Media & Development Assignment

| June 11, 2015

The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

Transnational Media Practice Summer 2015

 

Media & Development Assignment: The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

 

 

DUE: Sunday, June 14 by 0800 EST

 

PARAMETERS: 5 single-spaced pages in Times New Roman 12-point font, excluding the works cited page, NO PLAIGARISM

 

Each student will choose an existing international development project and analyze the roles media/communication technologies currently serve in its implementation/realization, situating their analysis within existing literature on development and communication paradigms.

 

The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

http://mepi.state.gov/index.html

 

Students will also assess the potential blind spots and pitfalls in the DevComm strategies being employed and propose a means of achieving development objectives through media/communication technologies that addresses and aims to correct said pitfalls.

 

In particular, students are asked to analyze how the organization understands and/or communicates the value of media as part of the development strategy (alternately, students might analyze how the organization uses media to communicate its mission to different audiences). Students should not take the claims made by the organization at face value, but should critically engage with the assumptions driving the media strategy as well as with the “story” being told through the media.

 

Students should also consider how development discourses are being articulated through the organization’s media strategies (i.e., how are those helping and those being helped presented? Whose voices are foreground? What relationships are enabled or curtailed through the media program? How are selective solutions presented as obvious?). Similarly, students should consider the political economic dimensions of the campaign (i.e., whose interests are being served? How is it funded? Regulated?).

 

Each student will choose an existing international development project and analyze the roles media/communication technologies currently serve (or could potentially serve) in its implementation/realization, situating their analysis within existing literature on development and communication paradigms. Using readings assigned, students will also assess the potential blind spots and pitfalls in the DevComm strategies being employed and propose a means of achieving development objectives through media/communication technologies that addresses and aims to correct said pitfalls.

 

 

Focus on

-          Media for development

-          Media development itself

 

Identify a development initiative that uses media as a tool

-          Critically analyze the underlying roles that the media plays in this perspective

-          Critically think about the medium and any edits, music, etc. think about the medium having specific attributes

 

-          Think about the way that they claim, track articles about that organization and their mission

o   Read the assumptions that are underlying the initiative’s objective

 

Look at and critically analyze development discourse

-          Often the organization supporting the mission

-          Power

o   Who gets to speak? Who gets spoken for?

o   Are there meanings constructed for the groups helping/being helped? Is there a lack of visibility?

 

Underlying assumptions

-          Potential outcomes of knowledge

-          Has to have a specific development agenda

o   Has to be an explicit initiative with the intent of modernization

o   Think about the way the initiative uses media

 

The student is not asked to analyze the effectiveness of the initiative but rather the assumptions the initiative has of its work

 

-          Interested in why they think their initiative is going to work

-          Questions of power- how does this construct a particular narrative?

 

What are the interests of the groups doing these initiatives?

-          Tax cuts?

-          Recognition?

-          Influence in market share?

 

Investigate feedback loops

-          Can the periphery bring back info to the core? In some cases information flows from the core to peripheries only.

 

 

Please also use relevant information from the below articles if they apply to anything regarding the initiative:

 

05/26: Media and Development

 

  • McAnany, Emile. Saving the World: A Brief History of Communication for Development and Social Change. University of Illinois, 2012, 106-123.

05/28: Complicating Development: Dependency and Cultural Imperialism

 

  • Briggs, John and Joanne Sharp. “Indigenous Knowledges and Development: A Postcolonial Caution” Third World Quarterly, 25:4, 2004. 661-676.
  • Wilkins, Karin Gwinn. “Accounting for Power in Development Communication” Redeveloping Communication for Social Change: Theory, Practice and Power. Ed. Karin Gwinn Wilkins. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000. 197-210.
  • Steeves, H. Leslie. “Development Communication as Marketing… A Feminist Critique” International and Development Communication: A 21st Century Perspective. Ed Bella Mody. London: Sage, 2003. 227-244.
  • Sarti, Ingrid. “Communication and Cultural Dependency: A Misconception”. Communication and Social Structure. Ed: James McAnany. Praeger, 1981. 317-333.
  • Schiller, Herb. “Not Yet the Post-Imperialist Era.” Critical –Studies in Mass Communication.   8 (1), 1991. 13-28.

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