Unit 5 – “Problems with the Press” Truth and bias in news reporting

The primary purpose of the news is to inform people about important events. However, as has become clear recently, this process is not always what actually happens. Fake news, biased news sources, opinions disguised as facts and so on… these are realities of our modern news world. The goal of this unit is to learn how to become a more critical consumer of news by improving our media literacy skills.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Session 1 – “Read all about it!” Introduction to news and fairness
We will begin the unit by accessing our background knowledge of news reporting, reading different types of news sources, and we will even write some front page news of our own!

Session 2 – “Inverted Pyramids” The content and structure of news
Now that we have introduced the unit and produced some practice news reports, it is time to revise the content and structure of news reports.

Session 3 – Fact vs opinion – the language of the news
Today we learn to distinguish fact from fiction. We will also look at the editorial – an appropriate place for opinions in the news.

Session 4 – Objectivity vs Subjectivity
In the last lesson, we learned to distinguish fact from fiction. Often, writers try to hide opinions as facts. Today, we will learn about the concepts of objectivity and subjectivity and learn how to identify opinions disguised as facts.

Session 5 – Bias
Today we learn about different types of bias as well as the words and techniques that may indicate bias. We will also practice identifying biased language in news stories.

Session 6 – Close reading
In these lessons, we will put everything we have learned to use by close-reading some example news articles.

Session 7 – “If it Bleeds, It Leads!” Explicit news reporting and sensationalism
In an effort to get viewers, news can exaggerate or sensationalise news events. This can be exciting, but it can also have other negative effects as well. We will find out what these are during this lesson!

Session 8 – Newscasting
In these final lessons, we will show our understanding and ability to distinguish between credible and non-credible news by performing live newscasts in both broadsheet and biased/sensationalist styles.

ASSESSMENT

Task 6 – Close reading of a news report

Task 7 – Newscast

RESOURCES