The Role of Media

The media plays an important role in shaping public awareness and providing information that shapes attitudes and public opinion. Media is an increasingly powerful tool whether it’s television, radio, or the internet. Social media is quickly expanding its influence on all aspects of our lives. What should the role of the media be in our society, and what purposes does it serve? Does the media play a positive or negative role in our society as innovative technologies continue to increasingly “connect” everyone to the world around them?

Media Breaker/Studios: Break the Election
MediaBreaker/Studios is a free online learning tool to help students understand how media impact elections and the media. With Break the Election, students remix and critique political commercials, news coverage and more to learn about techniques of persuasion, bias and misinformation. Break the Election helps students learn and practice media literacy skills.

Review an overview from Educator Innovator

Curriculum (from iCivics):

Media and Influence
What are the sources of influence on our society and our government, including media and interest groups? What is propaganda? This unit of lesson plans helps students look learn to critically look at messages in the public sphere.


Curriculum: Developing News Literacy

From PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs

Transform student understanding of news, build a foundation of civic engagement and spark a life-long interest in current events with curriculum developed by the PBS NewsHour Extra team, media professionals, partner teachers  and scholars at the Media Education Lab of Temple University. Three flexible units with a total of 10 lesson plans aimed at strengthening digital and news literacy competencies are available.

The curriculum, which can be downloaded in its entirety, is divided into three units:

  • Unit 1: News Media 101
  1. What is Newsworthy?
  2. What Makes a Good Video Report?
  3. Journalism Ethics
  4. Copyright and Fair Use
  5. Broadcast News
  • Unit 2: Constructing News
  1. Interviewing: The Art of Asking Questions
  2. Facts vs. Opinions vs. Informed Opinions and their Role in Journalism
  • Unit 3: Putting it all Together
  1. Production
  2. Finding Story Ideas
  3. Team Work and Planning