METHOD 18: MEDIA

Newspapers, news magazines, and news programs on radio or television can serve as excellent learning tools. Ask participants to analyze the media for stereotypes, prejudices, and different treatment of similar stories. Questions for analysis might include the following:

• Does the title of the article suggest a view on the issue?

• Are both sides of the issue presented in a balanced manner?

• Are direct accusations made against anyone? Are indirect accusations made? Is any proof offered in support of the allegations?

• Are there direct quotations from people being criticized?

• Are there direct quotations from people in authority (e.g., police, social workers, elected officials)?

• If there are photographs or film footage, is it unbiased? Is anyone made to look especially good or bad?

When participants are sensitized to a particular issue, they often begin to recognize it all around. Encourage them to bring in examples they hear or read in the media. If participants show interest, establish a time in every session to present these examples. Human rights issues in the media may also inspire participants to write to local officials or newspaper editors or to take some other form of action.

Examples of Method:

ABC: "The Non-Racist Classroom," "Local/Global,"[www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]

First Steps: "Newspapers," "Sample Lesson on Stereotyping," "Human Rights News," "Rights in the News," [erc.hrea.org/Library/First_Steps/index.html]

Here and Now: "Human Rights in the News,"[www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/hreduseries/hereandnow/Default.htm]