Additional Lesson Ideas

Media-Free Democracy
Assign students to write a fictional account of what life might be like in the United States if the government controlled available news media. You might follow-up by having the class read and discuss George Orwell's 1984.

Compare and Contrast
Assign students to research the role of the press in a non-democratic country and compare the issues central to journalists in that country with the issues that journalists raise in News War. You may use a resource such as the companion Web site of the independent film "Democracy on Deadline" http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/democracyondeadline/film.html that profiles journalists in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Russia, and the United States.

A Country Without Free Speech
After reviewing the 2004 Knight Foundation study results [http://firstamendment.jideas.org/index.php] that indicated weak support for First Amendment rights among high school students, have your students review the First Amendment and craft a response to a hypothetical peer who favors the removal of the First Amendment from the Constitution.