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Helping Our Students Understand Bias & Propaganda. Frank Baker, media educator Media Literacy Clearinghouse Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Social Studies. “Best Practices” Workshops. December 6 (elementary) December 7 (secondary) Columbia

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helping our students understand bias propaganda

Helping Our Students Understand Bias & Propaganda

Frank Baker, media educatorfbaker1346@aol.comMedia Literacy Clearinghouse

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Social Studies

best practices workshops
“Best Practices” Workshops

December 6 (elementary)

December 7 (secondary)


Brooklyn Baptist Church Conference Ctr.

Registration: SDE Website

the need for media literacy
The need for media literacy

"The Jeffersonian ideal of an informed electorate necessitates media literacy education. ... With the incredible rise of the internet and the unedited nature of many web sites, students need more than ever to learn how to assess the validity and credibility of the information to which they are exposed."  Robert Kubey, Rutgers University

media in the ss standards
Media in the SS Standards

Grade 5the popularity of new technology such as automobiles, airplanes, radio, and movies

Summarize the impact of cultural developments in the US following WWII, including the significance of pop culture and mass media and the population shifts to the suburbs

Grade 8Explain the causes and effects of changes in SC culture during the 1920s, including .....the rise of mass media.....

propaganda ela draft standards
Propaganda: ELA (draft) standards

6-2.9 Recognize propaganda techniques such as bandwagon and testimonials.

E1-2.4 Evaluate persuasive and propaganda techniques.

what is media literacy
What is media literacy?

Please spend a few moments thinking

about what this means to you—and

then write your own definition….

Media literacy is concerned with helping students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase the students' understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality. Media literacy also aims to provide students with the ability to create media products. Media Literacy Resource Guide, Ministry of Education Ontario, 1997
key ideas in media literacy
Key ideas in media literacy
  • All media are constructed (representations)
  • Media use unique languages
  • Media convey values and points-of-view
  • Audiences negotiate meanings
  • Media interested in power and profit

Source: Center for Media Literacy

all media are constructed representations
All media are constructed(representations)

No, this is a PHOTOGRAPH of a horse.

critical thinking questions
Critical thinking questions
  • Who created/paid for the message?
  • For what purpose was it made?
  • Who is the ‘target audience’?
  • What techniques are used to attract my attention & increase believability ?
  • Who or what might be omitted and why?
  • What do they want me to think or do?
  • How do I know what it means?
  • Where might I go to get more information?
questions of images texts
Questions of images & texts:
  • What characters, motifs, symbols, products, effects, and persuasive devices are used in this picture?
  • What values do these elements represent?
  • What is your interpretation of messages they are sending?
  • Who is pictured as a role model? Who is excluded?
  • Who is being targeted as an audience?
  • What are the creators really selling?
what is propaganda14
What is propaganda?

Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions of people, rather than impartially providing information.

what is propaganda15
What is propaganda?

"Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions [thoughts], and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist."

Source: Propaganda and Persuasion, Garth Jowett/Victoria O'Donnell

what is bias17
What is bias?

"Bias is manifest in texts when authors present particular values as if they were universal.  For example, bias can be conveyed in the media through the selection of stories, sequence, and slant in newscasts; the placement or omission of stories in newspapers; who is interviewed and left out in radio or television talk shows and news programs; the advertisements on webpages, television, magazines, radio shows targeted at specific audiences; the lyrics of commercial jingles and popular music, and the images displayed with them in broadcast commercials and music videos; the goals, procedures, and the rules of video games.“ Source: December 2002,

bias referenced in ela standards
Bias: referenced in ELA standards

5-1.10Recognize indicators of author’s bias.

6-7.7Analyze sources for accuracy, bias and purpose.

8-7.6Evaluate sources for accuracy, bias and purpose.

identify the bias
Identify the bias:
  • Hiliary spoke to the Democratic National Committee on Friday. Her chat was followed by an address by Senator Joseph Lieberman.
  • The Navy’s mission team included four aviators from Miramar and one female aviator from Patuxent Naval Air Station.

Source: Media & American Democracy/ Bill of Rights Institute

identify the bias20
Identify the bias:

In Bernard Goldberg’s book BIAS, heaccuses CBS News of bias in reporting.