Analyzing News Media
Digital Profiles: A Unit of Study
Inspired by the recurring New York Times feature ONE IN 8 MILLION that asks New Yorkers to tell their own communities’ stories, this past summer journalists from the youth-led news bureau Y-Press teamed up with The Indiana Partnership for Young Writers to create DIGITAL PROFILES: A UNIT OF STUDY-embedding the journalistic experiences into a writing workshop curriculum. The Unit stretches across six weeks, allowing students the time needed to engage in the real work of writers. The suggested daily mini-lessons are not meant to be recipes for producing digital profiles, but rather a framework for teaching the qualities of good writing and the particular craft skills needed to create digitally or print profiles. To learn more download the curriculum.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
FAIR provides articles and information on censorship and media bias on a host of issues including: youth, drugs, poverty immigration and more. To learn more about FAIR, click here.
Those familiar with the non-partisan Annenberg Center’s popular site Factcheck.org may also be interested in their sister site whose mission is “to use parody and humor to debunk false political advertising, poke fun at extreme language, and hold the media accountable for their reporting on political campaigns.”
For the Win
The White House Office of Public Engagement runs a guest blog series featuring “the remarkable initiatives that young Americans are advancing to win the future for their communities” – – in students’ own words. Classes working on action civics projects can read about the work of other young people or to submit and publicize stories of their own work.
The Global Action Project’s ‘Media in Action’ Curricula
The Global Action Project offers a variety of free downloadable ‘workshop’ curricula on topics ranging from how to conduct powerful interviews to framing and messaging.
The Influence of Hip-Hop
Beyond Beats and Rhymes critically examines issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in Hip-Hop. Can be used in media unit looking at the influence of the media on our attitudes and behavior. Click here to access classroom materials developed by PBS to accompany the film.
If you want students to examine ideological bias in the media, have them check out these two websites. www.newsbusters.org examines liberal bias in the media while www.mediamatters.org examines conservative bias in the media.
During the summer of 2011, Free Spirit Media and Umoja Community Builders learned about restorative justice and how to implement those practices in their daily lives. This short documentary is the story of their learning.
Targeting Teens as Consumers
PBS Frontline episode Merchants of Cool details how advertisers market to teens, both influencing trends and earning a hefty profit. Can be used as part of the media unit looking at how influential the media can be.
Who Owns What?
Want students to understand the consolidation of the media and the overlapping agendas of profit and news? Columbia Journalism Review allows you to click on a media company and view all its subsidiary companies. CJR also publishes articles and resources on media literacy. Click here to access this site.