Here it is, friends. The moment you've all been waiting for, the extra credit assignment YOU MAY COMPLETE ONLY ONCE ALL OF YOUR OTHER WORK HAS BEEN TURNED IN OR IT WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT, is available now:

Extra Credit Wiki AssignmentDue Friday, March 26 by midnightFollow all directions in order to earn credit.

  1. Review the example project below.
  2. Find a local or national news story that interests you on the internet.
  3. Create a new wiki page that links from this page (instructions on how to do that on that page).
  4. Center a title for your page.
  5. Create a link to the news story you found.
  6. Explain why you found the story interesting. Analyze the argument in the story: use your notes and assignments from earlier in the term to find specific questions to answer in terms of bias, tone, and argument.
  7. Cite and/or link to any outside information you reference in your writing.
  8. Explore the other things you can add to your page: pictures, music, video, etc. Use the help link to find instructions for using different elements.
  9. Save periodically as you work!
  10. Copy and paste the text from your page into a new assignment on

Media Take on a "Humorous" Story

Image Credit:

Original Story from The Huffington Post: Aaron Seibers Stabs Himself So He Doesn't Have To Work At Blockbuster
I found this story on The Huffington Post, which is a news site that is generally believed to have a liberal bias. I chose it for this article for the assignment because the title seemed ridiculous. I also thought it was interesting that the subject of the story was named in the headline; usually it seems that only famous or powerful people are actually named in headlines.

Even though HuffPost is considered left-leaning, the article didn't seem to have a political bias. However, the tone in regards to the man's reason for hurting himself seemed flippant. Right now, many people are happy to have any kind of job, whether it is working in a video store or not. Also, stabbing oneself seems like a symptom of a mental illness, not just a punchline. The tone is even more offensive in one of the links from the page to the Westward: Denver's News Blog called "Man stabs himself rather than go to work at Blockbuster: Understandable!", which smirks, "An insanity defense wouldn't seem like the best way to go for Siebers when fighting the false-reporting charge he faces, since everyone with a job at Blockbuster probably dreams of stabbing himself on occasion, making it a totally logical impulse."

It's also interesting to note that the story on HuffPost links to a Denver news station, The, which used the graphic above as part of the story. While there was, indeed, a stabbing, the image implies that there was a violent crime in Denver, something that makes news consumers nervous. In reality, a man hurt himself.

Another part of the story that played on the stereotypes of the audience was actually something the perpetrator himself came up with: According to the HuffPost article, "He claimed that three skinheads or Hispanic males dressed in black tried to rob him and stabbed him in the lower left leg." I'm frustrated that so many news articles and TV stories pull in readers by encouraging racism and stereotyping, and this man was able to use that as part of his own crime and false report.