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Media Critique is a critical analysis that provides insight into the purpose, intended meaning, and potential influence of media you use every day. The critique can focus on any digital or print media form you choice – TV show, movie, video game, song lyrics, music videos, radio, newspaper, magazine, book, advertising, website, app, social media or other digital technology.


Media Literacy Core Concepts:
Media messages are constructed.
Each medium uses a unique “language” or techniques to create messages. Media messages have embedded values and points of view.
People understand the same message in different ways.
Media messages are produced for a particular purpose.


Topic Selection

Apply a theory that is most relevant to your topic:
Agenda-setting to analyze the news media process
Social Cognitive Theory to explain the potential effects on audience members Cultivation Analysis to explain potential impact on the audience or society Reflection Hypothesis and Symbolic Annihilation to explain key factors that contribute to the media production and distribution process


Choose one:
News Coverage

TV or Movies Music
Video Games

Websites Social Media Apps

Advertising Magazines

The Critique


Is there a double standard for men and women in the news business? How do media define "women's" news? How is it different from "men's" news? What is emphasized in news about women and women’s issues and concerns? What of importance goes unreported? What is the status conferred on women and men? What potential impact does news have on the status of women and men in society?


Gender Advertising

What is the advertising world's image of the modern woman and man? What assumptions about the role of men and women in American society are embedded in the ads? What attitudes and values about gender are cultivated and fostered? Does the message reinforce or challenge gender stereotypes?
Is the ad socially responsible?



What do media stories tell us about male and female roles and relationships?
What do males and females look like? What types of life roles seem to be suggested as appropriate? What do they do for work or play? What do they value and believe in? How do they treat one another? What are their goals? Who wields the power? Do you find the gender portrayals in any way objectionable?



Carefully read the description of the critique you select and use the suggested questions to develop your critical analysis. Write your critique in 3 sections:


Part 1: Introduction

Briefly explain the significance of the topic and why you chose to analyze it. Be specific.

For one week— from Sunday through Saturday— monitor the news coverage of women and men in print, broadcast or online news outlets. Determine how often women and men are quoted and photographed, the status conferred on women and men as newsmakers or sources, placement of the story, column space or air time, and reporter or anchor attributes. Select one daily newspaper, or one regularly scheduled local or national TV newscast or online news outlet


Part 2: Media Literacy Analysis

Apply the five media literacy core concepts and one of the theories. Be specific. Use examples.

Part 3: Conclusions


Newspapers: survey the front page of each section of a daily print or online edition. (ex: Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal) Broadcast news: survey an entire 30 or 60 minute daily newscast (broadcast/cable). Online news/News App: survey a traditional or alternative daily news source such as a newspaper or new media such as news blog or App.

Summarize key points and draw conclusions.

Length: 3-4 pages

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