description of activity
Play a recording from commercial and public service current affairs programmes concerning minority topics.
After the media piece, ask the participants the following questions:
- What was the piece about?
- Where did the information come from and who was being interviewed and/or cited?
Collect the participants answers on the flipchart (usually will be government sources, police reports, academics, journalists, lawyers, etc).
If this is the case, you can point out that despite the pieces being about minorities, it is not necessarily minorities’ voices that are dominantly represented. However, although those in powerful positions represent a small percentage of the total population, their views are widely represented by media.
In a final step, show participants the social vs. media triangle below and discuss why it happens this way. You may ask participants to list alternative sources to those used by commercial and public service media that might offer information on the same issue but from a different point of view. Time permitting it might also be interesting to ask, whether participants think the rise of social media has reinforced or diminished this dynamic.
ASSESSING LEARNING OUTCOMES
- A first, immediate learning outcome may already present itself during Step 2 of the exercise when participants actively identify, collect and reflect source information of the media pieces;
- In the final step, discussing and even questioning the media triangle and its implications may show understanding for the matter;
- Being able to give examples for alternative sources (and even naming the people directly affected by the topic) show a certain understanding of the different types of sources;
- Self-assessment: Ask participants to describe what if anything they think they have learned.
information on the activity
This activity explores how small groups of a society can control large parts of the media message
Participants will understand
- How the selection of sources not just influences content, but also transports points of view and interpretation and in that they influence the outcome of the piece or the stance of the reporter
- The importance of evaluating the source and using multiple sources
- How specific sources hold specific views on minorities
- How the selection of sources will affect the perception of the audience
A room with chairs and table
- Laptop and speaker (if audio/video examples are used)
- Projector (if video examples are used)
- Flipchart/markers to note sources, answers
- Pens and paper
- Newspaper articles, video or audio features as examples for media output (public and commercial mass media) on minorities (Migrants, LSBT*, …), for example:
- A feature or article on the evaluation of crime rates which highlights minorities
- A feature or article on an event held by a minority group or advocacy group
- “Pyramid of sources” (see under Description of the Activity) for the final round
60-90 minutes (depending on the number and complexity of examples as well as the number of participants)
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
TIPS FOR TRAINERS
The nature of this activity and the discussion will be largely influenced by your choice of examples. Consider finding multiple articles on the same topic, show articles about events or groups more or less accepted in mainstream society or articles on the same topic over a number of years, etc... It is also worth briefly considering the definition of experts and point out that individuals that live specific situations are the real ‘experts’.