Project #35950 - Small Research Paper



This project will help you get to know the small number of media corporations that control so much of U.S. and global culture and will help you understand what this influence may mean for democracy. Visit Columbia Journalism Review’s “Who Owns What” Web site (, and choose a media conglomerate to research. Then do more research by looking at news stories on Web sites like LexisNexis, the corporation’s own Web site, the corporation’s annual reports, Web sites such as, and the Federal Communications Commission’s site (since big media corporations continually have business before the FCC).

• Describe the company’s history: When and how did it get so big?

• Find out where the company is headquartered, where its many divisions are located, and where its products are distributed to get a general idea of the company’s global expansiveness.

• Note the company’s latest revenue data and current standing among competitors.

• Describe the company’s current chair and CEO and, if relevant, the previous chair or CEO. What are their credentials?

• List all of the company’s many subsidiaries.

• Describe the company’s corporate values. What terms does the company’s corporate Web site use to describe itself? How do descriptions directed to the general public differ from descriptions directed to shareholders? What can you learn from the company’s latest annual report (usually located under “investor information” or “financial data” on the corporate Web site)? What are some specific strategies for the company’s future growth?

• Go through a broad range of news reports about the company (independent media as well as mainstream). What can you learn about the company from these reports? Use the five steps of the critical process:

1. Analysis. Isolate a few patterns among your many findings. For example, what are some successes or failures of this company in leveraging its potential synergies? Or focus on the company’s news media holdings. How does this media giant use its news media divisions to its advantage?

2. Interpretation. What do these patterns mean? First discuss them from an investor’s perspective. Then discuss them from a citizen’s perspective. Are these interests the same or different?

3. Evaluation. Is this company good for democracy? Does it enable multiple points of view? Is this company good for the world? Why or why not? What might the mass media look like with more competition from more companies? Present your findings and conclusions in your paper.



Project Preparation & Evaluation Guide


Media Project Preparation:

1. For your research-based project, use a minimum of five sources including our textbook, Media & Culture to gain the information you need to accomplish a substantial presentation of the required research projects. Besides print or internet articles, those sources may also include interviews, televised documentaries and, where useful, the results of a survey or critical analysis study you constructed based on the project option.

2. Internet sources must be from credible publications and clearly cited within your paper and listed in full at the end. Your paper will not be accepted unless you use MLA format to cite and list sources (and use it correctly).


3. Sources must be balanced: Please demonstrate an effort to find valuable sources and to make careful use of each (rather than relying on only one or two with the others tacked on to meet the five source requirement).


4. Your paper should demonstrate the qualities of good writing: a) structured in a way to make the development and progression of your information supportive of a clear purpose; b) substantial in its use of significant information, details supportive of your own generalizations; c) presented in a style appropriate to a reading audience (suitable for publication), a style that shows respect for that audience and the subject you gathered. Your grade for the research project will be based on how well you handle these standards. For instruction abut each standard, scroll down to read the Project Evaluation Guide.


5. Keep a copy; save it in the cloud, on your computer or on a flash drive.


6. Length of the project is best determined by the task you set for yourself. A rule of thumb, however, is 1000 words.


7. Given the amount of time you have to prepare your paper, you must submit it on the given deadline. No late papers will be accepted.




9. Acceptable form: Provide the following information at the top of the first page:


Your name

Course Reference Number


Centerd Title: One that gives specific indication of paper's purpose


10. Papers will be unacceptable if:

a. they do not comply with above form specifications;

b. sources are not properly documented (MLA form);

c. they do not comply with the assignment;

d. errors and style problems obscure the content;

e. the paper is submitted after deadline


Please aim for around 1000 words as listed in the details. Contact me if more information is needed. This is for an Intro to Mass Media and Communications class.


Thank you,


Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/30/2014 12:00 am
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