Friday, October 19, 2007

Question on My Midterm Exam about Media Misreporting Ron Paul

As you know, I devoted a complete 50-minutes of my Intro to Communication and Media Studies class last month at Fordham University to a lecture about the mass media's mistreatment of Ron Paul. Although Ron Paul is now getting much more media attention, the mistreatment continues - as evidenced, to give just one example, of CNBC's taking down of a post-debate poll which Ron Paul won - and this means that people who value our democratic system need to continue to keep a wary eye on our media, and call them out when necessary.

You can see the video of my lecture here.

I thought you also might be interested in a question I gave my Intro to Comm and Media Studies class today, as part of their midterm exam:

1. Consider Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign the Source of communication. Using the Shannon-Weaver model, explain all the steps that the campaign must go through, in order to reach its Destination, the American people. Make sure you address each step in the process, as well as what can (and did) go wrong in the process, and possible remedies for addressing this. (Option: If you like to do this analysis for another Presidential candidate, that would be acceptable, but make sure you have specific examples to present.)

The exam was open book, and the students had a choice of questions. I don't know yet how many chose to answer this one.

The crux of the correct answer was that the media misreporting of Ron Paul constitutes noise in the Channel, and the best way of remedying that is providing feedback - meaning, let the media and the world know that such misreporting is unacceptable.

I'll keep you posted on how my students do on this question (without, of course, revealing any names.)
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