This paper will be an examination of YOUR media habits. For one week, you must chart your daily use of allmedia â€” radio, television, newspapers, magazines, films, video, etc. Do you wake up to a radio alarm? Do you listen to traffic reports while commuting? How do you get your news? Do you watch sports? Soap operas? What did you watch on TV? Do you use the internet at work? At home?
Did you read a book or see a movie? You will use this data as the basis of your analysis, by examining the information using the uses and gratifications model from Chapter 2. Perhaps carrying a small notebook with you during the day and inputting all material in the evenings will help you stay organized. If you have a smartphone, you can use the Notes app to track your media.
You do not need to turn in your diary, but TRUST ME when I tell you that I can tell immediately from your paper whether you actually kept one. You should begin your journal as soon as possible in order to give yourself ample time to complete the journal and write the paper. After you have completed the diary, you will need to write a 4-5 page paper on how you use media.
The Functional Analysis theory (see chapter 2, lesson 2) says that something is best understood by understanding how it is used. The uses and gratifications model provides a framework for how individuals use media, and this should be the basis of your self analysis.
Apply this concept to your own media usage. Is it more than you expected? Less? When was your media use cognitive? Social utility? Affiliation? Withdrawal? You must draw your own conclusions about your use, analyzing your habits within the framework of the ideas discussed in your text, especially the uses & gratifications model.
These concepts should be clearly included and articulated in your paper. The most common mistake students make with this assignment is to tell me all about their media habits, but then fail to analyze those habits within the context of the uses and gratifications model. YOU MUST INCLUDE THESE IDEAS IN YOUR PAPER.