Comparing Media Coverage

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Monitor, analyze and compare media coverage

Part One of The Global Media Literacy Curriculum emphasizes Critical Thinking & Critical Skills.

The MONITOR framework is the second section in Part One.

The lesson plans in Part One teach basic media literacy skills—comprehension, analysis, evaluation—for students to use while engaged with media.  Part One of the curriculum teaches students

  1. to identify what “news”  is and how media, as well as other actors, decide what information matters;
  2. to monitor, analyze and compare media coverage of people and events; and
  3. to understand media's role in shaping global issues.

Click on any of the topics at right to read the MONITOR lesson plans.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS MONITOR FRAMEWORK

Student who complete some or all of these lesson plans will have worked through the following points:

  • Access to information is critical for the smooth functioning of news media and for the society to hold its political, religious, business and community leadership accountable. Freedom of information laws are an important part of creating the enabling environment necessary for independent and pluralistic media to thrive.

  • Independent media draw their power from reporting responsibly on the communities they serve. Ethical reporting—accurate and fair coverage—in turn gives the public the knowledge they need to participate in and build a civil, democratic society.

  • A free and pluralistic media sector—one that crosses media platforms (print, broadcast, online) and political perspectives—helps communities better reflect on themselves

  • If those in power manipulate journalists, if those journalists don’t protest against that manipulation—or willing capitulate to it—the media become just another arm of authority, a propaganda tool to distract, deceive and betray the public.

  • Freedom of Expression works to ensure that more than a select few are able to determine what is expressed and discussed in the media. When media control is dispersed into many hands, opinions that are not popular can often still find a forum.

  • Effective local and online media outlets can give people the means to participate in democratic processes. They can fill the void left by corporate media interested in reaching large audiences that ironically may not include the underrepresented or marginalized populations in a society.

  • The increasing concentration of ownership of the sources of news and information into fewer and fewer hands is one of the greatest contemporary threats to freedom of expression.

  • When media ownership is concentrated, those few owners exercise a great deal of control over the character of the local or national discussion of issues.

  • The fact that the news has become a profit center for many owners means that cost considerations lie behind decisions about what stories to cover, how much to cover them, and what angles to push. Ultimately the question becomes very basic: how much is news and information valued?