Critical Essay

Assignment Requirements

 

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ICOM100 ESSAY QUESTIONS 2013

 

  • Make sure to go beyond the reader in looking for material.
  • Keep your essays focused. Make sure you have a clear argument (ONE key point) that is stated in the first paragraph and reinforced throughout your essay, backed up by evidence from the media or other sources and academic research. Your key argument should be succinctly summarised at the end as well.
  • Make sure each paragraph contains one key point, which connects to your key idea and helps build up your argument. Each point should be sufficiently explained and backed up by evidence (from readings, the media etc.). Each paragraph should logically follow on from the previous one.
  • Don’t forget to include in-text references (Harvard style) and attach a list of references in the correct format at the end. You only need to list the sources you actually refer to in your text (i.e. ideas that you quote or paraphrase). Use the referencing guide on iLearn.
  • If you would like to work on a related topic but take a different perspective, talk to your tutor or the course coordinator.

 

Choose ONE of the below essay questions and write an essay of between 1500 and 2000 words.

 

Question 1:

 

Analyse the extent to which non-Western television news organisations (e.g. Al Jazeera, CCTV, NHK) are shifting global media influence away from Western media organizations like CNN and the BBC.

 

To answer this question, find out how these channels appeal to an international audience. Consider the notion of contra flows and/or hegemony in your response. You may want to build a case study around one major television company that is attempting to gain influence regionally or internationally to illustrate your key argument. Focus on examples of specific stories and styles of reporting used to attract international audiences. You can draw on online TV clips or YouTube clips of relevant TV programs.

 

Question 2: 

 

Analyse and assess the effects new technologies like online social media have on international communication or international negotiation in business.

 

Approach this question by outlining the advantages and disadvantages these new technologies had and have for international communication compared to previous technologies. Do these new technologies help to support or hinder the development of a national or international ‘public sphere’? It may be helpful to focus your essay around one international political, government or not-for-profit campaign, which has made significant use of computer mediated communication (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Weibo, instant messenger, online gaming). You could choose a national or international campaign that is connected to a significant global issue (e.g. the environment, human rights, health, indigenous issues etc.), or how a specific companies practices or negotiations have changed or been influenced by social media.

 

Question 3:

Critically analyse the relationship between non-verbal communication and cultural spaces.

 

Approaching this question, you need to understand concepts of non-verbal communication, cultural identity, cultural spaces and postmodern cultural spaces that are interpreted in the reading. To answer this question, you may choose two or more cultural spaces that you are interested in, and focus on one aspect of nonverbal communication (e.g. gestures, body posture, touch, space and eye contact etc.), then look at whether the nonverbal behaviour pattern is culturally appropriate in these different cultural spaces, and how the changing cultural spaces construct new meanings of non-verbal behaviours. For instance, studies have shown that the gestures of Sicilian and Lithuanian Jewish immigrants in New York City are distinct from traditional Jewish gestures, which disappeared as people were more assimilated into the larger American culture.

 

 

Question 4:

Critically analyse the media power in international relations.

This question is asking you to understand the role of media in influencing international public opinion, and creating a favourable opinion environment for a nation- state’s foreign policy. To answer this question, you may focus on a current international affair (e.g. Ukraine Crisis, Malaysian airline wreckage) and select one or two nation states, to examine how the nation state(s) influence the global public opinion through media to support their foreign policy. Theories such as media power, public opinion, public sphere, and public diplomacy may help you answer the question.

 

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