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Considering Sources


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    Student Assignment Sheets

    Glossary and Identifications

    The time required to complete this is one to two class periods (depending on whether the students read the newspapers as homework or do it in class.)

    Lesson Objectives:

    In this lesson students will:

    • Compare different approaches in reporting events.
    • Analyze the causes of potential bias in reporting the news.

    Materials needed:

    1. Computers with Internet access
    2. Pencil and paper

    Procedure

    1. The teacher should select a current event concerning the United States that has international significance.

    2. Assign students to read the coverage of this event from a Western and Middle Eastern online newspaper. The teacher should assign the sources so that all of the sites are investigated.

    Some examples of Middle East online newspapers
    http://www.arabia.com (Arab News)
    http://www.Tehrantimes.com (Iran)
    http://www.ahram.org.eg/weekly (Egypt)

    Some examples of Western online newspapers:
    http://www.nytimes.com (New York Times)
    http://www.washingtonpost.com (Washington Post)
    http://www.cnn.com (CNN)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk (BBC)

    A link that will allow you to search a wide variety of newspapers, news media and news sources is http://www.abyznewslinks.com.

    3. Students should

      a. Note the "facts" on which the sources agree.
      b. Note the "facts" on which sources disagree.
      c. Deduce from each report what its subtext and political agenda is.

    Method of Evaluation:

    1. Written evaluation of the online news coverage from both sources.
    2. Participation in a classroom discussion on news coverage and bias.

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