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List Of Controversial Topics For A Journalism Research Paper


Journalism students generally have a wide variety of topics to choose from when writing a research paper. Digital tools, mobile platforms, innovations in the industry, interactivity and globalism have virtually exploded the journalism field in the past few decades, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.

Brainstorming is the first thing to do. Use the following list of controversial topic ideas to help you come up with an original idea of your own.

  1. Are journalists dying for their jobs? How safe is travel abroad to countries that are experiencing war or crisis given the abductions and executions of journalists?
  2. Explore people who have died in the field while trying to bring their story to the readers.
  3. How does the public sway the media or the media sway the public?
  4. Research past winners of the Pulitzer Prize; how they won the award and why.
  5. Lying to uncover the story – journalists have lied or embellished stories just to make them seem more spectacular. How far is too far? How common is this practice?
  6. The right and left or the liberal and conservative – there are always two sides to a story. How do you stay in the neutral zone in order to report the news in an unbiased fashion?
  7. Controversial issues facing journalists – what’s ethical and what’s not? Who decides? What are the boundaries?
  8. Some print newspapers have survived the internet. Many have not. How long will this last? Is everything going digital?
  9. Online journalism – anyone can produce whatever news they want to. How do readers tell if it’s legitimate, trustworthy or not? Should guidelines be stricter or should people become more educated to learn who to trust and who not to?
  10. Magazines – paper sales have seen a downward trend but is this due mostly to the digital age or to readers looking for other forms of entertainment?

You can look into historical events as well, because most have been covered by some form of journalism. Analyze how the media covered the event. Do you think it was the right kind of coverage? The right amount of coverage? How has the media shaped the views of the public with the coverage of prominent, controversial court cases? Should there be any limitations on what information is leaked to the media when it comes to criminal trials?

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