Friday, September 20, 2013

Liberal v. Conservative media

Your assigned newspaper
The University of Michigan guide lists ten publications in each camp (coming soon!)

Open an EasyBib bibliography:
Instructions follow. Please follow all the steps before proceeding. When using an iPad, you MUST access EasyBib from the Google Wheel on the nchslibrary.info website.





Visit your newspaper on the web. Find out what your editorials are called - editorial, commentary, letters, OP-ED. Open an editorial. Cite it in your bibliography. If you cannot find an editorial, there are a few possibilities:
    1. They may be behind a paywall, which would prompt you to subscribe. In this case, scroll down to the databases icon and follow instructions there to locate editorials using the Connecticut Newspapers database. 
    2. They may not be identified as editorials. In this case, look for letters to the editor that respond to editorials, then locate the original editorials through keyword searching.
Watch the following tutorial if you are having trouble finding editorials.



If you watched the tutorial, tried toggling between database and free online content, and you STILL can't find editorials, text the link to your publication to the library at (615) 669 6670, and write your name in the body of the text. You can expect a phone call back.

Colin was having a lot of trouble finding editorials in the Southington Citizen. The publication keeps their editorial content behind a pay wall, so you cannot access it without subscribing to the newspaper. You guys don't have to do that because we have a databases subscription - Connecticut Newspapers - that gives you access to each publication. The tricky part is crafting a search strategy that enables you to find what you need - easier said than done. Colin wisely followed instructions and texted the library his name and the link to the publication. Here is the is the library's response:


Been chatting with a few students who are struggling with this. Even though the map below is out of date, and it does not reflect votes cast across third party lines, chances are it is fairly representative of the political leanings among communities across the state. It is important to note that smaller local papers do not necessarily benefit from voicing their political views - certainly not in comparison to major national publications like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal where it can help boost circulation.
Citing an online editorial in your bibliography:

Now, create an EasyBib notecard for your article.
Here's how to use the note-card function in EasyBib. You will use this for this project
Sample notes - just an example!
Note-taking template
Note-taking rubric

  • Title: Online article from assigned publication (substitute "assigned publication" with the publication name)
  • Source: Use drop-down menu to locate teh citation you already created
  • Quote: Copy and paste words, phrases, sentences that you think point to bios, point of view, or opinion
  • Paraphrase: Summarize this editorial - this doesn't have to be long
  • Comment: Explain what position, viewpoint, or bias you recognize in your article. Refer to the quotes in the "quotes" field and explain why you think they suggest bias. Use evidence from the article itself to substantiate your claim. Pay attention to author craft, vocabulary choice, use of superlatives (always, never, all), and how the author(s) refer to people (e.g., Mr. Doctor, first name, last name only with no title, etc.)
  • Identifier: leave blank. This is for page number. It is relevant for books, not website articles.
  • Group: Don't worry about this yet.
  • Tag: You know how these work. The topic might be a good idea, the publication name, and its position (i.e., liberal or conservative)



HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING YOUR EASYBIB NOTECARDS?
HOVER OVER THE IMAGE BELOW AND CLICK ON LINKS FOR DETAILS!



Now (if you haven't done so already) go to Connecticut Newspapers through the NCHS library database page. The ID number is now highlightable for copy and pasting at the top of the database page (Thanks to NCHS 2013ers Molly James and Will Hennessy!). Use the search protocol in the screenshot below, but you may need to switch out the word "editorial" for the term your publication uses.



Locate three (3) more editorials, and create EasyBib notecards for each one, following the instructions outlined in the bulleted list below the EasyBib icon in this post. 


Now, get in touch with an editor at your publication. Your best bet is to visit the newspaper website and click on the "contact us" link. It's usually at the bottom of the site. Get the editor's contact information. You may need to call the newspaper to do this. Once you have the person's name, title, and email address, compose an email in your own words that includes the following talking points:
  • You are a high school senior at New Canaan High School
  • You have been reviewing their publication's editorials for a class project. This is a good place to ask why they don't publish them, if you haven't found any.
  • You are trying to determine if their publication leans towards the political left or right
  • If you've had some difficulty recognizing political slant, be sure to say so. Many publications take pride in their objectivity, and an editor will usually be pleased to hear this.
  • Ask about their editorial process. Who writes the pieces? How do they decide what position to espouse? How do disagreements get resolved? Who has the final say? Do they outsource editorial writing? Do they buy pieces from other publications?    
  • Do they have affiliated publications? How does that work?
  • Ask them if they would prefer to have a phone conversation with you rather than compose an email response, and if so, when would be a good time to reach them
Note: If they are anything like me, they will not answer all your questions in an email. It's kind of an onerous request. If your contact opts for the phone option, set up a time that is convenient for them, and then follow through on schedule. Use a landline to make the call, and take notes during the conversation. 

Final product will probably be an infographic. Details to follow. 

9 comments:

  1. Q: "ww.southingtoncitizen.com First and Last name." (Texted as instructed. See above)
    A: "Check your email. We sent a link to a narrated slide show that will walk you through a strategy that works. It won't open on your phone. You'll need to view it from a computer."

    The slideshow was added to the Liberal v. Conservative Media post above. Look for Southington Citizen image.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Q: Greenwich citizen First and Last name." (Texted as instructed. See above)
    A: So it looks like your paper does not publish editorials. That's a great question to ask the editor - do they? And if not, why not? I can't find a letter to the editor that responds to an editorial, which leads me t believe that they don't publish editorials. I looked up "Letter to the editor" for your publication in "all text, and I got some results. Another strategy is to search for the word "candidate" in "all text" to see if you can detect any hint of bias, point of view, or opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Q: The Herald First and Last name." (Texted as instructed. See above)
      A: So it looks like your paper does not publish editorials. That's a great question to ask the editor - do they? And if not, why not? I can't find a letter to the editor that responds to an editorial, which leads me t believe that they don't publish editorials. I looked up "Letter to the editor" for your publication in "all text, and I got some results. Another strategy is to do the recommended Connecticut Newspapers search "Lead/first paragraph" "editor*" and review the candidate profiles to see if you can detect any hint of bias, point of view, or opinion.

      Delete
  3. Q: What are we supposed to email the editor for civics about?
    A: Now, get in touch with an editor at your publication. Your best bet is to visit the newspaper website and click on the "contact us" link. It's usually at the bottom of the site. Get the editor's contact information. You may need to call the newspaper to do this. Once you have the person's name, title, and email address, compose an email in your own words that includes the following talking points: You are a high school senior at New Canaan High School You have been reviewing their publication's editorials for a class project. This is a good place to ask why they don't publish them, if you haven't found any. You are trying to determine if their publication leans towards the political left or right If you've had some difficulty recognizing political slant, be sure to say so. Many publications take pride in their objectivity, and an editor will usually be pleased to hear this. Ask about their editorial process. Who writes the pieces? How do they decide what position to espouse? How do disagreements get resolved? Who has the final say? Do they outsource editorial writing? Do they buy pieces from other publications? Do they have affiliated publications? How does that work? Ask them if they would prefer to have a phone conversation with you rather than compose an email response, and if so, when would be a good time to reach them Note: If they are anything like me, they will not answer all your questions in an email. It's kind of an onerous request. If your contact opts for the phone option, set up a time that is convenient for them, and then follow through on schedule. Use a landline to make the call, and take notes during the conversation.
    A: That's all on THE ANNEX@ at the bottom of the Liberalism v. Conservatism post
    A: Look there. Easier to read than in a text!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Q: Should I bring this up in the letter that I must send? I am just unsure what I am finding in the articles that I am presenting to the editor.
      A: Don't present the articles to the editor. Review the instructions in THE ANNEX@ - at the bottom. there is a bulleted list of talking points you should consider including in your email.

      Delete
    2. A: Wait, I think I misunderstood your question, but my answer still works. If you can't find editorials, ask if you might have missed them, and then ask if perhaps they don't publish any. It looks like the online publication's "opinion" page mostly features columns, not editorials.

      Delete
    3. Q: Okay. I am writing it now and I will ask if there is a place I can look for editorials and if not why? 8:56 PM
      A: Perfect. Just be nice, and play the "my bad" card - "It's probably my fault, but..."

      Delete
  4. Q: Am I able to use this as a editorial piece? Darien news review- gun control: a call to action.
    A: It isn't an editorial because the author is a Middlesex 8th grader, BUT you can use it, and investigate if the paper seems to take a stand on this issue which often aligns with one party or the other's platforms, depending on the pro or con stance. Understand that Connecticut is particularly sensitive to this issue, so a position on gun control does not always reflect allegiance to a specific party - particularly lately, and particularly here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Q: For miss goldhawks media, should students email the editor or managing editor
    A: Managing editor would probably work

    ReplyDelete