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Journalism 2000 - Cross-Cultural Journalism: Where to Start

Field Research Project

This assignment will allow you to:

  • Analyze how different groups of people are represented in journalism and strategic communications, and how harmful representations can impact marginalized communities.
  • Implement best practices for including diverse perspectives (across fault lines) in journalism and strategic communication.
  • Critique the ethical issues that can arise in various media.

Choosing from two scenarios: one in journalism and one in strategic communication, you will choose from a list of topics provided by your instructor and related to these scenarios.  

  • You will pick one lens (i.e. journalism or strat comm) and one topic from the list.
    • In order to respond to the prompt/topic, you’ll have you will be expected to do a review of the literature on that topic.
      • A literature review is an important component of any research conducted.
        • The literature review will assist you in writing a short memo that summarizes, analyzes and synthesizes scholarship on your particular topic. The University of Missouri libraries have created a Literature Review Guide to help you understand the process.
  • This writing assignment should address the following question: What is the credible and professional conversation around your topic?

You will begin your research using Discover@MU, which searches all books, articles, DVDs, reports, etc., owned by MU.  You will be focusing your research on academic, "peer reviewed"journals.

You will need to find "peer reviewed" academic journals for this project.  Peer reviewed means that:

  • The article was written by an expert or scholar in the field or on the topic.
  • The article was reviewed by other experts or scholars in the field or on the topic who assess the article for accuracy and other indicators of high standards of academic work before providing feedback to the author.
  • The author made any necessary edits or changes to the article based on the feedback provided before the article was published.

If you have difficulty understanding how to tell a peer reviewed article from other articles, NCSU Libraries created a short video Peer Review in Three Minutes explaining what a "peer reviewed" article is.

Discover@MU and most databases will allow you to limit your search to "academic" or "peer reviewed" journals.  

Strat Comm Scenario/Sub-topic

Scenario:  Strat Comm; Sub-Topic:  Cultural Appropriation

Your taskLocate articles about "cultural appropriation." 

  • What is it? 
  • What are some examples? 
  • How does cultural appropriation look through the lens of those whose culture has been appropriated without their permission?

You have one combined concept to search:  "cultural appropriation"

  • Create a list of search terms (synonyms)
    • "cultural appropriation", "cultural misappropriation", "cultural borrowing" ,"culture co-optation","racial borrowing"
  • Combine the search terms using Boolean Logic operators
    • AND  narrows the search because the results must include all of the terms connected by AND
    • OR  expands the search because it can look for any of the terms, not all of them
    • Terms in" " will be searched as a phrase
    • Terms in ( ) will be considered a single concept
  • So your search string would look like:
    • "cultural appropriation"OR"cultural misappropriation"OR "cultural borrowing" OR"culture co-optation"OR"racial borrowing"

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Result Example:

Journalism Scenario/Sub-topic Search

Scenario: Journalism; Sub-Topic: Media Representation of (dis)ability

Your task:  Locate articles about how (dis)ability is represented in media.

  • How is a(dis)ability framed?  
  • How are those with (dis)abilities portrayed in various media products?

You have two concepts:  "media representation" and disability. 

  •  Create a list of search terms (synonyms) 
    • media, mass media, news, press  
    • representation, depiction, perception, discrimination 
    • (dis)ability, disab* (truncated for disability, disabled, disabilities)
  • Combine the search terms using Boolean Logic operators
    • AND  narrows the search because the results must include all of the terms connected by AND
    • OR  expands the search because it can look for any of the terms, not all of them
    • Terms in" " will be searched as a phrase
    • Terms in ( ) will be considered a single concept
    • Truncate words with an * to find words with multiple suffixes
      • "media representation" - combine the concepts of media and representation
        • USE "mass media" AND (representation OR depiction OR perception OR discrimination)
      • (dis)ability
        • USE disab*  (for disabled, disability or disabilities)
  • Combining both concepts, your search string would look like:
    • "mass media" AND (representation OR depiction OR perception OR discrimination) AND disab*

Search Result Example: