Essential Question for Media Literacy
- What are the different types of media?
- To what extent, if any, do different media outlets present the same news in different ways?
- What is the role of the federal government, if any, in regulating the media and the Internet?
- To what extent, if any, do the ways that ordinary Americans gather news in the 21st century contribute to partisanship?
- To what extent does the media communicate and teach individuals ideas?
- To what extent, if any, should we protect the most vulnerable members of our society from the negative sides of advertising?
- How can individuals influence positive change in the media?
- How do economics and advertising affect the way in which Americans receive the news?
On the Media
Why study the media?
In 30 minutes, read the following three articles and do the journal described in #4:
Journal #1: Government Shutdown ~ To begin, write everything that you know about the current government shutdown. What is happening? Why? Then, read the CNN article "Government Shutdown: Get Up to Speed in 20 Questions." What are the things that you didn't already know? After you have absorbed some of the information on the shutdown, what is your initial personal response? Why does it matter? What do you predict will happen? What is your opinion on these events?
Media Watch Assignment: Write a 1,000 to 1,500-word essay that tracks how the media is covering the government shutdown from at least three different vantage points that includes all of the following elements:
MODEL PARAGRAPH of MEDIA RHETORICAL ANALYSIS:
In the article “7 Deadly Spins: A Guide to GOP Debt Ceiling Denial,” the online magazine Mother Jones offers its liberal audience seven different critical interpretations of how different Republican lawmakers see the impending debt crisis. The title alone nudges its audience to equate these different interpretations with the seven deadly sins of greed, lust, wrath, sloth, gluttony, pride, and envy. Clearly, this is not a favorable connotative association. In the article, there is a photograph of a man with a shirt and tie with his head literally in the sand. Underneath the photo, the caption reads, "Rep. John Fleming (R-La)." This image suggests that Congressman Fleming is oblivious to reality. Under the heading "Default Deniers," the article claims that Michigan Congressman Justin Amash doesn't believe in the reality of the default by asserting that he argued "the country would avoid default so long as the government could continue to pay off interest with new revenues." Amash's point of view is undermined when the magazine quotes another Republican with considerable credibility on financial matters who clearly disagrees: "Tim Bitsberger, a George W. Bush administration Treasury Department official, told Bloomberg that a missed payment 'would blow Lehman out of the water,' referring to the investment house whose collapse triggered the 2008 financial crisis." While Mother Jones does seem to give both sides of the story, the ways in which it quotes the "debt ceiling deniers" leave the audience with the impression that these Republicans are underestimating the potential devastation of defaulting on the debt for political purposes. (250 words)
Wednesday Assignment: Find out the title, political party, and political position on the government shutdown of the following politicians in the Government shutdown:
Analyze this screen shot of my iPhone today at lunch. How have two different media outlets presented the same event in two slightly different ways? For the NYTimes update, who seems to be blamed? For CNN? Would their viewers come to different conclusions? Is this an example of media bias?
Resources for Media Literacy Discussion
By tomorrow before class, share with me the following Google Doc:
- Copy and paste the rubric into a Google Doc entitled "P1 Media Literacy Discussion Notes"
- 600 to 1,200 words of original notes;
- "The Merchants of Cool" from Frontline
- "Top Gun" from The Fifth Estate (Note to self: show this entire episode next year)
- Call of Duty commercial
- "Unscrupulous Internet journals get hoaxed, on purpose, to prove a point" from Newsela
- "Who's Afraid of Peer Review" from Science Magazine
- "New U.S. TV Network Fuses News, Satire for Young Hispanics" from The New York Times
Possible Resources . . .