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TCOM 254 Communication History - Demaske: Birthday Paper

Birthday Paper

​Birthday Paper (100 points)

The "Birthday" Paper: You are required to write a five to seven page paper that analyzes the contents of selected media in different time periods. Completed papers are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 19. Instructions for the paper:

1) Choose one newspaper or magazine to study (such as The New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Tacoma News Tribune, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker).

2) Select editions of that publication for the following dates:

  1. Closest to your birthdate,
  2. Twenty-five years before your birthdate,
  3. Fifty years before your birthdate.

3) Choose a topic (a prominent political, social or professional issue that is likely to be discussed in all three time periods. You may choose the issue to address after reviewing the three samples)

4) Examine the evidence:

  1. How is the issue addressed in each time period? Do the approaches and the contents of the articles differ? In what ways? Be specific.
  2. Do the publications themselves seem to be different? How so? Make comparisons.

5.) Analyze what you find (How might these differences -- in the issues and in the journalism -- reflect the context of each time period?)


All assignments must be typed, double spaced with 12 pt. type and 1 inch margins. Assignments should not exceed maximum page limitations. Assignments must be well-written and will be penalized for technical errors such as typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, etc. You must also demonstrate a clear and organized point of view and careful analytic skills.