Three different online news sources were selected for this assignment. The ABC News (2016) is a source that is generally considered to be one of the most authoritative and trustworthy news outlets. It focuses on the breaking news from all over the world and allows the readers to read articles, interviews and watch related videos. The Guardian (2016) is a newspaper with its own website, which provides the representatives of the general public with the opportunity to gather information about world news and US news related to various topics, including sport, politics, life, and style, etc. Finally, the PolitiFact (2016) is a website, which is focused on political news. Professionals who work for affiliated media outlets check the information and state whether it is true or not. The media content analysis dealt with the upcoming election, as this issue is currently widely discussed.
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In order to conduct analysis, the news related to the selected topic was monitored on the selected media outlets for one week. The websites were visited every day, and the notes were taken in regard to the information provided. Then the news sources and the way they treated the issue were compared, which allowed to maintain risk assessment and provide possible solutions.
Selected sources of news suit the social role. They provide the information, which is significant for the general public in the way its representatives can perceive it without complications. Thus, the articles do not include specific terms that are likely to prevent understanding. The data is explained in details so that no additional research is required. It is all current so that the public can consider the most recent news and does not waste time on reading outdated information. The readers also have an opportunity to leave a comment to the news they read and interact with other users to discuss the topic and the article. In this way, they can also communicate with the authors.
The authors of the articles present their messages so that they do not only provide the information related to the issue but also entertain the public, which is critical for media (The Saylor Foundation, 2013). The Internet is full of similar information that is why its creators need to mate their articles unique and interesting. Very often these news sources include quotations in the titles of the stories that are taken out from the context. Thus, the titles often differ from the very content. The names are often used as they are known to everyone and are likely to attract the public.
One should always remember that receiving information from the Internet is risky. Individuals who create messages and put them on various websites are not always professionals in the sphere. They may be just general citizens who interpret the situation from their own point of view even if it is biased. Moreover, even though the article may be prepared by a professional, it is usually not verified in the same way as printed sources of information are. Rather often provided information is exaggerated so that it appeals the public more but then it can hardly be trusted. Some data can be obtained from other sources without citing them, which breaks the law (Shullich, 2011). It is critical for people and organizations to look for more authoritative sources if they require such information.
As it was noticed during the media content analysis, one and the same issue related to the topic (election, in this case) can be found on different websites. In this way, the public can look through different perspectives and pay attention to the information that is the same, as it is most likely to be true. They can consider the opinion of the professionals, which can be found on the PolitiFact (2016). One may also pay attention to the presence of citations and videos. It can be also beneficial to consider who is the author of the article.
All in all, media content analysis showed that various sources of information tend to discuss US elections in the same way. They reveal particular events and often agree on their peculiarities. However, the information is never presented in the same way, as each author wants to sound unique as if one has something more to tell. Unfortunately, the authoritativeness of the messages does not have a substantial background. Sometimes one and the same piece of news is revealed on the same source but with a different emphasis. Still, the authors try not to refer to the news that is not the latest one.
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Thus, it can be claimed that different online news sources that present political-related issues tend to make their messages understandable and interesting for the general public. They often tend to be more entertaining than informational because of exaggeration and willingness to surprise and attract more readers. People should know that the data they perceive may be not accurate. It is decent for getting to know the issue, but further investigation is required to ensure that the source is trustworthy.
ABC News. (2016).
PolitiFact. (2016). Web.
Shullich, R. (2011). Risk assessment of social media. Web.
The Guardian. (2016). Web.
The Saylor Foundation. (2013). Understanding media and culture: An introduction to mass communication. Web.