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Essay One: Independent News vs.

Corporate News

Choose an article that is over 200 words long from one of the following independent (noncorporate) news websites: --naturalnews.com --tragedyandhope.com --mediamonarchy.com --21stcenturywire.com --redicecreations.com --nomorefakenews.com --corbettreport.com --infowars.com The Topic Try to choose an article that goes against mainstream reportage. Once you find one that interests you, read it at least two times so that you are completely familiar with its point of view and the material it covers. Now find a corresponding report on the same topic in the mainstream news, such as any major national or international newspaper, magazine, or television network internet site (CNN, ABC, CNBC, etc). Huffington Post, Democracy Now and Drudge also fit into the category of mainstream media that has been camouflaged by ownership that appears to be independent, but when examined more closely, fits into the category of "controlled opposition" for major media, which, in turn, works hand-in-hand as propaganda that benefits the richest families in the world. In light of this fact, it's fine to use any of these news sources, so long as they are used as "mainstream news sources." Compare and contrast the reporting in the indepedent news article with reporting in the mainstream news article or broadcast. How does the independent (non-corporate) reportage differ from mainstream reportage? Because of the Internet, people today have the chance to read news that was written by authors that don't work for corporations with a vested interest in swaying public opinion for economic reasons. Prior to the Internet, independent news organizations were much more challenged when it came to distributing their writing. For this reason, corporate news tended to dominate. Although this is still the case today, for the first time, an author that wants to conduct investigative journalism or to write an article that is critical of "the establishment" has the chance to do so without jeopardizing his ability to reach a big audience. When it comes to Essay One, try to focus on the actual facts, rather than opinions or hype. Is the mainstream media source hyping the story more than the independent news article, or vice versa?

Does the mainstream news media reportage benefit corporate interests? For example, mainstream reportage on wars tends to benefit companies that profit from wars, like General Electric, one of the world's biggest weapons contractors, which owned NBC news stations during the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan; likewise, news publications that benefit from banking policies tend to report on the economy in ways that legitimize banks and the federal reserve, which is a private organization run by banks that tries to portray itself as a branch of the government. The New York Times is owned and run by the Sulzburger family, which helped to start Wall Street over a hundred years ago, so this newspaper tends to report on financial matters in a way that benefits the richest families in America. You can use the four W's of journalism to help you zero in on the facts (who, what, where, when). Now, once you have discussed the facts of the news item, it's time to tackle "why." Why has the news in the mainstream media taken the point of view that it has taken? Why is the article important? What is its significance to people's well-being in the USA and elsewhere? Avoid using first person narrative (I, me, my, our, we) or second person (you, your) until the end of your essay. Once you reach your conclusion, then switch smoothly to first person and offer your personal take on the news story. Do you have an opinion on it? Why or why not? The Assignment Now that you are familiar with the current event you have chosen, its time to sit down and sort out your thoughts about it. Whether or not you agree or disagree with its point of view is certainly not pertinent to your success on this assignment. Instead, the way in which you express your views, particularly through citing sources and examples, will determine the grade you ultimately receive. Your introduction should have one topic sentence about the issue. Take a stand, but refrain from making comments such as I think or I believe. . .. Never qualify or excuse your opinion. It is just as valid as anyone elses. You must avoid using the first person (I, me, my, etc.). Stay in the third person (it, people, they, their, etc.). Also avoid making yourself the subject of sentences, especially by starting sentences with the word I." Your introduction should contain a thesis statement. This concept is discussed in the assignment in Longknife's book on writing. Discussions One and Two will also help you to hone your thesis statement. The body of your paper should give examples from the text about your point of view. Be sure to cite these by using in-text citations (see Chapter 32a in Hackers Pocket Style Manual), as well as a Works Cited at the end (see Chapter 32b in Hackers Pocket Style Manual). Again, you should refrain from using the first or second person. Do not summarize the main premise from the articles you have chosen. Rather, state their premises, and then form an independent point of view. Be sure to stay in the THIRD PERSON until you reach your conclusion, when it is okay to use the first person. The Conclusion: Now is your chance to use first person if you wish, although it is not necessary. If you do decide to use first person in your conclusion, I must confess that it is probably the easiest way to wrap up Essay One. Introduce a few details from your own life to bring the topic into context as to how it could impact you now, or in the future. Explain why keeping abreast of politics is important to the decisions you make in your life. It could even determine, to some extend, which major you study in school. For instance, if you determine that the health care field will continue to grow, despite the depressed economy, you might opt to become a nurse practitioner instead of a salesman or an architect. Or you might discover that, due to the economic bubbles engineered by Goldman Sachs in collusion with the high officials in the Federal Reserve and the White House, which, in turn, greatly contributed to the current economic crisis, the collapse of the dollar is immanent within the next few years, and for this reason, you helped your parents steer away from investing their retirement funds in the stock market,

instead opting for tried and true commodities, such as copper, zinc, and gold, which historically tend to weather such crises quite well and even make money when a fiat currency (such as the US dollar, which is not backed by a commodity such as gold or silver) ultimately fails. So . . . first person is fine to use in the conclusion. Please refrain from using the second person (you).

Important Classroom Policies about Essay One After you receive my comments and grade on Essay One, you are eligible to rewrite it if you wish. In order to qualify for a rewrite option, you must post Essay One before the deadline. Late submissions are not eligible for a rewrite. Please remember that rewriting your essay is not required. It is optional. If your rewrite is comprehensive and very thorough, making dramatic content changes, it has the potential to raise your essay 9%. In most cases, rewrites raise essay grades about 3-5%. Penalty for Late Submission: If you have extenuating circumstances (such as a grave illness), you must send me an email at least three (3) days before the due date. Here is the penalty chart for late submissions of Essay One:

24 hours or less after the cut-off time/date: 1% deducted from grade + ineligible for a rewrite later 24-48 hours after cut-off time/date: 5% deducted from grade + no rewrite 48-120 hours (2-5 days) after cut-off time/date: 10% deducted from grade + no rewrite 120-168 hours (one week) after cut-off time/date: 20% deducted from grade + no rewrite No submissions for this essay will be accepted later than one week after the cut-off date/time. Late submissions will receive NO comments from the instructor, only a grade.

*Essay word counts meet the PCC minimum requirement of 12 pages of typed essay-caliber writing (combined page total for all essays in WR 121). Some classes have more than this. My class allows for more voluntarily, but only requires the minimum. Technical Specifications 1. Word count: 900-word minimum/1,000-word maximum (3-4 pages in length). Essays which fail to meet the minimum word count will not receive comments, either. 2. 12 point font 3. Avoid run ons, fragments, comma splices, and dangling modifiers LIKE THE PLAGUE 4. Title should be centered two spaces under header; body left justified with one of the following: block formatted paragraphs with one extra blank line between them, or, paragraphs indented 5 spaces with no extra lines between them 5. Use of FIRST PERSON is prohibited, except in essay's conclusion. 6. Header in the upper left that includes the following: Your name (No Nicknames or Alternate Last Names Please! Use the name that appears in the class grade book!) Date Precise word count Essay One

6. Please note: To determine a precise word count, high light your text (aside from the header), then use the tools pull-down menu and go to word count. Disclaimer: I do not reward length over content in essays. Quality is infinitely more important than quantity. Just because you write a really long paper, this wont guarantee a high grade.