Psychology of News Stories

This assignment asks you to apply what you have learned from our discussions of the psychology of mass
communication and persuasion to analyze and compare how news outlets with different ideological leanings (liberal,
neutral, and conservative) utilize different news frames to present the same “facts” of a story to their readership.
You will also analyze what the likely effect of those news frames is for the outlet’s typical readership.
For this 3-4 page paper, you will need to identify ONE current events story (i.e. some major news topic that has been
in the news media since the beginning of this semester) and compare how the same story is presented in three
different quality news outlets: a liberal-leaning one, a neutral one, and a conservative-leaning one. Specifically, you
will need to analyze:

  1. which news frames each outlets utilizes in presenting the same fundamental story (read for instructions on how to
    do this);
  2. which main ideas/concepts they prime;
  3. which affect they are trying to activate.
  4. Finally, you will need to use psychological theories we have studied to explain which psychological effects
    the choices the media made are likely to have on the typical readership of that news outlet (i.e. on the
    people who tend to share similar ideological leanings).

Sample Solution