DURATION: 2 hours
- Analysis of codes and conventions in news media
- Application of codes and conventions to a news story
- Media languages and meaning: assessment and analysis of news and information
After completing this unit, teachers will be able to:
- Analyze the codes and conventions used in television, radio and newspaper coverage of an event
- Apply these codes and conventions to a particular news story
- Evaluate the ways in which a medium and its particular codes and conventions can shape the message being conveyed
- Assess the information that can be conveyed through the use of a particular medium
PEDAGOGICAL APPROACHES and ACTIVITIES
- A government is planning to change legislation that will affect environmental protection. A government official has just made a speech to justify the government’s position. A large group of young people are present to protest and a struggle breaks out between the protesters and the police
- Predict how this event will be covered by a newspaper, a radio station and a television station. How do you think the coverage will differ and why? How much of this difference would be based on the unique characteristics of each medium?
- Select a current event or issue of interest, such as a new school policy, a recent cultural or political event, or a health issue. Working in groups, develop a news story on this event that would appear on radio, in a newspaper and on a television news programme. For the radio, the story can be no longer than 20 seconds; for the newspaper, 210 words; and for television, 1–2 minutes. After completing the stories, discuss the results using the following questions as a guide:
- How do various media affect the kind of coverage and information that can be given?
- What codes and conventions used in the development of each story?
- How is this exercise an example of the phrase ‘the medium is the message’?
- Create a collage of images or symbols that could be used to promote a school or other institution, considering the target audience and the information being conveyed