Assessment Task 1: Essay: Critical Analysis
Due: Wednesday, August 26 at 8pm
Word count: 2,000 (although there can be some wriggle room [+/- 10%] under-writing is not encouraged)
The purpose of this task is for you to demonstrate your critical thinking and understanding of the role the media plays in shaping our perception of contemporary health issues. You’ll be comparing reported news items to the evidence-base as reported in academic, peer-reviewed journals and ultimately identifying what information is actually valid. You should use this task to investigate print media and the inherent bias (negative or positive) that can be embedded within media reporting.
Choose a health issue and/or population group relevant to one of the following Unit Guide weekly topics: (e.g. chronic disease management among the elderly)
1. Indigenous Health
2. Gender Diversity
3. Mental Health and the media
4. Body Image
5. The vulnerable, the at-risk and outliers (this category refers to groups who might not often be referred to or considered, but their health issues are also worthy of consideration, even though they might not come under stereotyped categories - e.g. prisoners and healthcare and the media).
7. Elders, ageing and end of life
8. Disability and Inclusion
1. Locate 3 to 5 (3 minimum) press/print media news items representing/related to your chosen health issue/population group.
? News items should be written by a journalist (i.e. not editorials/advertising) and can come from any print or online print news source (i.e. local or international), with either links or pdf scans provided should the marker wish to review your selection.
? They should be current (2020) news items.
2. Locate 3 to 5 (3 minimum) peer-reviewed journal articles also representing/related to your chosen health issue/population group. You’ll be comparing what these articles report to what the media news items report, so choose appropriately. They can be from the last 10 years.
Note: You don’t need to describe verbatim or replicate each item or article in your assignment. Just be sure to reference them within text, with links in the reference list where possible.
3. Your assignment should be presented in structured sections similar to a peer-reviewed journal article:
Introduction and background
This naturally introduces your topic and an overview of what will be covered. We will be discussing theories during the trimester, and reference to a relevant theory should be included – to be discussed in depth in a later section of your essay. Don’t forget to include a cover sheet with your student name, number, the title of your essay, the selected reference style as well as word count.
Cite search strategies and data bases for news items and journal articles.
Describe the analysis: i.e. how did you go about analysing the information and identifying key themes. We will discuss various analytic approaches during the trimester.
For news items, you should identify a) who is being represented, b) who is doing the representation, and c) how are they being represented. Who has the authority in this story?
For journal articles, identify the key information suggested by the evidence-base.
This section puts it all together and sifts truth from fiction.
Compare and contrast findings from news items with the academic literature. What are the cases ‘for’ versus ‘against’? Is there agreement between media and academic reporting, or conflict – and relating to what issues. Draw on a relevant theory (or theories) to emphasise key points. Theories will be discussed in seminars and also form part of your readings.
Provide a clear conclusion that summarises the key findings and provides an interpretation about what these findings mean for health, supported by evidence.
Choose either APA or Harvard reference style. This essay requires a reference list at the end, as per most essays.
4. Provide a bibliography Appendix.
During your search, keep a table that can serve as a bibliography (which might contain news items or academic articles that you didn’t end up using as well as your references) – that you should add as the last page of your essay as an Appendix. It not only serves as a handy reference to help you with your analysis, but also demonstrates your search skills.
The table should include headings: Author, Date, Source, Key Findings.
Submission: The assignment is to be submitted as a Word file or pdf via CloudDeakin drop-box by Wednesday 26 August, 8pm.