All media should be questioned including the news because someone constructed the news, someone made it for a purpose, selected it, and edited it, put some information in and left some information out, and circulated and published it, whether through social media, through bots, or through more traditional distribution channels like television news or newsstands.
But how do we understand the bias? How do we check the facts? How do we make some judgments? Those are the questions – but not all the questions. In media literacy, we use questions to help each individual or group come to answers that they are personally comfortable with, with the hope that wiser choices will be possible.
AHA!: All news has bias.
Grade Level: High School students.
Key Question #1: Who created this message?
Core Concept #1: All media messages are constructed.
Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in – or omitted from – this message?
Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.
Materials: Lists from: Ron Paul’s Liberty Report (Ron Paul was formerly U.S. Representative from Texas): http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/revealed-the-real-fake-news-list
and Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor, Merrimack College, Andover, MA
Supplementary: CML comments on Fake News:
Activity: Let’s examine some lists of “Fake News” sites from credible sources and decide for ourselves what is “fake” or not. Both of these lists claim to represent sites for “fake news.” Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor at Merrimack College, provides one list; Ron Paul, formerly a U.S. Representative from Texas, provides another list.
Use KQ#1. What is different about these authors? What is similar?
Use KQ#4. How are the lists “framed?” What point of view is represented? What is left in? What is left out? Are there overlaps? Why or why not?
If you were to circulate this list to your friends on social media, what do you need to keep in mind? Should you “own” the bias yourself? Should you think about how your friends might interpret your circulating such a list? Might they agree with you – or not? Might they be offended – or not?
The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com