Media Critique

First, choose a media artifact to critique. What artifacts are “ripe” for critique? Novels, music videos or lyrics, films/documentaries, a collection of images (memes, for examples), graffiti, news reports, an entertainment series, the list goes on.

Next, select a controversial social issue related to the artifact. For example, might analyze the way the Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial portrays racial tensions in the U.S., or how a Carl’s Jr. advertisement affects women’s portrayal in the media. You might look at how cleaning commercials influence gender roles for men, or how the Childish Gambino “This is America” music video treats gun violence. Pick a topic that truly interests you and one that you believe is an important issue to critique today. You will need to “get to know” this topic- research the topic and learn what people (academics, news media, and public opinion) are saying about it.

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Finally, you will write the critique. This will take place in five parts, which we will cover in class:

Description/Introduction- introduce the reader to BOTH the media artifact and the subject under study (example: Ozark and gender norms). Provide a brief background/context to the reader, which might include information about the social/political climate under which it was created. This is a good place to include academic, news, and popular press research.

Analysis- here, you will analyze the media artifact, looking for significant patterns tied to your subject. To do so, consider: How the creator portrays _____________(your subject) through language, symbolism, imagery, character development, plot, problem/solution, etc. What are the major points or messages being developed, pushed, or showcased? What might this mean and so what? This is where you will make connections to communication theory.

Critique- here you will arrive at a personal judgement or evaluation by addressing the strengths and the weaknesses of the artifact as it is tied to your subject. Is this a positive message for society, a negative one? Why or why not? How can audiences benefit, if at all? What is problematic? Is this good or bad, right or wrong? Make recommendations for improvement to the creators and future consumers.

Conclusion- Summarize your key findings and suggest an action that connects your findings to our role as digital citizens, media makers and consumers. What did you learn and what course of action might you suggest for others?

Reference page- MLA/APA formatted

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