Student Journal of Race & Gender in Media (SJRGM)
This semester one of your assignments is to write a 750-word research article for the Student Journal of Race & Gender in Media (SJRGM). The journal is published twice yearly, once in the summer and once in the winter, and is hosted at UnderstandMedia.com. This is an amazing opportunity for you to practice your writing, research, and analysis skills on something that will actually be published in a media journal. The journal is available free of charge online, so not only can you send a link to your article to your friends and family, but you will also be discovered and cited by academic researchers working on new work. Past students have listed their writing credit on their resumes and have used their articles as writing samples to get into a four-year university. In addition, the skills you learn in this assignment will serve you well during your academic and professional careers.
Your journal article will be written in two phases: first, you will begin your research and compose a rough draft OUTLINE of your article. This version of your article will be well researched, well organized, and will include at least three citations in MLA format. The rough draft outline is due in Week 8 (the week of our midterm). I will review your rough draft outline and offer editorial suggestions. You will then use my notes to write a brilliant final draft. The final draft will be due in Week 16 (the week of our final).
This issue of the Journal will have the theme, “Race & Gender in 2020 America,” and is inspired by the current state of race relations and gender roles in our country today. We have all seen Donald Trump makes issues of race, nationality, and gender for us to think over and debate. We have experienced Charlottesville, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s death, and the consequent uprisings, the Google employee memo on gender, #MeToo, #TimesUp, etc. In 2020 one thing is clear: race and gender are at the forefront of our national conversation.
With this in mind, here are some topics that fit the theme and which you are welcome to discuss:
- Black Lives Matter.
- Muslims, Syrian refugees, and terrorism
- Gender and gender bias
- Sexual harassment and assault against women
- LatinXs, and specifically Mexican-Americans
- White America, White Nationalists, and Neo-Nazis
- The role of 24/7 news media (CNN, MSNBC, Fox) in our discussion of these issues
- Diversity (or lack of diversity) in today’s media and how this affects how we see the world
- The use of fear and sensationalism in politics
These are just SOME ideas that should help you decide what you’ll write about, but you’re welcome to come up with your own idea as long as it fits into the theme. Remember, this is a class about MEDIA, so anything you write should be written about in that context. So for example, if you pick gender as a topic, I’ll want you to discuss the media’s role in gender equality, how women are portrayed in the media and how this shapes our opinions, or how the media portrays women who break stereotypes. These are just some suggestions.
I will NOT be assigning you a topic. You should choose a topic that interests you, that you can research and write a 750-word paper about, and that will fit into one of the aforementioned categories. You should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time thinking about, and then researching your topic. All research should come from reputable online sources and must have been published in 2020. If you are interested in writing about a topic that does not fit one of the categories above, please e-mail me with a short summary of your proposed topic so that I may offer suggestions.