Begin by reading 
this article from John McManus
 on how to be a critical consumer of media. Then read the assigned CQ Researcher article on Media Bias for this week found in the Readings & Assignments page.
After completing these readings visit the next two sites:
· The 
Media Research Center
 is a conservative organization that maintains that media coverage is biased toward the left.
· The group, 
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
, is a liberal watchdog group that holds the opposite opinion. Read what these sites have to offer (briefings, reports, etc.)
Answer the following questions about what you have read:
1. Summarize two briefings or reports from the Media Research Center related to media bias. Explain how the MRC finds the coverage discussed to be biased.
2. Summarize two briefings or reports from FAIR related to media bias. How does FAIR find the coverage discussed to be biased.
3. Do you find that one side (Media Research or FAIR) had a more convincing argument that the media is strongly biased toward one side or the other? Explain.
Now that you’re read about how to be a critical consumer of media and about media bias, do some reading of the mainstream media. Examine at least four articles on American politics in recent issues of at least two of major U.S. newspapers (2 articles from each paper): The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Times. Provide a citation for the articles you read in APA format. For examples of how to cite works for your bibliography check out the APA resources provided by the 
CC Library
 or 
OWL Purdue
.
4. Briefly summarize the articles that you chose. How well did they pass the SMELL test described by James McManus? Give specific examples.
5. Did any of the articles that you read seem to favor one viewpoint or political party over another? Why or why not? Illustrate with specific examples of bias or lack of it.




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