Prescription Drugs Pricing Memorandum

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Description

Policy Memo 1: Media Analysis


For this assignment, you will conduct a media analysis of a policy issue of your choice using the web sites and other tools assigned for our unit on Media Literacy (I will share these w you). You will write a memo to your client about the media coverage of your issue. You will draw upon what you have learned about media literacy and about policy memos.

Instructions:

Select a client and a role for yourself. You might be a policy specialist for a member of Congress or the NJ State Legislature, a researcher for a think-tank, a member of the White House staff or a policy researcher for an interest group. You might work for a university research center. You can create a fictional place of employment, but your client should be a real person.

Purpose: Write a memo to your client briefing them on how various media sources discuss the policy issue. The memo should include a synopsis of the credible facts you have learned, and a synopsis of what public officials and/or writers and/or news outlets get wrong or present in a misleading way. This will help the client to assess further information that comes his or her way as s/he/they work on the issue.

Use the memo format we have discussed in class, with header and subsections that make sense for the memo’s purpose. The text will be about 3 pages long (single-spaced, 1-inch margins, left justified text, 11 or 12 point font). The memo should also include in-text citations and a reference list.

Format: The memo should follow a standard memo format. Consult the reading material on memos.

Memo Contents

Don’t forget to begin the memo with the proper header, and a short introduction that sets out the purpose and contents of the memo.

The memo should have sections on each of the following topics. These are not meant to be the actual subheadings (you should write your own), but the sections should be organized as follows:

A. Fake News and Credible News

Use the media analysis resources from class to compare and contrast 2-3 news articles about your issue that are fact-based vs. fiction-based. Explain how you can tell the difference. Be sure to provide information about the articles – where they were published, when, and who wrote them. Full reference can be provided at the end of the memo in a reference list.

B. Fact Checking

Use the media analysis resources from class to compare and contrast what 2-3 public figures have written or said about your issue. Explain which stay closer to the facts and which fall short. Be sure to provide information about the tools you used and where the remarks were published. Full reference should be provided at the end of the memo in a reference list.

C. Media Bias

Use the media analysis resources from class to compare and contrast 2-3 news articles about your issue that emerge from different political perspectives. What are some key differences in what these articles cover and how they discuss the issue? Be sure to provide information about the articles – where they were published, when, and who wrote them. Full reference can be provided at the end of the memo in a reference list.

D. Recommendation

Given what you have found in your analysis, what do you recommend your client do to be sure s/he receives credible information about the issue as s/he develops plans to advocate for change. Are there certain aspects of the issue where there is more risk of fake news or misleading media bias? Are there any sources you’ve discovered that seem especially reliable for credible information?

E. Reference list of works cited



Policy Memo 2: Building a Coalition for Policy Change

In this memo, you will assume the role of a lobbyist for an interest group or a staff member for a Senator or U.S. House Representative active on your issue. You will develop a strategy for building a coalition in support of a specific policy change that you seek. Your memo will outline who you see as the key players to pursue for a coalition within Congress (or the State Legislature) and the Executive Branch.

You will identify these key participants, summarize their perspectives, and why you think they will lead on the issue. You will recommend what your boss should ask these leaders to do in order to navigate through Congress and the Executive Branch to bring about policy change. You should draw on assigned readings about policy stages, lobbying Congress, and the president, to guide your thinking about coalition-building, specific routes for change, and designing a strategy for change.

On Blackboard under Assignments, there is a link called YOUR LIBRARY with a section devoted to “The Players.” This and other resources on different parts of the site should be great sources of information for your memos. You will also use the media coverage and policy reports that you collected for the previous memo, and additional ones that you will find. Please take the time to look carefully through the resources on the Blackboard Your Library site. (I WILL PROVIDE WHATEVER YOU NEED)

Instructions:

Select the director of an interest group or a member of Congress to whom you will address the memo. You will identify yourself as a lobbyist or legislative staff member. The memo will

consist of three broad sections: Congress, Executive Branch, and a Recommendation section: Policy Strategy for Congress and the Executive Branch. The memo should include in-text citations and a reference list.

Use the memo format we have discussed in class, with header and subsections that make sense for the memo’s purpose. The text will be about 3 pages long (single-spaced, 1-inch margins, left justified text, 11 or 12 point font). The memo should also include in-text citations and a reference list, or footnotes.

Format: The memo should follow a standard memo format. Consult the reading material on memos.

Memo Contents

Don’t forget to begin the memo with the proper header, and a short introduction that sets out the purpose and contents of the memo. The introductory paragraph should also state the particular policy change you are pursuing. The memo will lay out a strategy – including building a coalition, developing arguments to persuade elected officials to join the coalition, and describing how you advise the coalition to proceed.

Note that I will be looking for evidence that you are incorporating class lecture, discussion, and readings into your analysis – that is, you should use the concepts we discuss and read about to analyze your case.

I. Congress

As we discussed in class, policy analysts need to know the players and know the committees. Here, you will describe and discuss which individual members and which committees you advise your boss to approach in order to build a coalition in favor of the change you seek. Explain why these are the best bets. For individual members, how do constituents, policy interests, party identification and ideology (left, center or right) and leadership positions line up well with your goals. For committees, why do these particular House and Senate committees or subcommittees seem like the right fit? What are the arguments you recommend using to persuade these officials to join you? Finally, identify two opponents, explaining why you anticipate their opposition.

II. The Executive Branch

Discuss the president (or governor), as well as the leaders or division heads of the executive offices or agencies with jurisdiction over your issue (Cabinet members, other agency heads, etc.). What are the president’s views on your issue or related issues? What about his/her background, past experiences, partisan identification, ideology (left/center/right) makes the president likely or unlikely to support your goals? Which cabinet agencies and other agencies are likely places to pursue change? Who leads them, and why are these the best fit for building support? What are the arguments you recommend using to persuade these officials to join you? It’s possible that you will find that the executive branch is not a likely place to receive support. If that is the case, you should explain why you anticipate that the relevant leaders will be supportive or not supportive.

III. Recommending a Strategy for Change

Given the coalition members you identify above, and the opponents you identified, what is the best strategy to pursue change? Do the members have enough power within their institutions to be able to achieve legislative change or executive-branch change? If so, how would you recommend your boss start? (Our class readings provide some possibilities both for legislature and executive.) If not, then what might be done? Are there small steps to take which, over time, might build more support? Should your boss work for electoral change instead? Pursue pilot programs or studies? Maybe you can recommend a problem-definition or agenda-setting action to take? Or an evaluation action?


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Explanation & Answer

Attached.

Running head: THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The Coronavirus Pandemic
Name
Institution

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THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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The Coronavirus Pandemic
To: Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
From: Political Analyst, Kaiser Family Foundation
Subject: The Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus crisis has devastated America in all ways. The virus has killed more than
30,000 people in the United States. Many other people are fighting for their lives in a hospital
bed in America. The virus is spreading at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, considerable cases of
recovery have been made. U.S. government has been updating the public about the spread of this
virus and the measures that the government is taking in containing it. In essence, collective
action is required in addressing this pandemic. Primarily, media plays its role by spreading the
actual information about the pandemic. This creates awareness of the American public.
Unfortunately, the message from America’s media houses has not been uniform. The media
coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has been different. Some media houses have been giving
contradictory information about coronavirus. The Federal Emergency Management Agency
plays an integral role in fighting coronavirus. Essentially, this agency is responsible for
managing any emergency that happens in America. The agency cannot properly manage this
problem in light of the current misinformation perpetrated by the media. The purpose of this
policy memo is to bring you and your agency to the attention of the ongoing misinformation
about the coronavirus that is done by the mainstream and social media. The memo urges your
organization to counter the new threat of misinformation in order to reduce the risk of the spread
of this disease as well as the fear it comes with it.
News on Coronavirus Spread and Government’s Mitigation Measures
The article "Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in the
U.S., Officials Say" by New York Times claims that China had agents in the United States and
across the world who spread information about the novel coronavirus that set the U.S. in a panic
mood. This article was writing by Edward Wong, Matthew Rosenberg, and Julian E. Barnes. The
article appeared in the New York Times on 23 April 2020. In light of this, the article claims that
most of the information about coronavirus has been coming from China. China is doing o with
the aim of presenting the U.S. as weak and defeated in the fight of this virus (Wong, Rosenberg
& Barnes, 2020). In the past, the United States has been responsive to emergencies. It
successfully responded to the Ebola outbreak and many other disease outbreaks that have ever
appeared. But not, it has appeared weak in the wake of this virus. The article says that China was
spreading the news that America as a country was to be locked down. However, the president
will not announce a total lockdown before troops are deployed across the country to prevent riots
and looting. According to this article, these are the news not only in China but also in the United
States. It claims that U.S. intelligence has confirmed this. Besides the spread of the lockdown
information by Chinese agents, the article claims that coronavirus was made in Maryland in a
U.S. Army laboratory. Further, this virus can be killed using vitamin C, garlic water, and
colloidal silver.

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

3

Another article, “Alarm, Denial, Blame: The Pro-Trump Media’s Coronavirus
Distortion” that appeared in New York Times on April 1, 2020 asserts that the media aligned to
Trump are misleading the public about coronavirus. The article was written by Jeremy W. Peters.
It starts with a cold message that after the U.S. recorded its first case of coronavirus, it was
thought that the virus would kill all Americans (Peters, 2020). Many people spread this
information on their social media. Further, the article claims that President Trump has taken
good steps in containing the spread of this virus. In this regard, it refers to one of the
conservative commentators who called President Trump a real star. Such commentators who
command the president for doing good work in the wake against this outbreak have received
immense support from the president. Some of the decisions that the president has made to
contain the virus are the most progressive that no other American president has ever thought
about. Something like restricting travel from Europe and China was a consequential decision that
has ever been done in American history. This shows that President Trump is much concerned
about winning this virus (Peters, 2020). He keeps the health of the Americans above everything
else. Moreover, the article claims that China is to blame for this spread of coronavirus. The
country is denying the information that the virus originated from it. Moreover, the Chinese
agents in America have been spreading the fake message about how U.S. failure in containing
the spread of coronavirus. In this regard, the virus was made in a Chinese laboratory before it
was spread to China and to the entire world. The government of China was behind this since the
...


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