Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Second Assignment 2011

Choose one:

1. Pick one of the president’s initiatives from the 2011 State of the Union address. Explain the White House communication strategy to promote the initiative. That is, how is the administration framing the initiative? By what means is it pitching the initiative and to which audiences? Do you think that the strategy is effective? In your analysis, you should take a careful look at the White House website ( as well as the sites of any relevant federal agencies. Remember that the White House website does not include all of the president’s public utterances, so you should also use Nexis and Google.

2. Devise a strategy for promoting a bill or other specific policy decision currently pending in Congress, a state legislature, or a local government. The strategy may either involve working with an existing group or acting on your own. Be specific: explain what message you would send to which professional media outlets, and how you would use blogs and social media. Tell how this approach would influence which specific decisionmakers. (If you really want to promote the cause in question, feel free to implement some of all of your plan, for instance, by starting a Facebook page.) For an example of a cause, see: Autism Votes

3. Research institutes at the Claremont colleges study a variety of federal, state, and local policy issues. Devise a strategy for gaining national media attention for such a study (e.g., The strategy should encompass professional media, social media, and blogs. (Please do not carry out your plan without the knowledge and permission of the institute.)

4. Graber writes of the “CSI effect.” Watch an episode of any of the CSI shows. Explain how it could affect a jury’s expectation about evidence. Evaluate the episode’s accuracy in its portrayal of forensic science.

  • Essays should be typed (12-point) stapled, double-spaced, and no more than three pages long. I will not read past the third page.
  • Put your name on a cover sheet. Do not identify yourself on the text pages.
  • Cite your sources. You may use either endnotes or parenthetical references to a bibliography. In either case, put documentation in a standard format (e.g., Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style).
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
  • Return essays by the start of class on Wednesday, March 9. Essays will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness and a full grade after that. I will grant no extensions except for illness or emergency.

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