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MEDIA DIET ASSIGNMENT

Since Journalism 210 is dedicated to the study of media and culture, I want students to carefully consider the increasingly important role the mass media play in our lives. One way to do this is to reflect on our personal media experiences. 
During the next week, I want you to select a 24-hour period and keep a diary that carefully tracks your mass media consumption. Keep in mind that many media interactions are voluntary – say, reading a book or watching a show on  Netflix – but others are thrust upon you – seeing a billboard while driving down the highway or being exposed to radio or TV programming while having drinks at a restaurant.  
I realize that it can be tricky to define mass media, so you will need to use your best judgment when deciding what to track. Certainly, you will want to record all interactions with …
· Newspapers
· Magazines
· Books
· Websites
· Blogs
· Apps
· Video games
· Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
· Billboards
· Posters
· Advertising in all forms, including mass e-mails
· Radio or streaming music services
· TV or streaming video services
· DVDs or Blu-rays
· Film
Although some people may include text messaging, I believe this is a form of personal (not mass) communication. That said, there are exceptions, such as receipt of an advertising text from  Redbox. Basically, you will need to use your best judgment and show me that you took the assignment seriously by demonstrating a reasonable level of detail in your media diary and your reflection on the role that mass media plays in your life. 
To complete this assignment, submit all required information here. You are welcome to attach a word document or PDF since it is possible to lose your work when writing directly in Blackboard. 

PART 1

Your media diary, noting the dates that you decided to track your media consumption and the number of hours (or minutes) that you spent with varying types of media. A well-done media diary will look something like this …
Forrest’s Media Diary
March 6, 2021
Radio: (approximately 1 hour) Mostly spent listening to NPR while driving to an appointment
Podcasts: (approximately 45 minutes) Listened to a podcast about the Bolshevik Revolution
Billboards: (approx. 15 minutes) This was difficult to track, as I read many billboards while driving to my appointment and running errands
TV and streaming services: (approx. 3 hours) This includes time watching streaming TV shows, including “Star Trek: Picard” and “WandaVision,” as well as an hour listening to local and national news broadcasts while performing household tasks.
Books: (approx. 1 hour) Mostly spent reading class texts in preparation for upcoming lectures
Social media (approx. 30 minutes) Spread throughout the day reading and responding to social media posts and messages from friends and acquaintances
Websites: (approx. 45 minutes) Spent reading news stories in preparation for lectures and class discussions, as well as reading for personal interest
News  apps: (approx. 30 minutes) Spent reading news stories that popped up thanks to alerts or e-mails on my  smart phone
E-mail advertising: (approx. 5 minutes) Spent reading advertising in mass e-mails
Total media exposure during the 24 hour period: Approximately 8 hours

PART 2

Approximately 250 words reflecting on what you learned by tracking your media consumption. Were there any surprises? Is your media diet lighter or heavier than you expected? Is the media more or less influential in your life than you imagined? Do you plan to make any changes based on what you learned? Explain your answer to the last question, no matter what it is. 

GRADING: This assignment is worth 35 points and it will be graded credit/no credit. You can expect to get full points if you demonstrate that you took the work seriously, made a clear effort to track your media consumption and spent some time reflecting on the results. If your diary seems incomplete or you fail to seriously reflect on the data you gather, you will lose points. 

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