COVID-19, Media, and Racism

I need a PhD Research Proposal done for a program I am getting accepted to. I think 15 pages, with two pages or so of references, will get the job done. The topic I want to study is very, very timely and important. The study involves COVID-19, media, and racism: How Asians and Blacks were portrayed in the press. My study involves a comparison in coverage from a number of traditional newspapers and online media, and also would probe social media too, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The study will be a qualitative content analysis with both online media and traditional media (print that is). Additionally, while the study will be a qualitative content analysis, it will also employ a discourse analysis to get a full picture of how the media really portrayed minorities in the news for news consumers. Note: The literature review will include two parts: (a) theory/theoretical concepts that link to the research; and (b) literature of research done in this field. For the research proposal this only needs to be brief. Moreover, since the study is analyzing race, the study should consider a decolonial angle. A case in point is South Africa, where they are busy decolonising degrees and decolonisation and Africanisation is huge there. Representation in the media – especially with race, makes this almost essential. So, this part needs to be included. The study will break-up my analysis over a year and how it was covered in phases: The start of COVID-19 in November (19′) in China/Asia; COVID hits Europe; COVID: The Americas and Africa; and, Coverage on the post-pandemic phase (assuming this will be later this year after the second-spike in cases which is expected to be in the fall, according to leading health agencies). My work will also include (before the analysis) an introduction, background, sample, methodology, and scope and limitations. This study will obviously include a conclusion too, perhaps also future considerations for research. The media of this study will involve a variety of agencies in the Western World: USA – The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post; Canada: The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Sun; United Kingdom: The Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian. Online agencies will include a blend of outlets in the USA, Canada and UK, like Vice.com, Medium.com, Slate.com, Metro.co.uk., Mail Online, The Post Millennial, Yahoo, Buzz Feedand MSN. These sites also post to social media so an analysis of what they post and highlight will be probed. Important to highlight is the strengths and limitations of this study. Let’s start with strengths: the analysis focusses on major dailies around the world, and major online publications too. So, these outlets have scores of readers and plenty of influence on society; that is the media shapes the way we think, the way we see the world. Therefore, the media outlets being explored and how they covered COVID-19 and how they portrayed Asians and Blacks will underscore how racism still exists in the media narrative. The limitations of this work are obvious: the study does not explore broadcast news outlets, nor every single newspaper globally. With this, it would be impossible to measure everything out there: there is not enough room in this dissertation to fulfill all this, and the study of major dailies and popular online media agencies will be suffice to measure the so called ‘temperature’ on coverage and how monitories were portrayed. Also, this study will not include women or other races, as it is exploring a big landscape of minorities to begin with: Asians and Blacks. Here is a breakdown of the research proposal: • Dissertation title (I already have a title, so all good to go on this front) • Summary of topic • Short literature review • Expected contribution of the study • Methodology to be followed • Availability of the data • List of references • Reasons why you are interested in the topic So, what I have provided above the breakdown for the research proposal is what you can work off for each section. Also, each section needs a heading as per the headings listed above. Important to note, for the short literature review, I would include academics who identify what qualitative content analysis is and what discourse analysis is and how they will be employed into this study. You can also give some quick examples too of recent academic studies involving minorities in the news and how qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis has revealed how the media shows bias and how they portray Asians and Blacks as ‘outsiders’ in our society – how they are deviant, criminal, etc. Essentially, the qualitative content analysis and the discourse analysis are tools in ‘deconstructing’ the news, and how news serves as a filter to how others see the world and citizens. In the literature review, it is important to also highlight any studies/works related to the decolonial angle and its relation to the South Africa experience. Note, the expected contribution of this study will highlight the construction of news, and how the deconstruction, through a qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis, tells the story of just how minorities (Asians and Blacks) are portrayed in the news media, in this case with the coverage involving COVID-19. Moreover, the expected contribution of this study will help educate more journalists, academics, and citizens on how racism still exists in the news media and why we need to change this old way of thinking. And this study will even provide solutions to the problem at hand: more online publications to promote a more balanced news and to promote the efforts on Asians and Blacks; more academic studies on the matter; more global awareness to the issue of racism and how we need to change it; and a call to global leaders and corporations who own media to address the problem and employ more minorities as journalists and decision makers in the newsrooms or at the board level. Note, there is a heading in the proposal: Reason why you are interested in this topic. Here you can include that I have over 20 years of experience working in the media, both as a journalist and publicist. The study will allow me to make a solid and sound contribution to my fellow journalists, and society as a whole, and help others realize how racism still exists in the news and why we need to change the way in which the media cover major world issues, especially in the case of this pandemic. Also, as a publicist, many of my clients are Asians and Blacks in Canada and the USA, and in the columns’ I pen as a journalist I include minorities in a positive light as much as I can, so this study is my way of helping change the media narrative on a larger scale. I am a person who is innovative, believes in free speech and the rights of others, so my work will help identify the problem of racism and will offer solutions. I know this is a lot here, so if you have any questions, you can ask me anything you need. I will also need a good pool of references, not on the media coverage side (unless you decide to show explicit examples of past coverage on other issues relating to world affairs, etc), but for the areas of qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis. Please send in single spaced. I can double space. For referencing, please use MLA format.

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