Joe McGinniss’ book The Selling of the President had a shocking title for 1968, suggesting as it did that in the television age the presidency had become nothing more than another product to be packaged and sold. MediaSmarts’ resource, Watching the Elections (a lesson for Grades 8-12), shines a light on how the different aspects of an election – from the debates to political ads to the candidates themselves – are actually media products.
Making Your Voice Heard: A Media Toolkit for Youth is designed to help young people understand how the news industry works, why youth stereotyping happens and how they can access media to get positive youth voices and stories heard.
In the same way that Canadian news reporting does not reflect Canada’s multiculturalism, racial diversity ‘behind the scenes’ of news media is similarly disproportionate. In 2006, fewer than 6 per cent of CBC employees were visible minorities.  A 2000 study from the University of Laval suggests that more than 97 per cent of Canadian journalists are White. 
Political and constitutional issues, forest fires, poverty, sexual abuse and drug addiction appear to be the only topics relating to Aboriginal communities that are reported in the news. Coverage of cultural activities may be found now and again in local media, but you have to pay close attention to find this.
It is called the “Highway of Tears”: an 800 kilometer stretch of highway in British Columbia where more than a dozen young women have disappeared since 1994. The same thing had happened before in the same place – almost twenty young women disappeared or were killed there between the late Sixties and the early Eighties – but until recently these crimes have received little media attention, perhaps because the majority of victims have been Aboriginal women.
In this lesson, students decode and explain the relevance of editorial cartoons. The class begins with a teacher-led deconstruction of a political cartoon, after which students decode editorial cartoons that they have selected.
This lesson considers how the media portrays women in politics. Students explore capsule biographies of female political leaders, from ancient times to current events – crafted from snippets of media coverage such as newspapers, magazines, TV news and encyclopedias – to understand bias in how female politicians are portrayed.
In this three-day unit, students assess media coverage of natural disasters and their aftermath. Students explore how sensationalism plays a role in determining what is newsworthy, and how that can distort our perception of issues in developing nations.