Essay on self-presentation issues for a public figure with a high media profile.
Many people in public life, including politicians, actors and business people hire media advisors whose tasks can include organising media events, producing online content, managing social media accounts, and working with their charges to prepare for media events. Many organisations in industry, the arts, and the non-profit sector also hire media advisors. To effectively do such a job, you would need strong analytic skills, an understanding of the media (including social media). You would also require knowledge of effective interpersonal communication processes in a variety of cultural contexts. There is considerable overlap in learning objectives in 3 and 4 from this course and these skills. “demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cultural context in communication”; and “describe the basic processes of interpersonal communication”.
In this assignment, we want you to imagine that you are in a media advisor role for a public figure and that you need to objectively assess their media performance in order to advise them on improving it.
Your task is to choose a public figure who has appeared on the ABC program Q&A, the 7.30 report or morning news programs like Morning or Today during February or March 2014. Interviews must show the interaction between interviewer and interviewee. You do not have to choose a politician, though you should choose someone who also has a strong social media presence either through Facebook or Twitter. Your analysis of their social media profiles does not have the same date/time constraints for data selection as their television appearance.
Using their television appearance/s during this time, and their social media account/s, your task is to analyse and compare their self-presentation in both contexts. To do this, you should draw primarily on the material taught in lectures and readings during Weeks 5 to 10 of the course, although you may draw on the material presented in other weeks to a more limited extent if it will help your argument. You will need to know some background about your public figure, the program on which they appear, and self-presentation in social media.
In your analysis you should consider:
• what your public figure is doing in their interactions in each context
• the footing on which they speak
• how they maintain face and deal with face threats
• how they build a relationship with, or orientate to, their audience
• their use of haptics, proxemics and paralanguage
• how each of the above differs between contexts
• ways that the chosen figure could improve their performance in either or both contexts
You should write up your assignment as a REPORT, with the following clearly marked sections:
• a brief literature review
• analysis (including a brief description of your data)
• discussion (including recommendations)
You may include a brief conclusion.
Your literature review should outline relevant research on self-presentation in social media and public life. You will need at least three academic sources NOT including set readings, the textbook, or lectures.
You will need to provide examples from your text to support your analysis and the argument underpinning your comparison. To illustrate your examples, provide screen shots from social media and short extracts from the the interviews. Transcripts may be available for some interviews and you should refer to them when possible. You may also want to use screen shots of the video if this would help demonstrate some of your points.
You will be assessed on:
• Your ability to find relevant research and relate it to your chosen texts and task
• Your ability to select, describe and analyse processes of communication using concepts taught in the course and further research (as a minimum you will need to refer to face work, front and back stage, and footing as outlined in the work of Erving Goffman)
• Your ability to present a well-reasoned, consistent argument backed with examples and evidence from your texts
• Your understanding of the theoretical material applied to your texts
• Your ability to draw lessons from your analysis and present this as advice
• Your standard of presentation, including correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, appropriate style, correct layout, correct use of academic citation style .
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