Media Literacy Activity
Ask students to examine the photographs available in the Collections. Have them select a photo and create a headline for the photo using the characteristics they found in their favourite headline. Students should print out their headlines/photos for discussion. Ask students:
- What does the headline tell you about the picture?
- Does the headline grab your attention, and if so, why?
- Which headlines/photos would the class put on the front page of a newspaper?
For intermediate/senior students:
The possibility for a wide range of potentially contradictory headlines for the same picture may lead to a discussion on how photos are used in the media. For example, how might a picture of a wounded German soldier in the Second World War have been labelled in Canada? Germany? Would a picture be labelled differently in different newspapers?
Have students look at newspaper articles from the Second World War located at http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/newspapers/intro_e.shtml
Ask students whether they think the articles are objective. Do any words or phrases suggest the writers' opinions about the war? What role do newspapers play in the public's opinion of a war? Then have students look at articles about current conflicts from local or national newspapers. Are newspaper articles objective about today's conflicts? Where did the writers get their information?