Presidential Candidates Media Analysis WebQuest
Introduction | The Task | Resources
| The Process | Learning Advice | Conclusion
Our political socialization begins when we are very young.
We learn our political beliefs from our parents, our family, our
friends and in school. We further develop those beliefs by
our exposure to different types of media: television,
newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. The events the media
covers, the way the cut their video footage, or the statements
they choose to print (as well as the information the media chooses
not to print) help formulate a candidate's image and what we think
about that candidate. As this media coverage influences our
views about candidates, it also influences the success or failure
of a political candidate.
You will spend the next five weeks analyzing the media coverage a
particular candidate receives from a variety of print news
sources. As you read the articles, you will begin to analyze
the media's coverage of the candidate you have selected by creating
an annotated bibliography. At the conclusion of the project,
you will write a three page paper that analyzes the impact of the
media on the political process.
Candidates and their
- Look at the different Presidential polling data. How
many Americans favor the candidate you are observing? What
policy positions of the candidate do Americans favor? What
policy positions do they oppose? Is the candidate drawing
the support of any particular demographic or region?
Acceptable News Resources:
Tools for creating annotated
- Select a candidate and become familiar with his / her
Monitor the candidates placement in the polls
- Become familiar with his/her biography
- What four issues are most important to the candidate?
- What is the candidates stance on those issues?
- From what demographics is this candidate getting the most
Each week, read three newspaper or magazine articles (these
should be informative articles; they may not be editorials,
opinions, commentaries, or letters to the editor) on your
candidate. Your articles must be from a variety of news
sources and must include: (1) conservative news source,
(1) liberal news source, (1) foreign news source.
- Complete an annotated
bibliography using APA format of your three news articles
- Due Dates:
- 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29
- Each annotated bibliography is worth 20 points
- If you're struggling to find newsworthy articles, consult
research database. See Ms. Stedman for the password.
Once you enter your candidate's name, you'll be able to refine
the search (menu on the left side of the screen), and limit
the search returns to news and magazine articles.
- Track your candidates placement in the polls. (For
consistency, I recommend following the same polling organization
each week.) Include, in your final paper, a chart or graph
that describes the change in the candidates standing in the
- Write a 3 page analytical paper that includes the following:
- a brief background paragraph on the candidate and his / her
- a brief summary of common themes presented in the articles
you have read
- a comparison of the ways in which the various news sources
presented your candidate and his / her campaign
- Which sources were more favorable to the candidate?
What led you to this conclusion?
- Which sources were less favorable to the candidate?
What led you to this conclusion?
- How did the foreign press's coverage of the candidate
differ from the American coverage?
- an analysis of the coverage of the candidate
- Do you think the majority of the coverage the candidate
received was fair (or unfair)? what led you to these
- Was the media coverage biased in any way?
- a brief paragraph with your personal observations - through
this project, what did you learn about the media and their
participation in the political process?
- Do you believe the media have too much or too little
influence on the political process? Why?
- Paper Due Date: 11/5
- The paper is worth 100 points
Congratulations! You have now completed an extensive
evaluation of the media coverage a candidate receives by the print
media. You have also developed a thorough understanding of the
impact the media has on the political process and have learned to
more critically evaluate the news any potential news spin.
This page written by Jill Stedman.
Last updated: September 22, 2015
This page was adapted from Bernie
Dodge 's WebQuest_Template1.html