Imagine you are a political writer with your own blog. You write about current events and what they mean for the U.S. government and its citizens. You have been asked to write a blog post of 2-3 typed pages about an event from the last 3 months involving U.S. political issues or policies.
Step 1: Choose one of the following political issues or policies:
- the U.S. President
- administrative departments
- political activists
- judicial rulings
- a campaign
- an election
Step 2: Choose 1 reputable news source that has reported on your chosen event.
Here are some sources to choose from:
- liberal leaning news: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Vox, HuffPost, Politico, CNN, Time Magazine
- conservative leaning news: National Review, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Federalist, Fox Online News, Washington Examiner
- centrist news: NPR Online News (National Public Radio), Reuters, BBC, CNBC News, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Pew Research Center
- To see ratings of news sources, visit AllSides’s Media Bias Ratings.
Step 3: Summarize your chosen current event in 1-2 paragraphs. Include what the event is, when it took place, and the political issues or policies to which it connects.
Step 4: In addition to your brief summary, answer each of the following questions:
- What specific branch of the U.S. government is involved in this current event? (1-2 paragraphs)
- Who or which groups are affected by this event? (1-2 paragraphs)
- What biases or leanings exist in the media source you chose? Give examples. Were these counterbalanced in any way? (1-2 paragraphs)
- What are your opinions on the issue? Use relevant facts and supporting evidence from your source(s) to support your opinion. (1-2 paragraphs)
Step 5: Cite your selected news article and any other sources.
Note: You should be conscious of your own bias and make every effort to avoid biased, opinionated, emotional, or judgmental language in this summary. That means avoiding words such as “always,” “obviously,” “clearly,” etc.