Teaching Media Literacy through Contemporary Issues: Democracy Cover

Teaching Media Literacy through Contemporary Issues: Democracy

With Teaching Media Literacy through Contemporary Issues, Democracy students explore the concept of democracy and how the media messages we encounter affect our participation in the democratic process. In developing their understanding of the nature of that influence, students examine media messages in both historical and modern contexts. They learn to critically analyse media messages and apply what they have learnt to their own media projects.

Ages: 13-15 | Pages: 72 | Code: 51103 | ISBN: 9781776556038

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Dale Sutherland

Dale Sutherland has been a media studies and English teacher. She has a background in film and media, along with a passion for contemporary issues facing young people today. Now living in New Zealand’s Far North, she researches and writes full time.


Section 1: Principles of democracy5
Key definitions5
Types of government6
Rights and responsibilities in a democratic society7
Section 2: Democracy through history12
Ancient Athens12
Ancient Rome13
Medieval Europe (11th–15th centuries)13
Reformation in England14
John Calvin and the founding fathers15
Women get the vote – timeline16
Section 3: The role of the news media17
Media bias17
Mainstream versus alternative media19
Freedom of the press25
Section 4: Election campaign advertising28
Persuasive language techniques28
Exploring campaign advertisements33
Teacher resource: Breakdown of political campaign advertisements34
Section 5: Propaganda40
About propaganda40
Propaganda today43
Teacher resource: Techniques used in Trump's advertisement45
Section 6: Dictators and personality cults47
Dictators and the media47
Personality cults51
Section 7: Using your voice54
Introducing interest groups54
Public interest groups55
Private interest groups57
Section 8: Using satire to highlight social issues59
Types of satire59
Examples and case studies60
Writing satire61
Section 9: News – traditional versus new media64
How news has changed64
New media and the democratic process67