources – plagiarism will not be accepted.

Be careful to organize your paper in a way that makes it clear and readable. The paper should include an introduction, a clear statement of purpose or thesis, a clear body (possibly with subheadings), and a conclusion. Ideas should develop logically and be connected through clear transitions. Proofread your paper for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If you have any doubts about the soundness of your writing, consult the SVSU Writing Center for assistance. They are happy to help; in fact, they now offer online consultations (

I would recommend that you create an outline before writing your paper in order to better organize your thoughts. A general outline might look like this:

I. Introduction to the topic
A. What is the issue under discussion?
B. Why is it an important topic at this time?
C. Thesis statement: “This paper will …”

II. Historical perspective on the topic
A. What did your extensive research reveal about this topic?
B. Where did this issue/topic originate, and what is its history?

III. Current perspectives on the topic
A. What’s going on right now with this issue/topic?
B. Why should we be interested in this topic today?
C. What are the positions of the competing interests?
D. What are the forecasts for the future of the topic?

IV. Conclusion
A. Brief restatement of the thesis
B. Brief summary of what you found, and why it is important to study it

Here is a list of possible topics for your consideration and adoption:

– Information glut – its history and future
– The semantic web – making information more manageable
– Net Neutrality – why should people be concerned?
– Social media and political activism
– The dematerialization of music
– Is downloading killing music or saving it?
– How musicians get paid in the era of Internet music
– Does radio still matter?
– Changes in the ways people discover new music
– Is podcasting becoming a popular medium?
– Can network television survive in the age of streaming?
– Changes in television production and distribution
– Narrowcasting and the revolution in quality television
– The rise and future of the blockbuster movie
– Independent film – why does it matter?
– The evolution of film genres
– Convergence and the third and fourth screens
– Video games – a new art form?
– Public service advertising – its history and influence
– Reputation management in the Internet age
– The Internet and targeted advertising
– Use of big data and location-based data in advertising
– The relationship between public relations and journalism
– PR and crisis management in the Internet age
– How social media are changing news consumption

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