Essay about radio “talk shows”

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Essay requirements: You should adopt some position on the assigned question and defend that position. I need a 6 page essay,  must be typed double-spaced and with one-inch margins. February 26 is the deadline for the essay.


Essay Question: Drawing from class discussion, class material about radio and television, and your own research, assess the relevancy of talk shows to public discourse.  Defining what is meant by “talk” in talk radio and television programming isn’t an easy task, but these shows have always been popular.  A basic framework for you to consider when developing your paper:  To what extent do talk shows help to fulfill the marketplace of ideas ideal?  For example, is it important to air all potential voices and issues, even if those voices and issues may upset some viewers or listeners?  Should talk show hosts and guests be able to say anything they want, no matter how loony, inflammatory, inane, or bigoted their comments may be?  Is the designation of “political” and “personal” kinds of talk shows a false dichotomy?  These angles are suggestions; find and follow your own path for this assignment; just be sure to form and explore a clear and intriguing argument.


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    As part of your research, watch one of the daytime “personal” talk shows or watch one of the political talk TV shows.  If you decide to focus on radio and its continued relevancy in an increasingly digital and online world, catch a radio talk show:  “shock jocks” Howard Stern and Don Imus, local talk hosts, Jim Rome, and The Rush Limbaugh Show can be found on satellite radio and/or commercial AM stations throughout Southern California.  You should be able to catch these and assorted other talk hosts – such as Bill Simmons’ The B.S. Report — online, too:  most of them are available as podcasts. NPR’s local affiliate, KPBS-FM at 89.5 on the dial, airs a talk show daily beginning at 9 a.m., and most public radio stations air All Things Considered, usually starting at 3 or 4 p.m. daily.  If you can access satellite radio, SiriusXM Radio provides a ridiculous array of talk shows, especially sports talk shows.  Unique among non-music radio programs are A Prairie Home Companion, featuring Garrison Keillor’s monologue, Radio Lab, and This American Life. KPBS (89.5, San Diego), KCRW (out of Santa Monica, at 89.9), and KPCC (out of Pasadena at 89.3), all air PHC and TAL, usually on Weekend mornings and afternoons.  Radio Lab airs on KPBS.  These public radio programs are available as podcasts from their websites:  just Google This American Life, A Prairie Home Companion, or Radio Lab to access complete and up-to-date archives.




Written Assignments Guidelines:


    Emphasize scholarly insight and analysis.   Think about your possible responses to the assigned question, read the relevant assigned text material, and pursue additional research before you sit down to write.  Then focus on, and eventually nail, a line of enquiry – that is, an argument that frames your telling of those facts as are pertinent to your chief response.  Your resultant thesis is a compelling and clear summary of your chief point, which you should make by the end of your introduction, and then further discuss through the remainder of your response, developing it in interesting and original directions.  Be sure to consider alternative explanations. Emphasize insights, not mere description.  



    Use APA citation and reference style.  Use APA (American Psychological Association) citation and bibliographic style. You might also imitate the style used in most communication studies journals (e.g., Journal of Comm., Communication Research, CSMC, or JOBEM).


     Citation style.  Use author and year of publication for journal articles, magazine articles, and most Internet sources for in-text citations.  For example, “Smith (1986) found that urban crime stories made up 40% of independent local newscasts.”  For online sources with a corporate author, cite the organization and year (e.g., Society of Professional Journalists, 2005).  For an opinion essay or column, use author’s last name and year, but for a news article, use the first two words of the headline in quote marks, followed by year of pub., like this: (“Polls Find,” 2004). 



     Reference style.  At the end of papers, list your references alphabetically under the title “References.”  References refer to sources cited in the text of the paper.  Do not print a bibliography, or a list of all sources consulted.  For online sources, follow the basic guidelines below, using author name (and year) when available to lead the entry, followed by article title and/or sponsoring organization, and web address.  A few basic style guidelines follow. 


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