Mass media is redefining itself at a speed and depth unmatched in human history. Basic
definitions of various long-established mass media are rapidly evolving to include digital
formats that would have seemed the stuff of science fiction a few years ago. Furthermore,
as mass media becomes more pervasive and powerful, its impact on individuals and the
larger society have increasingly become topics of scholarly research. Your paper will be
written about one of the mass media topics listed below. Choose a topic that interests you
and for which you can find a variety of high-quality sources. (Media Revolution)
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1. Decline of the Mass Media Gatekeepers: Should We Cheer or Boo?
1.1 According to your research, who are gatekeepers in the mass media? Are they
more powerful in traditional mass media or social media?
1.2 According to your research, what are the advantages and disadvantages of
news, information and entertainment presented through mass media outlets with
1.3 According to your research, what are the advantages and disadvantages of
news, information and entertainment presented through media outlets with weak
or nonexistent gatekeepers?
1.4 According to your research and analysis, when is it better to consume news,
information or entertainment that has passed through strong gatekeepers? When is
it better to consume news, information or entertainment that has been subject to
little if any gatekeeping?
2. Social Media Use and Mental Health
2.1 What does scholarly research have to say about the effects of social media use
on mental health?
2.2 What sorts of people are most susceptible to having their mental health
compromised by social media? What types of mental health problems are these at-
risk people experiencing?
2.3 Have changes in lifestyle caused by Covid accelerated these mental health
problems? If so, how?
2.4 According to the research, what are warning signs that you can look for if you
believe that someone has had their mental health damaged through social media
use? What can family members, friends and others do to help those who have had
their mental health damaged by social media?
3. Battling Misinformation Through Lateral Reading
3.1 According to the scholarly research, what is Lateral Reading? How does a
person engage in lateral reading?
3.2 According to the research, why is lateral reading a particularly relevant skill in
the internet age? How does it decrease the destructive power of misinformation?
3.3 What are some examples of lateral reading being successfully taught in
schools? 3.4 Find an internet site devoted to a current political or social issue. Engage in
lateral reading to determine the truthfulness and general fairness of the site.
Describe what you did and what you found.