Session 4: the media and the story

Play, pause, talk BNC session video!

Join Tom and Olivia for this week's session. In this video, we'll walk you through each activity, give examples and hints, and then ask you to pause and complete the activities in your own time. Check it out!

Scroll down for all of the activities from this session.

Issue 4 session 4 from The Economist Foundation on Vimeo.

STEP 1

Read through these opinions.

opinions.png

For each one, decide how much you agree with it on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 = strongly disagree and 10 is strongly agree. Make sure you can say why!


STEP 2

media hub.png

media hub 2.png

The media can change the shape of a news story. In this worksheet there are three different news stories where the story has been shaped. Work through each one and try to answer the questions as you go.

  • Which of the story shaper examples might have the biggest impact on the covid-19 story?
  • Can you order the examples from “smallest impact” to “biggest impact”?
  • The media helps to get messages from the government to the public. Should it?
  • When might it be a good thing for the government to send messages via the media? When might it be a bad thing?

STEP 3

The public was asked this question. You can see the answers in the pie chart.

hub info.png

What do you think? Has the media made the covid-19 situation better or worse? Have you changed your mind about this since the beginning of the Issue?

CHALLENGE: can you create some questions about the Issue and collect your own data?


STEP 4

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What would you say to each person? Can you convince them to change their mind?

Try these questions to stretch your thinking further:

  1. Why else might someone avoid the news?
  2. When is it good to avoid the news? When is it bad?
  3. How can taking a break from the news be healthy?
  4. How could someone tell when it’s time to take a break from the news?

Over to you!

Head to the comments section below to share some of your thoughts on the activities and see what club members in other schools think.

Comments (30)

  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    16 Mar 2021

    Hi there, it is be decisive_redcurrant and this is a very quick point id like to make and please feel free to correct me if im wrong as im not to sure!
    With some of this line you spelt "covid-19 with a small "c" should it be a capital "C" or no?? Thanks anyways!!!

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ the BNC
      decisive_redcurrant's comment 17 Mar 2021

      Hi decisive_redcurrant - when we talk about covid-19 we choose not to use a capital letter in our resources. The most important thing is that you are consistent with whichever you choose!

      Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg discreet_drum | Upton Cross Primary School
    16 Mar 2021

    When you said "How can someone tell when it's time to take" were you meant to end it with "...a break?"

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg terrific_raccoon | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    16 Mar 2021

    Im excited to do this in class! I find BNC very fun. I learn new things and also get to know more about the world. I never knew that the are people who read newspapers before they get published. (i ,learnt that in teh last secion with my class.) They also write it in there own perspective . On the news they try to make it even good news or bad news but i belive that they can persuade us to be on there side, and thats why we have oppions/oppituinties...

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg discreet_drum | Upton Cross Primary School
    16 Mar 2021

    Step1

    9/10 because websites do choose if a story is shown good or bad because of SUPPLY & DEMAND which is when the public demand something, people supply it.

    10/10 because people can’t be forced to believe something they don’t want to, it’s their right of belief / opinion.

    5/10 because it depends on if the reader believes whatever they hear or read which can persuade people to change their opinions.

    Step2
    Has the news ever made you do something differently? - no
    Why is it important for the media to use this power carefully? - because people might believe and do wrong and fake things based on untrue sources that the media could post.

    Which of the story shaper examples might have the biggest impact on the covid-19 story? - “Lockdown continues despite vaccines” has a bigger impact because lots of things will be on hold and more people will fall ill if they don’t get the vaccine.
    Can you order the examples from “smallest impact” to “biggest impact”? - “Vaccine roll out, too slow”, “All adults to be vaccinated by autumn”, “Millions of people now vaccinated”, “Thousands refusing vaccines” and Lockdown continues despite vaccines.
    The media helps to get messages across to the public from the government. Should it? - Yes, because then we wouldn’t know about any updates of guidance and rules to follow or what’s going to come next during covid.
    When might it be a good thing for the government to send messages via the media? When might it be a bad thing? - A good - to do it now during covid, a bad time might be during an election e.g. the American election (which was one of last issues) because the government isn’t allowed to use government money to promote their party.

    Step3
    Peoples’ reasons could be; that they don’t believe the news anymore because of lots of infodemics or that there’s too much news going around everywhere so they just choose to ignore it.
    I think the media has the the covid situation worsened because some people have been spreading fake news and sensationalizing mixed and exaggerated facts and figures about covid that’s not exactly accurate or factful e.g. vaccines causes more risks of getting the virus more easily

    Step4
    Another reason why people might avoid the news is that some news might just be about the same topic so you’re not learning anything new.
    It’s good to avoid the news when you’re not feeling well mentally or when you’re in a court case and you’re the juror because by law you can’t listen or read to the news because you’re only supposed to rely on information given about the case and not any new information.
    It’s bad to avoid the news whenever there’s something big or dangerous that's happened or currently happening e.g. flood, hurricane or virus.

    Taking a break from the news is healthy because the news is sometimes really confusing and if you spend too much time on news you can fall into depression with all the bad things happening, cause you more distress where you just stop contacting with people you know, and not wanting to social at all.

    You can when you need a break from news if you’re feeling more anxious and depressed than usual or if it’s all you can think about and you just keep on browsing the news without realising what impact it's having on the mind.

    Challenge for step 3 - questions for others to answer:

    How could you stop an infodemic?
    What’s your impression of the media?

    What are some useful ways to inform the public and tell them that something is fake news?

    Reply to this comment
    1. St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg modest_seed | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
      discreet_drum's comment 18 Mar 2021

      there could be an app that only certain people can put the news on .

      Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg opinionated_badger | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    18 Mar 2021

    sometimes the news exaggerate something in either a bad way or a good way and that can confuse someone.
    sometimes Borris Jonson will ask the telegraph to write fake news and that is a bad thing.
    it can make people not trust the news

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg imaginative_groundhog | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    18 Mar 2021

    For "I don't trust the news anymore" even though the news can sometimes be untrust worthy you have to keep up to date otherwise you will be left behined

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    18 Mar 2021

    The media can be very positive and very bad because there are many people who can be false and true, due to this dilema people don't trust the media.We can solve this by being careful of what we trust this is being sceptical. False news could lead to misunderstandings, which means that people are doubting the true news.

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg smart_flute | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    some people don't have power of searching if the news is good news or bad news because there homeless and its upsetting

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg smart_cranberry | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    I think that the media has made the situation worse because sometimes the media lies a lot and some people think that it is true when it is not true, but luckily the BBC news has made a app that tells us if it is true or not so my final answer id no it is not good.👍😊

    Thank you for reading
    By smart cranberry😊😊

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg aware_rabbit | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    I think the story shaper sheet is good because it make people want to read the news in the social media with out it having to be a fake. I the BBC had not put the Reality Checker MABYE all the news that we have been reading is FAKE, that is why I think that it is a good thing. QUESTION, is the Reality Check a REAL THING???

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      aware_rabbit's comment 18 Mar 2021

      Yes, it is! https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/reality_check

      Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg alert_peach | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    some people are refusing to have the vaccine because of the fake news on Instagram. So some time's are social medias are not good as they just letting people say fake news so I think that the news journalists should try and help. Because in are school we was in a group and we had some fact sheets mainly of it, was about fake news on social medias. It was saying that thousands of people was refusing to have the vaccine and millions of people have had the vaccine already. And maybe some of us should stop watching the news because it makes us feel happy as the news can be very sad and depressing and it will make you more healthy.
    thank you sincerely alert_peach

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      alert_peach's comment 18 Mar 2021

      How could the news journalists help, alert_peach?

      Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg logical_cheetah | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    the media has made more and more fake news about covid_19 witch can make people very confused witch is right and wrong and in my own opinion people need to take a break from the news and watch something else I think most of the news is all quite bad . some news is bad and not trustworthy but some are very good and trustworthy this is my comment

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg trusting_lobster | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    I think that the media have been scaring people as on the news they are showing wards That have people who are dieing in a hospital bed. When they could be showing people who are getting better so you will see light at the end of the tunnel and wont upset people so people will whach the news

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg crafty_panther | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    Step1: 5/10 I think its because media is websites such as face book, social media and so on, but I think it's the news that is doing it.
    1/10 It its because some people are homeless and don't follow the news so not everyone has the power to research and decide for themselves.
    1/10 the media does not have power over the people. People can protest.

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg quirky_apple | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    Why some of the information is used for the vaccine when no one has it in the first place. We need the vaccine to save the world, not to be in quarantine when the vaccine is here.

    Why didn't they spread the vaccine in the first place.

    Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg champion_aspect | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    People around the world.

    Hello BNC today I'm going to be talking about fake news . People around the world are getting fake news . I n a group we talked about that people are refusing to have the vaccine. What could lead to more deaths therefore the virus can spread and lead to lock down and people loose love ones .Image loosing a member of your family its heart breaking people are stuffing as you read this .


    sincerely yours
    champion_aspect

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      champion_aspect's comment 18 Mar 2021

      What's the best way to persuade people to take the vaccine, champion_aspect?

      Reply to this comment
  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg humble_studio | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School
    18 Mar 2021

    some people don't have the power of searching up some news like the bad news and they don't really like to read the bad news they just like to search up the good news and when they are searching up the good news maybe something like of the bad news shows up they more than likely will see it and then scroll down or turn it off when they might see it they probably will read a little bit of it and then realise oh no this is some bad news I didn't realise it was bad news because it is on the good news page where the good news is.
    BYE FOR BNC😜

    Reply to this comment
  • Beaumont School logo sceptical_rainforest | Beaumont School
    24 Mar 2021

    Step 1)
    7/10 - as we have seen in previous issues, the language the media use changes the way a story is interpreted by the public.
    7/10 - everyone can do research and find out for themselves, but even the way the things they find out are presented can change the public’s views.
    8/10 - similar to before, the way a story is written/ presented changes the way the public views things.
    Step 2)
    It is important the media use this power correctly because it changes people’s actions considerably and if the media reports something in a way that is unfair or unkind then that would lead to other people thinking the same thing.
    The media has said things that automatically change/shape your opinion on things.
    Some are presented positively, others negatively.
    I think it is possible for the media to not shape a news story - in terms of the vaccine, they could avoid using words such as ‘just’, ‘only’ or terms such as ‘millions’ and instead give facts and statistics and don’t report their own opinions.

    The Sun has started a campaign to create a ‘jab army’ of people to volunteer at vaccination centres throughout the next few months.
    It would make people feel happy because lots of people are helping to get things back to ‘normal’.
    It might encourage others to sign up as they know it is helping lots of people.
    There would have been a lot less people signing up because a lot less people would have heard about it.
    Most people would’ve thought it would be a good idea.

    The BBC has created a service to check facts and stop rumours across a variety of news stories.
    It might make people feel unsure because maybe they didn’t know that some things they read are untrue and it makes them feel worried.
    It might make people fact-check their news stories in future.
    People might’ve been unaware of the service and might read lots of untrue stories.
    The people that read news stories would think it’s a good idea because they are reassured that what they are reading is true. People who write the news stories might be unhappy or worried because they might either spread rumours or they might write what they think are true stories but they might worry that they got something wrong and be called out and get bad publicity.

    News companies are trying to stop the spread of rumours saying that the vaccine goes against religious rules for South Asian communities.
    They might be glad that people are trying to fix the rumours being spread.
    It might make them more cautious about things they read about the vaccine.
    People from South Asian communities might not have taken the vaccine.
    I think most people would say it is a good idea as it means less fake news is being spread.

    I think the first news story has the most effect on Covid 19 because it encourages people to join a nation wide effort to vaccinate people.

    Biggest impact -
    1st story
    2nd story
    3rd story
    - Smallest impact

    I don’t think it should because messages from the government should be straightforward as they are serious and, in recent times, concern the health of millions of people. If the media gives these messages, different media may say different things and confuse the public.

    Step 3)
    People’s reasons for making it worse - there has been an infodemic which can leave people confused and worried.
    People’s reasons for making it better is that being informed means you can do more things without having to worry about whether you should or shouldn’t be doing it.

    Step 4)
    To change their mind:
    I’M CONFUSED - The news can be overwhelming, but try to only read news from websites that are widely known to give facts straight from the government so you don’t get misinformed.
    I DON’T TRUST THE NEWS ANYMORE - While there are many unreliable sources of news, there are also plenty of reliable ones. Use widely known news sources such as the BBC or the official government website to get your information.
    I KNOW ENOUGH - There is new news every day as the government is constantly looking back and changing things to make sure they are doing the best they can. You should stay updated on recent news stories so you always know important information.
    IT’S ALL BAD NEWS - While it may seem there is only bad news out there, there are plenty of good things happening too.
    THERE’S TOO MUCH TO CATCH UP ON - Read recent news so you know what is happening now. You don’t have to read about what was happening months ago. Check frequently so you don’t miss anything important.

    sceptical_rainforest

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      sceptical_rainforest's comment 25 Mar 2021

      Great suggestions to change people's minds! Which of your arguments has the best chance of persuading someone?

      Reply to this comment

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