Current Events

The goal of this assignment is for each student to develop familiarity with current events of a particular Middle Eastern country that you will select in Week 2 (See the country list under Pages in Canvas). Over the course of the semester, you will follow the news for your country on a weekly basis, reading headlines and news stories related to that country. News stories need not be confined to traditional news outlets – you can check out podcasts, radio broadcasts, blogs, etc. Each week, create an entry in your News Journal that includes a link to a news story accompanied by a one-sentence summary. Write one additional sentence about why you chose the story, why you found it interesting, a critique of the story, or a question it raised.


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Your journal should contain at least 10 entries of news stories (i.e. you can skip the second week and two additional weeks). Questions to think about throughout, and address directly in your journal, include:

  • What events and issues are the current focus of the news?
  • How do new stories reflect cultural context of events?
  • How are relations with the US? Why? How were they historically?
  • How does media portrayal differ between outlets based in US and the Middle East? What biases do you see in different sources, and why? What types of stories do different outlets focus on, and why?

You cannot use traditional news outlets.