Communications Case Study

CaseStudy essay: An essay supported by one or more key examples

Deadline: Thursday, 19 May 2022, 4pm

Assessment 2: 3,000-word essay

The second assessment asks students to produce an individual case study project of 3,000 words, by answering one of the questions listed.

To do very well on this assessment, students should demonstrate a thorough understanding of a specific topic by choosing a relevant case study and by applying appropriate concepts, theories and methods to explain the relevant issue issues. The definition of a ‘case study’ for this purpose is therefore: an empirical news or media-related event.

Additional task-specific criteria are as follows:

– Quality of definition of the topic and answer to the question; engagement with and understanding of appropriate primary and secondary research (K1; K2; K6; S1);

– Appropriateness of choice of case study (from news media, event or organisation) and quality of application of research and evidence drawn from that case study (K4; K5; S2; S3);

– Quality of analysis of media text using research methods encountered while studying media (K3; S1);

– Coherence and written structure of the research essay, including appropriate academic tone at postgraduate level and effective display of media text and analysis (K5; S5; S6).


For the second assignment, students are asked to answer one of the questions listed belowin the form of an essay by drawing on one or more case study* example. Students are asked to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a specific topic throughthe relevant case study. Thus, the aim of your chosen case study is to use it as a major example with which to specifically answer the essay question. Students are asked to address relevant theories in their analysis of the chosen case study example, in answering the essay question. You may draw on any relevant news event or set of media organisational practices to support the answer to the chosen essay question.

*‘Case study’, here, refers to the analysis of a particular case, event, situation or episode as a basis for explaining and drawing more general conclusions about news and journalism themes and issues. The definition of a ‘case study’ for this purpose is therefore as follows: an empirical news or media-related event or media organisational set of practices. Please ensure that the event(s) or set of practices you choose are manageable for you and can be analysed effectively to support the answer to your chosen question.

The case study example must therefore underpin your answer to the question. Please note that you will be assessed on how successfully you answer the question. [Needless to say, if you describe a case study eloquently yet fail to answer the question by using it, your essay will be unsuccessful!].

The case study event may be contemporary or historical, as long as it is relevant to the question and is used successfully in conjunction with relevant concepts and theories, to analyse the issues being asked of you in the question. It is up to each student to decide how your selected media event case study is to be analysed. For all answers, please substantiate your approach and argument by a) critically engaging with academic research and debates in the field of journalism studies, b) drawing on relevant academic literature in framing your assignment, c) providing relevant empirical examples as case studies to support a) and b). Students are expected to write their findings in a coherent, well written and convincing essay of 3,000 words.

  1. Remember that the standard margin for word lengths is 5%.

Answer ONE of the following questions. You are asked to draw on at least one empirical case study example to illustrate your points:

  1. What are key academic debates about news coverage of race OR gender?
  2. Does tabloid journalism democratise news or is it part of a process of dumbing down news?
  3. What is ‘celebrity news’ and how does it influence journalistic values and the nature of news?
  4. Is it possible for journalism to play a positive role in emerging democracies?
  5. What is the role of social media in the reporting of a key event or set of events?
  6. How have the roles and status of women in journalism changed, historically or currently?
  7. What is ‘local’ news? Consider its features and developments.
  8. Are journalistic values changing? If so, how and with what implications?
  9. What is the role of public relations in shaping mainstream news?
  10. Are there trends in ownership and control of news media organisations and what are their implications for news values and standards?
  11. What impact has state control of news media on the quality of news (consider one country example)?
  12. How do news organisations approach audiences in the digital age and how does this affect news audiences?
  13. How do news organisations report on international issues of public significance?

Presentation of Assessments

Written assessments must have a set of formatting and styling conventions applied consistently to them. See the ‘Style Guide for Academic Writing’ document on the Canvas Community for your degree programme. These include such aspects as the information to include on the cover page, line-spacing, font style an

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