Compare & Contrast cable news broadcasts of Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow

Media Literacy in the Age of Technology

Compare and contrast the cable news broadcasts of Bill O’Reilly (Fox News) and Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) covering the same topic. If you watch episodes for the same day, they are likely to be discussing the same new events. You may pick episodes from these shows dating back one calendar year for this activity. Each program can be accessed on the parent network’s website or an online video archive (YouTube, Hulu, Google video, etc.). Watch each program for a minimum of 10 minutes, to ensure the topic was fully addressed from introduction to conclusion. Then, conduct research into the use of bias by American media outlets (using 2-3 peer-reviewed academic journal articles).

Activity Prompts:

What was the lead story? What level of priority did political news receive?
What were the similarities in the general nature of the stories which received coverage? What were the major differences?
What did you see/hear that was relevant to the chapter readings from this Unit?
Did you detect a bias? What was the nature of the bias (liberal v. conservative)?
Was the bias more obvious on one network than the other? What is the rationale for using bias?
How does bias impact you as a viewer/consumer of information?
What is your overall assessment of the media’s coverage of political news after completing the readings for this unit, working on this activity and examining your peer group’s postings in this forum?
Remember to identify how you accessed the broadcast, along with the original date and the time of each broadcast used for this activity. List the source information at the end of your posting in proper MLA citation format. Also, remember to identify all additional sources used to discuss the role of bias in the media. An in-text citation requires a parenthetical citation, for example: (Smith). Then, provide a formal citation at the end of your posting.