Logotyp Statens medieråd
Logotyp Statens medieråd
MIK för mig logotyp
stäng

The new media landscape and democracy

This is a complete lesson pack with a selection of exercises that takes 120 minutes in total. The purpose of the lesson is for the pupils to reflect on the opportunities and risks that exist today because we can choose the information and information channels. In the long run this may have consequences for democracy, because a functioning democracy works on the assumption that we have a common perspective of reality, that we are informed, that we have political abilities and that we can participate in the political discourse.

Folkmassa demonstrerar - CC0-Licens Fotograf: Bruce Emmerling

This section contains the following exercises:

 

  1. Democracy and your everyday media. About filter bubbles
  2. He who speaks the truth is free! About the concept of truth.
  3. How important is the truth? About our common reality.
  4. What information do you take part of via the media? About your own media consumption

Exercise 1 - Democracy and your everyday media. About filter bubbles.

 

Today we have the fantastic opportunity to both search for information and express our opinions, but also there are more options to reject information channels. Which information reaches you has an impact on how you view the world.

 

Discuss in groups

  • What content do you partake of on social media? Make a simple pie chart. Then compare your diagram with the group.
  • Much of the information that reaches you is selected to suit exactly you. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
  • What can you do to make sure that in your everyday media you partake in the different perspectives and different views of the world? Why is this important?
  • Are you better or worse informed about what is happening in the world than a young person was 20 years ago? Motivate.

Exercise 2 - He who speaks the truth is free. About the concept of truth.

 

At first glance, the truth can appear to be a simple concept, yet in reality it can be very complex. Lying is something we learn very early on to be wrong. This exercise aims to reflect on the concept and what it involves.

 

Brainstorm

Brainstorm the concept "truth" on the board.


Assessment exercise

Below are three statements that can be processed with the help of an assessment exercise.

 

  • There is only one truth - everything else is a lie.
  • The truth is simply one person’s description of reality.
  • It is important to be sure about what is true.

Suitable alternatives for pupils to take:

  • Agree
  • Partly agree
  • Do not agree
  • Own alternative

Exercise 3 - How important is the truth? About our common reality.

It is not unusual that what we take for the truth is in fact something else. Some of these “truths” can get stuck in our common history and become hard to change. Even things said in the age in which we live could remain an accepted truth despite immediate denials. It can be interesting to ask why that is and whether it matters. The aim of the exercise is to examine the origin and function of accepted truths.

 

Examine in groups

  • Discuss a case example of the accepted “truths”.
  • Present and finish with a summarized discussion.
  • Information can be obtained from the Internet and the sources that are the basis for conclusions must be documented. The aim is to come to as clear an answer as possible.

 

Below are some case examples that are based on “truths”.


Case 1: Khrushchev and the shoe

Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union between 1953 and 1964. In January 1960 he participated in a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York. During the meeting he became upset, took of his shoe and banged it on the table. Or did he really do that?

  • Did Nikita Khrushchev bang his shoe on the table at the UN General Assembly on 12 January 1960?
  • How sure are you of your answer on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = not sure at all and 5 = completely sure?
  • What can you present that supports your conclusion? What is the value of the sources you have used?
  • Is it possible that someone has/had an interest in the incident being presented in a certain way?

Case 2: Palme and the milk

In the late 1980s, the then prime minister Olof Palme was asked: “What does a litre of milk cost?” He could not answer the question. There are some that maintain that his reaction was the answer “I have no clue about that.”

 

  • What does a litre of milk cost today?
  • Can your answer to this question say something about who you are?
  • Is it true that Palme’s reaction was: “I have no clue about that”?
  • How sure are you of your answer on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = not sure at all and 5 = completely sure?
  • What can you present that supports your conclusion? What is the value of the sources you have used?
  • Is it possible that someone has/had an interest in the incident being presented in a certain way?

Case 3: Per-Albin Hansson and preparedness

Per-Albin Hansson was the Prime Minister of Sweden during the World War ll. In a speech before war he said “...our preparedness is good.” Often it is interpreted that he referred to the military preparedness, but was this what he meant?

 

  • Did Per-Albin mean our military preparedness when he said “our preparedness is good”?
  • How sure are you of your answer on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = not sure at all and 5 = completely sure?
  • What can you present that supports your conclusion? What is the value of the sources you have used?
  • Is it possible that someone has/had an interest in the incident being presented in a certain way?

Case 4: The Great Wall of China and the moon

The Great Wall of China is one of the longest and most fantastic constructions on earth. The wall is so long that it can be seen with the naked eye from the moon.

 

  • Can you see the Great Wall of China with the naked eye from the moon?
  • How sure are you of your answer on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = not sure at all and 5 = completely sure?
  • What can you present that supports your conclusion? What is the value of the sources you have used?
  • Is it possible that someone has/had an interest in the incident being presented in a certain way?

Summarizing discussion

  • What consequences can this type of “eternal truth” have?
  • Which of the cases above presents the most serious untruth?
  • How can you protect yourself against this? How do I know that something is true?
  • Do you know of any examples of “eternal truth”?

 

Exercise 4 - What information do you partake in via the media? About your own media consumption

 

The difference in what we take in in terms of information varies according to who we are. Age, gender, interests and education are all factors, even the type of network we have. Thirty years ago there was no Internet for private individuals and the number of TV channels were few compared to today. The majority saw the same things on TV and could relate to it. Today there are many factors that determine what information reaches us. The aim of this exercise is to discuss and investigate your own behaviour in today’s information society.


Discuss

  • Are there any advantages to a media offering where the vast majority are consuming the same thing?
  • Are there any disadvantages to a media offering where the vast majority are consuming the same thing?

Individual task

This exercise spans a week and must therefore start in one lesson and end in another. It is about comparing your media consumption with someone of another generation. This could be your mum or dad.

Document the following over three days, two weekdays and one weekend day:

  • How much time do you use on the Internet? What do you do there? Which sites do you use the most time on?
  • How much TV do you watch? What channels and programmes do you watch?
  • Which daily newspapers do you read? How much time do you use on this? Which magazines do you read?
  • Write down some examples of articles that many people shared with you on social media.
  • Write down some examples of posts you have published on social media and what reactions these have gotten.
    • Your partner must do the same thing during the same time and hand it in writing to you.
    • Compare the results and highlight the similarities and differences.
    • Analyse the results and reflect on what significance it may have if the differences are big, and which differences could be the most important.

Entire group

Explain your results and discuss: How does the content you take in on social media influence your perception of reality? How can it affect society at large?

 

 


Publicerat den 31 maj 2017

Publicerat den 31 maj 2017


60 - 120 minuter

uppkopplad enhet