News Journalism Across the Media: Introduction - Lesson Lesson Plan
Level(s): Grades 7 to 10
Author: This unit was adapted from lessons created by Rosalind Ross, David Halliday and John Crocker of the Durham Board of Education in The AML Anthology (1990), produced by the Association for Media Literacy.
Although students are aware of news as information that influences their perceptions of the world, country and community, they are often unaware of the differences among the various media in their presentation of that information. This unit will encourage intermediate-level students to investigate, discuss, analyze and make valuable personal conclusions about the news package delivered by print and non-print media.
- Through this unit, students will understand how the Key Concepts for Media Literacy relate to news media.
- News information is constructed from the raw information by individuals and teams whose decisions and deadlines create productions that, although technically polished, may be factually distorted.
- Newspapers, radio, television and all other media "package" the news for a specific target audience and manipulate and/or select the information accordingly.
- Members of the target audience bring their own experiences, attitudes and prejudices to their contact with any medium. They will negotiate or impose their own meanings upon the news they receive.
- Almost all news media are supported by commercial sponsors or politically- controlled public funding. Those with money control the programming, directly or indirectly.
- Ideology, values, propaganda—The news media reflect a cultural bias and a political bias in their reporting or presentation of news.
- Communications technology has made news events and their social and political implications instantly available. Those who read, view or listen to information will need the skills to allow them to perceive how the media have the power to create values and influence behaviour.
- Each medium creates its own image. What looks good on TV may be reported very differently in a newspaper or on radio. The raw facts may be used to give different impressions.
This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.