Policy Memo assignment
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Select a client and a role for yourself. You might be a policy specialist for a member of Congress or the NJ State Legislature, a researcher for a think-tank, a member of the White House staff or a policy researcher for an interest group. You might work for a university research center. You can create a fictional place of employment, but your client should be a real person.
Purpose: Write a memo to your client briefing them on how various media sources discuss the policy issue. The memo should include a synopsis of the credible facts you have learned, and a synopsis of what public officials and/or writers and/or news outlets get wrong or present in a misleading way. This will help the client to assess further information that comes his or her way as s/he/they work on the issue.
Use the memo format we have discussed in class, with header and subsections that make sense for the memo’s purpose. The text will be about 3 pages long (single-spaced, 1-inch margins, left justified text, 11 or 12 point font). The memo should also include in-text citations and a reference list.
Format: The memo should follow a standard memo format. Consult the reading material on memos.
Don’t forget to begin the memo with the proper header, and a short introduction that sets out the purpose and contents of the memo.
The memo should have sections on each of the following topics. These are not meant to be the actual subheadings (you should write your own), but the sections should be organized as follows:
A. Fake News and Credible News
Use the media analysis resources from class to compare and contrast 2-3 news articles about your issue that are fact-based vs. fiction-based. Explain how you can tell the difference. Be sure to provide information about the articles – where they were published, when, and who wrote them. Full reference can be provided at the end of the memo in a reference list.
B. Fact Checking
Use the media analysis resources from class to compare and contrast what 2-3 public figures have written or said about your issue. Explain which stay closer to the facts and which fall short. Be sure to provide information about the tools you used and where the remarks were published. Full reference should be provided at the end of the memo in a reference list.
C. Media Bias
Use the media analysis resources from class to compare and contrast 2-3 news articles about your issue that emerge from different political perspectives. What are some key differences in what these articles cover and how they discuss the issue? Be sure to provide information about the articles – where they were published, when, and who wrote them. Full reference can be provided at the end of the memo in a reference list.
Given what you have found in your analysis, what do you recommend your client do to be sure s/he receives credible information about the issue as s/he develops plans to advocate for change. Are there certain aspects of the issue where there is more risk of fake news or misleading media bias? Are there any sources you’ve discovered that seem especially reliable for credible information?
E. Reference list of works cited
AT LEAST 6 SOURCES