Essay Topic: Government and The Media


Be sure to follow each of the formatting guidelines provided in Addendum II of the syllabus. The minimum research criteria is the use of 2-3 scholarly sources (articles from a peer-reviewed academic journal). In addition, the essay is to be a at least 3-4 pages of body text with research. The minimum writing requirement is two full pages in your own words (excluding cited text, paraphrased information, facts, figures, etc.). If either of the minimum expectations are not met, the assignment will be marked incomplete. Your final product must have in-text citations and a proper citation in MLA format for all works used on a separate works cited page. Failure to properly identify your sources in the essay and/or on the works cited page is plagiarism.

Essay Questions:

1. The First Amendment assigns a special role for the media by providing for freedom of speech and a free press. What are the responsibilities of the media in a democratic society?

2. What are some of the challenges the American media faces in fulfilling its democratic responsibilities?

3. How have government actions helped or hurt the media’s ability to fulfill its democratic responsibilities in the last 50 years?

4. Discuss the differences in how the federal government regulates different kinds of media.

5. Finally, analyze the impact of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the Communications Decency Act, and at least three specific regulations that grew out of the FCC’s licensing power.


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