Lesson video

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Welcome back, I'm Mr. Joy.

This is our last lesson in this series.

As we look at the impact of the media has on us.

Today we're going to be considering whether the media creates more harm than good.

Let's get started.

You are going to need a pen or pencil for today's lesson, as well as some papers write on.

Try to make sure that you are in a nice quiet area, where you're not going to be interrupted.

And make sure that you've put any distractions like phones out of reach and out of sight.

In this lesson, we are going to look back at what we've already covered in our previous lessons and the topic.

We're going to consider, whether the media helps or harms public opinion.

And then we're going to look at how we can evaluate the effects of the media's actions.

So, looking back at what we've done, in the previous five lessons of this topic.

I've got a bit of a challenge for you to see how much you can recall from everything that I've gone through with you.

So you're going to need to think about what you've learnt in the previous lessons, in this topic and list the answer to these challenges.

So, it looks a lot, but I'm sure you know it.

There are seven news values from the lesson that we looked at, what news is and what informs, what news outlets publish or broadcast? There are six information neighbourhoods from the same lesson.

In our most recent lesson, lesson five, we looked at the stages of review , to be able to check whether a source is accurate, or get a better idea of that.

And I'd like you to come up with the first five stages that lead to you weighing it up.

There are four ways that we looked at to explain how the media holds people to account.

We started off a topic looking at three broad types of media.

We also looked at two sets of rules that journalists may follow, when we were looking at the responsibilities of journalists and the media.

And then finally, this is a tough one, one name of the amazing teacher that you've had for these lessons.

If you are struggling with any of these, I have put the list of challenges, as well as some hints in the worksheet.

So it might be worthwhile clicking through the worksheet in a moment, having a look at that and seeing if whether the hints that I've given you or the initials to start you off are of any use as well.

So you can pause the video here to complete the task.

If you need to click through to the worksheet and then come back when you're ready to go through the answers.

So answer time.

The first task was trying to remember the seven news values that we looked at, which are timeliness, oddity, impact, so the effect that it's going to have this new story.

Proximity, so things that are local or with groups of people that we have some sort of linked to.

Celebrity, conflict, and the biggest one that negativity.

So bad stories tend to sell newspapers and get TV ratings.

The six neighbourhoods that we looked at, when we looked at the information neighbourhoods were, news and journalism, advertising, entertainment, propaganda, publicity, and raw information.

Well done if you remembered all six of those.

We then had the first five steps of review.

Now, if you remember review as an acronym, so hopefully it helped you out.

It was reputation.

So looking at the reputation of the news outlet publishing the story.

The evidence within the story, trying to verify the evidence.

The intent of what was published and why.

And the emotions that it stirs up within you.

And of course, that then leads into weighing it up where you really evaluate whether or not you think it is a reliable or accurate article.

Continuing on, we have the four methods.

The four methods that we looked at for holding people in positions of power to account were, interviews, debates, front pages of the newspaper and examples of investigative journalism as well.

The three broad types of media were, print, broadcast and new.

So print media, being magazines, journals and newspapers and that sort of literature.

Broadcast media being television and radio.

And new media being really kind of the social media and other electronic forms that have recently developed.

The two sets of rules were, the NUJ Code of Conduct, and the Editor's Code of Practise.

And then finally, the last of the challenges was to remember my name, Mr. Joy.

I hope it was an easy one to remember.

We're now going to move on, to consider a particular question, which also then helps to tie in all the different things that we've looked at in our previous lessons.

The question that we're going to look at is, does the media help or harm public opinion? It's really useful at the moment, just to recap specifically the roles of the media within democracy as well.

So there were three roles that the media has in a democracy, and that was to set the agenda, we choose to kind of decide what information was important and what needed to be published or broadcast.

It was also to inform and educate the public and ensure that people knew what was going on.

And then of course, the third one was, about holding people to account.

So particularly those who are in positions of power or authority.

And by doing these three things, there are times when people are going to benefit from this.

And there are times when other people may end up at a disadvantage from this.

So from having information about them revealed to the public, obviously that could be a positive, or it could be a negative depending on what that information is.

So it's really useful before we go any further to think about defining those words, help and harm.

Both definitions I've taken from the Cambridge Dictionary.

Definition for help, making it possible or easier for someone to do something.

So if we try and relate that to the media, by the media sharing information and informing and educating the public, then it makes it easier for the members of the public to make an informed decision, when it comes time for them to participate in a general election.

If we're looking at harm, definition being to hurt someone or damage something, perhaps it might a media publication, an expose about a celebrity, might hurt someone's trust in that person.

And they thought they were an upstanding citizen, and they found actually, perhaps they're not as squeaky clean as they once thought.

Or possibly if something is revealed about a specific political party, then maybe it is that political party then suffers when it comes to the next general election.

So just some examples to try and put that into context, about what we mean when we say help and harm.

Moving on to our next task.

What you're going to do here, is you're going to click on in a moment to the worksheet and look at a list of statements that I've put together, which link to different things that we've already covered in our previous lessons.

What I'd like you to then to do is to decide whether each of those statements, could be used as an example of how the media can help, or about how the media could cause harm.

And you're then going to create a simple table, like the one that I've got here on the screen for you, with subheadings of helpful and harmful, to sort each of those statements out for you.

So you can pause the video again here, then click forward to the worksheet.

You'll find that they are listed as the task two sources, and then you can work out which column they're going to go in.

And then I'll be ready to go through the answers with you when you finish.

Ready for the answers now? We're going to start off by looking at how the media can be helpful, and go through those answers first.

The first one that we've got here, is that the media helps to inform society.

So that is one of the key roles of the media in a democracy.

We previously already in this lesson have looked at the different codes of conduct.

Very briefly, those two different codes of conduct and practise.

Those can stop bad behaviour through journalists, then having set rules, that they have to follow.

The media also holds people to account.

So those in positions of power, it's particularly important that if someone is abusing someone's trust or misspending public funds, that they are then held accountable for their actions.

And hopefully if they're doing the wrong thing, they're going to be stopped from doing that as well.

It's also really useful that people have the opportunity to share their opinions through media.

So that might be individual journalists having the opportunity to write an opinion piece.

It could be about people being able to write in a letter to the editor in a newspaper, or it could be people being stopped on the street to take part in a vox pop conversation about a key issue going on at that point in time.

We've already seen how media campaigns can make a huge difference to the lives of citizens.

We looked at an example in the third lesson of this unit, about how the Daily Mail was campaigning for action to be taken against plastic bags.

Single use plastic bags being used in shops.

We know the massive, massive difference that has made in our society in the last 10 or 12 years.

The final one for the helpful column, is that good journalists will amend their stories or apologise if required.

That goes back to that accountability.

When we spoke in the second lesson about the responsibilities of the media.

So let's continue on without answers in the harmful column now, and it should be everything else, but we're going to still go through them one by one.

The first one that we've got here, is that false stories that may be published.

And that's something that we looked at in our fifth lesson, the most recent one, when we looked at misinformation, disinformation and mal-information.

You can also be harmful because news outlets get to decide what they wanted to report.

And we looked at this in the first lesson, when we were looking at those news values that they can use to determine, what is important and what's not as important.

And the reason that this could be harmful, is because they could choose not to report something because it may make them look bad.

They could choose to focus on something else, rather than kind of incriminate themselves or put themselves in a bad lie.

There is an argument that you could kind of say, it's helpful because they're going to choose the most important information, but that's not always necessarily what is going to happen in reality.

Obviously, linked into that second bullet point is the idea that political affiliations can also affect what is reported.

So if a particular publication or broadcaster has a strong link to a particular political party, then obviously they're more likely to portray that political party positively, and then try and tear down any opponents who might stand in their way.

There are times where journalists may invade the privacy of individuals during their reporting.

And we saw that when we were looking at the phone hacking scandal for News of the World.

So that's obviously harmful is not only breaking a law, but it's having a harmful effect on the particular individuals, who are suffering from this intrusion of privacy.

Sometimes facts and opinions aren't always clear to the public, and that can be harmful because people read something that they assume to be a fact, and they take it on as factual when actually it is just someone's opinion.

And there is an argument that could be made to more clearly indicate where facts and opinions are positioned, so that people have that awareness going into it.

Obviously, if we're being very objective, sometimes it's very simple to look at something and kind of distinguish a fact from an opinion, there's other times where things may be portrayed in a way that comes across as factual, when it is not necessarily that way.

And then finally, emotional language can lead us to make snap judgements.

So if we think about sensationalist language or very kind of passionate key words that kind of rile us up or make us feel really happy, then we might think something, even though we don't necessarily personally have that belief.

So there might be a key word to try and make me feel outrage in a headline.

And I might start to feel that anger and that hatred possibly for a particular person or organisation.

But if I step back and think about it, then maybe I don't really feel that way.

And we went through that very briefly when we were looking at the review process, in the last lesson.

So we come to the final section of our final lesson in this unit.

We're going to be looking at how we can evaluate the effects of the media's actions.

So I'm going to get you to use everything that you've learned up until now, to write an essay for me, which responds to this statement, the media does more harm than it does good.

Don't worry, I'm not going to abandon you, right now and expect you to magically sort all of this out by yourself without any support.

I'm going to walk you through each step of the way, so you can have the best possible essay at the end of this.

When it comes to structuring an essay, I would expect my own pupils to write an introduction, and then to have two arguments which agree with the statement.

And then two arguments, which disagree with the statement.

And then to finish it off with some sort of conclusion, which weighs up the different arguments for and against.

And then specifies or states which thing which point of view they think is the strongest.

And therefore what they think is right.

I have written instruction here for you, which you are welcome to use.

I'm going to read through it with you first, and then I'm going to talk about, why I've written it in this way.

Every day, we are presented with information in newspapers and on television about what is happening across the world.

From picnics to pandemics, journalists work hard to keep us informed and to present alternative points of view.

Some people, however, think there is more than meets the eye, when it comes to the reporting of news.

Does the media actually do more harm than good? What I've done here is I've broken these down into individual sentences, which each have a particular purpose here.

My very first sentence, which is in the green box here, sets the scene.

It explains very broadly to the reader that this essay is going to have something to do with the information they're getting from newspapers and television.

So I've taken that word media and try to define that a little bit more specifically while still so kind of alluding to what's going to come here.

I've then written a sentence, which is actually against the point of view, and I've commented on the good things that journalists do.

And I'm not writing specific examples here.

What I'm doing is just kind of pointing out what a journalist might do.

It's also giving a little bit more background about what the media is.

And then my final sentence here, is the for arguments and trying to link to this idea that actually maybe the media does do some harm, and trying to use a nice hook at the end there to make someone who's reading this really want to keep reading on.

You are more than welcome to make use of this as instruction for your essay.

If you do want to write it down, you can pause it now, and then once you've got that done, we can continue on.

I'm now going to talk you through about how to plan your arguments.

And I'm going to use this example of a different topic, which is, the summer holidays are better than the winter holidays.

So one way that I was shown to be able to plan essay answers, particularly in terms of trying to come up with ideas for what to put in my essay, was to draw an outline of a hand, and then to write the examples on there.

So what I've done is I've already done an example, where I've created an outline of a hand, and I've written some for arguments.

So why summer is better than winter, for summer holidays specifically.

So I've got water fights, more daylight, longer school holidays.

You can go to the beach and better weather.

Okay, so I'm going to talk you through an example of how I might then come up with my ideas for against.

So just start off with, I'm going to trace around my hand, in proper Blue Peter style.

This may not be pretty, as I do this on camera.

And then what I'm going to do once I've done this, is I'm going to come up with my five arguments.

My five counter arguments, for why winter is actually better than summer or specifically those winter holidays.

A lovely diagram there.

Okay, so I'm going to do my against arguments here.

All right, so first one, well, I put water fights on the other example.

So let's then put snowman and snowball fights.

That's a good one to include.

And we can also do something that my own children really like to do, is puddle jumping splashing in the water.

Obviously, for lots of people, Christmas is important or other religious holidays.

Holidays and festivals.

I really like being able to eat comfort food, like a roast on a really cold Sunday afternoon or hang as a mash or something else.

And also, it is far easier to sleep in the middle of winter, in winter holidays, because you don't have that horrible heat where you feel like getting all gross and rotting, and you've got to try and stay as cool as possible.

So they're going to be my five initial ideas.

Now that doesn't mean I'm going to include all of them in what I actually write, but at least gives me something to be able to work with.

And now here are my pictures of my hands.

On one hand, I've got the for argument.

And on the other hand, I've got my against arguments.

And now I've got some ideas, I can use those to try to develop a little bit more to put in my essays.

When it comes to writing an argument, I want to use this idea of mentioning my point, giving some evidence to back it up and then explaining in more detail why that is important.

And you may have come across this before in other lessons at school, and certainly in other Oak lessons as well.

I've gone with the same essay topic that I did for my hands arguments.

So you can see, how I'm trying to develop those points in particular.

So I'm sticking this idea of the summer holidays being better than the winter holidays.

And I've got my paragraph that I've written here, and I'm going to read through it again, and then break down where the point is, where the evidence is and where my explanation is.

On one hand, the summer holidays is superior to the winter holidays, because the weather in August is so much better.

The UK average is 183 hours of glorious, warm sunshine during August, compared to only 47 hours in gloomy December.

The extended sunshine not only allows us to dry our washing faster, it also enables us to go outside more often, which in turn helps our physical and mental health.

Now, hopefully you've been able to spot that.

My point is the weather.

That's my big argument here.

My evidence as to some statistics that I've just found about how many hours of sunlight or sunshine are calculated on average in the months of August and December.

And then I've used that to try and talk about the benefits, the knock on effect, so that whether, the better weather meaning we can go outside more often, which is good for our physical and mental health.

Now that I've gone through with you about how to come up with initial ideas for your arguments, and then to develop them further.

I'd now like you to use either arguments from task two, which was the harmful and helpful statements sorting, as well as the sentence starters and other evidence that I've put into the worksheet for you, to help you plan and then write a paragraph agreeing with a statement above.

So this should be saying that the media does more harm than it does good.

Ideally, I'd be looking for two paragraphs to disagree with this statement, but if you are finding it a bit of a struggle, then one paragraph would be okay as well.

Remember to try and use that idea of point evidence.

Explain to really develop your argument, rather than just one very brief sentence.

You can pause the video here to complete your task, click forward onto the worksheet so you can access those different resources that are provided for you, and make sure you try to include some of those helpful or harmful statements as well.

When you're ready, come back and press play.

Right, we've done our argument, and now it's time for our counter argument.

So this is looking at the other point of view here.

Going back to my example about the summer holidays being better than the winter holidays.

It's now time for me to think about why winter might be better than summer.

My example here, on the other hand, the winter holidays allow for a long list of activities, which are impossible to do in the middle of summer.

Building a snowman, jumping in muddy puddles and snuggling under a blanket near a fire, are highlights of winter.

Nothing in summer comes close to the happiness you feel when the snowball you're just thrown directly hits your target.

Again, I've got my point, that there are some things you can't do in the middle of summer.

My evidence, those specific examples.

And then my explanation, which is kind of like that feeling of when you just smack someone on their back with that big snowball, that's a good feeling.

You know, what's coming next.

It's now time for you to use your arguments from the harmful and helpful task, as well as the sentence starters and the same evidence that I gave you in the worksheet just before, to now write your paragraph disagreeing with the statement above.

So you should be saying about the good things that the media does as well.

Again, I'm looking for two paragraphs, but if that is too much of a stretch for you, then one is fine.

Same situation as before, you can pause the video here while you complete that part of your essay, and then you can come back and we'll finish it off with the conclusion.

We are now up to our conclusions.

So I've written the conclusion to my own essay here, about the summer holidays being better than the winter holidays.

And then you will have an opportunity to close out your own essay as well.

Both the summer and winter holidays, bring opportunities to take part in fun activities and to have a break from school life.

Although I love to build snowmen and jump up and down in muddy puddles during winter, the summer holidays enabled me to have picnics, go to the beach, play cricket, and have an ice cream at the paddling pool.

Overall, there are far more activities which can only be experienced in summer.

Therefore, the summer holidays are better than the winter holidays.

What I've done is I've broken this down into three parts.

An opening statement.

I'm trying to show that I'm kind of making a decision between both of these sides here.

I haven't quite come to what my final decision is going to be.

It's almost like I'm talking through, as I rationalise these different arguments in my head.

I then started to evaluate, and I've kind of conceded a little bit.

And I said, yeah, actually I do like building snowman, and I do like jumping up and down in muddy puddles, but what I like more than that, is all these other things.

And so for me, I'm being pulled in this other direction because I think actually the summer holiday is better.

But of course, I haven't said that yet.

I'm just showing the thinking that I'm going through of how I'm getting to that point.

And then finally, my last part here is about me deciding about which point of view I agree with more.

Do I decide that summer holidays are better, or do I decide the winter holidays are better? And in this case, I've explained my reasoning for why I've chosen the summer holidays.

You now need to summarise your strongest arguments from both points of view, and then make your clear decision about the impact of the media's actions.

Again, you can use any of the sentence starters and supporting resources that are in the worksheet, refer back to what you've already put in your statements in your paragraphs.

And then you can come back for the very end of the lesson.

For the final time, you can pause this video here to complete your task.

Our final lesson has come to an end.

We did a recap of all the different areas that we had looked at.

We then considered the different ways, which we might be able to argue that the media has helped or harmed public opinion.

And we have just finished evaluating the effects of the media's actions as well.

And that is the end of a series about lessons.

I think we've really covered a huge amount, in these six lessons.

And I hope that you have learned a lot about the media, and that now you have a better understanding of how the media impacts upon us.

As always, if you'd like to please ask a parent or carer to share your work on Twitter, tagging @OakNational and use an #LearnwithOak.

I'd really appreciate the opportunity to be able to read through some of your arguments for your essays.

Thank you again for joining me for these lessons.

I hope you've enjoyed them, and I hope to see you again soon.