A NEW MEDIA IN THE ARAB WORLD
By Lisa Greeves , English and Journalism teacher
The coalition forces are introducing a new television station and newspaper
to the Iraqi people in the hopes of bringing them messages about the new
future of Iraq. In English, the new Arabic TV network will be called "Towards
Freedom". Explore with your journalism students the pros and cons
of introducing government-sponsored media into a war-torn country and
whether the news conveyed will be considered to be information or propaganda.
This lesson will take 30 minutes. Extension ideas will take longer and
require research and homework.
to National Standards
with your students the 1st Amendment:
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Then distribute copies of the Newshour
Extra article on the new Arabic TV network. Have students read it
students to write for 5 minutes in their notebooks reacting to the following
is this practice of coalition forces setting up a new media in Iraq
consistent or inconsistent with our own constitutional provision for
free speech and a free press?
students have written for five minutes, allow some students to share
their reactions to the prompt and to the article aloud with class.
copies of the Online
NewsHour transcript "Public Diplomacy" to students to
read as background for the issue of U.S.-led information dissemination
in the Arab world. After students read the article silently, divide
students into three groups. Assign one of the following issues to each
group to discuss among themselves:
A. The pros of this coalition-sponsored new media. What are
some possible benefits of introducing a new television network and newspaper
to this country? How do Charlotte Beers' and Norman Pattiz's views from
the article "Public Diplomacy" apply here?
B. The cons of this coalition-sponsored new media. What are some
possible repercussions? What are some detrimental things that might
occur as a result? How do Mamoun Fandy's views apply here?
C. Is this propaganda or information dissemination? Define propaganda
and information. Determine what kind of coalition broadcasts would constitute
"propaganda" and what would constitute "information."
Allow groups 10 minutes to discuss their ideas. Then, when finished,
allow each group to present their conclusions to the class. Encourage
other students to raise questions and reactions to each others' findings.
all groups have shared their ideas, assign the following prompt to students
to write about for homework. Students should be able to write at least
a page of reaction in response to this question.
Why do you think the coalition forces are creating this new media? In
your opinion, are these reasons valid or not? Explain.
to work in small groups to explore different issues and topics that have
been presented via the media to the Arab world in the past. Based on what
topics have been presented in the past, what ideas and topics do they
think should be presented and covered in this new media now, after the
war in Iraq, after the war on terrorism, after the world's reaction to
September 11, 2001? Assign each group to create a 10 minute "broadcast"
to be presented in front of the class where they assume the parts of anchor,
reporter, and sources/interviewees. Their broadcasts should focus on communicating
at least one viable point to the Arab world that they feel is important.
A good source
for students to research is The Online NewsHour Package, Public Diplomacy
- U.S. Outreach to the Arab World
- something told; news; intelligence; word; knowledge acquired in any
manner; facts; data; learning; lore
- any systematic, widespread dissemination or promotion of particular
ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. to further one's own cause or to damage
an opposing one
lesson plans will follow the guidelines set forth in the book Applying
NCTE/IRA Standards in Classroom Journalism Projects -- Activities and
1: Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build
an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United
States and the world; to acquire new information, to respond to the needs
and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.
Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary
Standard 7: Students conduct research on issues and interests by
generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate
and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint
texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that
suit their purposes and audience.
Standard 8: Students use a variety of technological and informational
resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather
and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
Standard 11: Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective,
creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
Author Lisa Greeves has taught high school English
and Journalism classes for two Virginia school systems: Fairfax County
Public Schools and Rockbridge County Schools. She has a bachelor's degree
in English and Communication from James Madison University and a Master's
Degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. She recently
had a chapter published in the 2002 NCTE publication Applying NCTE/IRA
Standards in Classroom Journalism Projects.
To find out more about opportunities to contribute
to this site, contact Leah Clapman at firstname.lastname@example.org.