Students are introduced to the idea of “privilege” in relation to diversity and how it applies to media. They then look at a checklist of media related privileges to help them understand the concept.
Framed around key concepts of media literacy, the That’s Not Me tutorial examines how entertainment and news media represent diversity and the impact these media portrayals can have on the value we place on individuals and groups in society. The tutorial explores how the media industry is changing to better reflect Canadian society and provides strategies for challenging negative representations and engaging young people in advocating for more realistic and positive media portrayals.
In this lesson students are introduced to the key media literacy concept that media are constructions that re-present reality and consider how representations of crime in news and entertainment media may influence how we perceive members of particular groups.
Teachers who include media literacy in their classrooms often face issues that don’t arise in other subjects. Nothing illustrates this better than the issue of diversity in media. It’s not unreasonable for teachers to see the topic as a can of worms and be concerned about offending students and their parents – not to mention worrying about what the students themselves might say. At the same time, it’s a topic that is simply too important to be ignored: what we see in media hugely influences how we see others, ourselves and the world. As a result, an ability to analyze media depictions of diversity is not only a key element of being media literate, it’s essential to understanding many of the social issues and concerns that we face as citizens. That’s why Media Awareness Network has developed That’s Not Me – a new online tutorial for professional development to help educators and community leaders approach this issue through key concepts of media literacy.
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. Almost a quarter of the Canadian population identifies as a member of what Statistics Canada refers to as a “visible minority,” and while a 2021 study found a similar rate of representation in newsrooms, eight in ten Canadian newsrooms have no racialized journalists in leadership roles.
Since the 1990s, media educators Anita Day and Guy Golan have identified increased tension between people of faith and media outlets . Media and religion are two concepts that can be challenging to partner: religion is frequently misrepresented in media for a wide variety of reasons, whether as a result of mistakenly held beliefs or by dramatizing religion to sell newspapers or attract viewers.
Canada is a culturally diverse country that is home to many different religions. These religions, however, are not always equally represented in Canadian media, where portrayals of religion are often stereotyped and disempowering.
In this lesson students consider how well their favourite TV shows, movies and video games reflect the diversity of Canadian society.