I think that time will dramatically change our stories because of how much change there can be in such a short period. If we just look at this year alone, our country and society have dramatically changed since February. It’s honestly remarkable how much can happen in just a span of 10 months. As regarding my project, people will look back on how the media covered COVID and 2020 in general as a monumental part in the industry and many individuals in our society. Regardless of how this election turns out and how this year ends, the media industry will never be the same. I wouldn’t be surprised at all that within the next 10-20 years all mainstream media outlets will lose almost if not all of their revenue and go out of business. When people study this era of the establishment media they will begin to see how instead of being objective in their reporting, they end up serving public relations firms for the political parties they align their views with. By 2024, you can expect a lot of people transitioning from relying on establishment media as their main source of news to digital media outlets and YouTube personalities. I think that my perspective may change in the future because times will also change. I know personally that I feel bad for students who are going to have to take history classes and study in the year 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised if they dedicate just one semester to study 2020 and all of the things that occurred during this year. I know that no matter what happens in the future, that I will always look back at 2020 and never forget about this year. Right now, it can seem very stressful to be living in a year that will forever change our society. But when looking back on this year, it would honestly be pretty cool to remember how crazy of the year 2020 has been.
This election year has been like no other because of how partisan and divisive this process has been. I personally along with many others feel anxious about this election because I have no idea what the outcome of this election will be like. There are many pundits, politicians, and pollsters that are making guarantees about this election but do they really know what’s going to happen. After 2016, I stopped following polls and predictions because at this point how credible are they? It also feels like this election process has been dragging on for such a long time especially when COVID began back in March. For example, the New Hampshire primary earlier this year feels like an eternity ago and it’s crazy to think of all the stuff that has happened since then. What I observed from this election year is that people take politics way too seriously and that their entire life revolves around it. Obviously, it’s important to pay attention to politics and vote but there’s a certain line that’s crossed when people threaten to invoke violence if they don’t win. How is that healthy in any way for our democracy and our country. If the candidate that I voted for doesn’t win, that doesn’t give me the right to riot and cause harm to innocent individuals and their property. From a historical perspective, this election will easily be looked back on as one of the most impactful ones in American history considering all of the events that have occurred this year and the uncertainty that this election brings. If I were to study the election in the future, there would be a few historical questions I would ask. For example, when was the election actually independently verified and called? Another question is how was life so different in 2019 compared to 2020 specifically during the election?
It’s hard to believe that our first week of classes was now two months ago because it feels like it was an eternity ago but at the same time, it’s also kind of crazy how fast time has gone by. Our class was my second in-person class at that time so in a way, I was accustomed to that and since I’m now a senior I felt fairly comfortable. My previous class had nine people in it and we were all spaced out, but I eventually dropped the class after we went online. However, when I went to class I was very fearful because we had no idea whether Temple would be in-person or move completely online. It was honestly the most stressful first week of school I’ve ever had because of the uncertainty that was ahead. I never felt that I was unsafe when it came to COVID-19, I thought Temple did an excellent job being willing to open up safely. It was just very unfortunate that we had to close down after such a short period of time. While it initially was a relief that we didn’t have to be in constant fear about whether Temple was going to be in-person or online. But now it’s almost certain that next semester will be online which will mean that I will not likely have graduation. What’s definitely been the most frustrating part of the semester is being trapped on a lease for my apartment on-campus when I resigned it back in January. Again, all of this has been out of my control and I’m really glad that I took this class because of how much I was able to learn during this semester. I knew from the first week of class that this would be one that I would be able to really enjoy.
In the article, “When Subjects Don’t Come Out” some considerations Tucker had to take in her research was taking an analytical approach on gender. Tucker examines how gender is to historically contingent and inextricably divided by other social categories such as class, sexuality, and race. It was interesting when Tucker observed that the women interviewed played instruments that are associated with men such as trombones, trumpets, drums, and saxophones. The women also developed musical skills that were associated with men such as loud volumes, improvisation and hot styles. That’s how one of the considerations Tucker took impacted her research for this study specifically on music. Tucker’s central conundrum is the different type of results she received from her own interviews with women musicians. Her goal was and still is to represent a kind of flexibility and complexity to theorizing sexuality in musical discourses. She also explains how working with differently positioned living narrators can provide a humbling education about one’s own ethnocentrism around sexuality.
I thought Tucker resolved her issue fairly well because the amount of preparation she had before hand and how detail-oriented she was. I thought Tucker did make the right decision because of the results she had received during the interviews she conducted. Based on how the interviews were conducted and the results that came with it I would have made the decision as Tucker. That’s why I consider that a person become a historical subject when they don’t even notice it’s happening. Essentially anyone can be measured as an historical subject and be recorded in some part of history. Obviously, some measurements are more significant than others, but it shows how anyone can be recorded as historical subjects. That’s why a person becomes a historical subject when they have accomplished or have been a part of a transcendent event.
Question: Has partisanship in the media specifically, cable news, made people better off during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Project description: The media has had a significant influence when informing the public about the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to connecting historical events with this topic, I would like to possibly see how the media covered the swine flu outbreak back in 2009. I want to research how the increase in partisanship has been like since covering the COVID-19 outbreak because it takes place during an election year. I would also like to learn whether this pandemic has turned the media more divisive and purely agenda-driven by having their viewers seek affirmation instead of information. For example, I want to focus on the media’s coverage before the outbreaks occurred in March, and if they had the same tone throughout the pandemic. Since there has been an increase in partisanship in the media, it will be essential to cover the impact it has had on people’s behaviors during the pandemic. I’m also interested to see how the media’s coverage of COVID-19 will be altered as the election happens in November.
Format: Historical Op-ed
- Grieco, Elizabeth. “Americans’ Main Sources for Political News Vary by Party and Age.” Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, August 18, 2020. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/01/americans-main-sources-for-political-news-vary-by-party-and-age/.
- This article includes how Americans turn to a wide range of media outlets for election and political news, mostly partisan alignment. The data shows in this piece that if you’re conservative, you will seek Fox News for information, and if you’re liberal, you will lean on MSNBC and CNN.
- Media Cloud. “Coverage of COVID-19 and Political Partisanship – Comparing across Nations.” Media Cloud. Media Cloud, April 3, 2020. https://mediacloud.org/news/2020/4/3/coverage-of-covid-19-and-political-partisanship-comparing-across-nations.
- This article does a great job comparing all of the data between different network’s coverage of COVID-19. This data was measured from January to March, showing how the media was analyzing everything before the shutdowns occurred in March. This will give me a better understanding of my research topic because it reveals whether their reporting has been consistent and fair.
- “Knowledge about Coronavirus Vaccine and Origin Vary by Main Source for Political News.” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, March 31, 2020. https://www.journalism.org/2020/04/01/cable-tv-and-covid-19-how-americans-perceive-the-outbreak-and-view-media-coverage-differ-by-main-news-source/pj_2020-04-01_coronavirus-cablte-tv_0-01/.
- This first primary source from Pew Research Center is an infographic that showing how the knowledge about coronavirus vaccine and origin varies by the main source for political news. This survey showed that 78% of MSNBC viewers believed that there would be a vaccine available in a year or more, and 68% of them said the virus came about naturally. In contrast, 51% of Fox News viewers said that a vaccine would be available in a year or more and 37% of them said the virus came about naturally.
- “Americans More Positive than Negative about COVID-19 News Coverage, but There Are Strong Partisan Divides in Whether Media Fulfill Key Roles.” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, May 8, 2020. https://www.journalism.org/2020/05/08/americans-views-of-the-news-media-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/pj_2020-05-08_views-of-media-coronavirus_0-01/.
- The second primary source was also from Pew Research Center, and it’s an infographic that shows that Americans are more positive than negative about COVID-19 news coverage. Still, there are substantial partisan divides in whether the media fulfills vital roles. This source goes more in-depth on how the news media’s coverage is accurate, getting information the consumer needs, benefiting the public, and helping the country.
- Zhao, Erfei, Qiao Wu, Eileen M Crimmins, and Jennifer A Ailshire. “Media Trust and Infection Mitigating Behaviours during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the USA.” BMJ Global Health. BMJ Specialist Journals, October 1, 2020. https://gh.bmj.com/content/5/10/e003323.
- This third primary source conducts original research on media trust and its influences to cause various behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since intense partisanship can lead to false information, it has affected how people behave during a public health crisis. This source will help construct my argument because the data will show the impact the media has had on its viewers.
The CDC primary source on the 1918 Influenza pandemic does a great job of showing a timeline of the events that occurred that helps the reader visualize them. The Influenza pandemic occurred during the same time period as World War I and the conditions of the war whether it be global troop movement and overcrowding helped flu spread. In March 1918, Camp Futson in Fort Riley, Kansas become infected with the flu and the number of cases rapidly increased. The picture of the various hospital beds for the sick patients reveals how impactful the pandemic was and gives a different perspective on the frontline workers. The flu was also able to spread over the next six months throughout the rest of the United States, Europe, and possibly Asia. In September 1918, the second wave of the influenza fully emerged outside of Boston at a naval facility and Camp Devens, a United States Army training camp. The second wave of the flu from September and November was highly fatal and responsible for most of the deaths that occurred during the pandemic. The picture used in this source is very telling of how serious the pandemic was and shows all the men wearing masks in an orderly fashion. This primary source would be great for my final project because I was thinking of doing a similar timeline on the media’s coverage throughout COVID-19. This primary source also does a great job highlighting the key facts of each month during the Influenza. That would something I would like to highlight in my own project as well to keep the subject more engaging.
First Primary Source
This first primary source that I used was from Pew Research Center and it’s an infographic that shows how the knowledge about coronavirus vaccine and origin vary by main source for political news. This survey showed that 78% of MSNBC viewers believed that there will be a vaccine available in a year or more and 68% of them said the virus came about naturally. In contrast, 51% of Fox News viewers said that a vaccine will be available in a year or more and 37% of them said the virus came about naturally. I think this does help my research question because it shows what the viewers of these cable news network’s thought of the virus. The complication with this source is that data on this matter is always changing so it can be difficult to find the most accurate one.
Second Primary Source
The second primary source that I used was also from Pew Research Center (it was very difficult to find a different type of primary source) and it’s an infographic that shows that Americans are more positive than negative about COVID-19 news coverage but there are strong partisan divides in whether media fulfill key roles. I think this does help my research question because it’s more in-depth of how the news media’s coverage is either accurate, getting information the consumer needs, benefiting the public, and helping the country. The complication with this source is that again this source of data could always be a little misleading but other than that it’s fairly accurate.
Has partisanship in the media specifically in cable news made people better off during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The topic that I’m interested in for a possible research topic is the media and their role during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason why I wanted to focus on this topic is that as a journalism major I find it very interesting how big of a role the media has when informing the public about this virus. When it comes to connecting historical events with this topic I would like to see how the media covered the swine flu outbreak back in 2009. I want to compare the increase in partisanship when it comes to covering the COVID-19 outbreak since it’s occurred in an election year. What this topic will teach us about the pandemic is how divisive the media has become and how they are purely agenda-driven especially during a global pandemic. For example, I want to focus on the media’s coverage on how governors from red and blue states have managed the outbreak. Certain media outlets will only focus on red states reopening too quickly versus other media outlets covering blue states that are still under stay at home orders. What I hope to learn from this project is how local media doesn’t get enough credit for the outstanding and unbiased work they produce. I also want to learn if the mainstream media can every go back to non-partisan reporting or at least differentiate between opinion commentary and neutral reporting. I’m also interested to see how the media’s coverage of COVID-19 will be altered as the election happens in November.
The map I designed above has been an accurate representation of the places I’ve been for the past several months. The center point of the map which is where I have spent my time the most is my home in Malvern, Pa. In a weird way it has been nice to spend that much time at home because usually I would be at school or have other things going on compared to last year. Vizion Group was the public relations firm I interned at during the summer which was fully in-person since it was a small private company. This was the one thing on my map that has really changed since last year because I interned with a different company. I also worked at my other job at Camilla Hall Nursing Home where I worked in the kitchen. Even though I have been working there for five years this summer has been very different by working on the front lines and making sure that everyone gets their food safely. Great Valley Presbyterian is the church that my family and I go to but this year it has been different since most of our services have been online. However, our church has outdoor services once or twice a month where we have a more condensed version of the service. As I look back, the main places I go to on my map really haven’t changed from last year however the places themselves and how they usually run have changed a lot.