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From terror attacks in Boston to scandals in Washington, there’s been plenty of news for the media to report recently. But that doesn’t mean they’re doing their job: in fact, by some accounts, the news media is worse than ever.
Is the media doing its job? We want to hear from you, and we’re holding a writing contest with some fantastic prizes! The contest will run throughout the month of July.
Because we want to hear as many voices as possible, we’re offering two different questions to get the conversation going. You can choose to respond to either question–it’s entirely up to you!
Question 1: How has media changed since you were a child? Have the changes been for the better or worse?
This option is an open-ended narrative. We want you to tell us a personal story of how the news media has changed over the course of your life. You might want to start by describing the way your family got its news during your childhood (TV? Newspaper? Radio? Word of mouth?) and comparing it to how people get their news today. Which method is more reliable? Another idea: Have technological developments like cable news and social media made the media better? What has your experience been with these new mediums?
Question 2: In the wake of recent scandals and national security violations, have the traditional media properly served our nation? How have they failed us, how have they served us, and what have you come to expect?
This question is more of a traditional essay prompt. A strong essay will take a position on whether or not the media is properly serving us, and will use examples to defend that position. In other words, we want you to make an argument, and convince us that the media is either serving or failing us.
All essays must be submitted through WatchdogWire.com– our national site or any of our 11 state sites–and tagged as “contest essay.” We’ll give out prizes to the three best essays in EACH category. The word count cannot exceed 1,000 words. That means there will be six prizes overall! Here are the three prizes we’ll give out in each category:
1st Prize: $300 in cash
2nd Prize: A signed copy of James O’Keefe’s new book, Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy
3rd Prize: A special Citizen Watchdog Resource Kit
To get started, sign up as a Watchdog Wire Contributor and start drafting your essay! Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The essay contest will be judged by the National Citizen Watchdog staff.
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