AIM: To reflect on the recent news and understand how theories are developed
Must: show an understanding of recent events and attempt to develop a theory
Should: the above plus write up ideas as a theory
Could: also shape and craft your theory
‘We Media’ and Democracy
A2 Critical Perspectives Exam
Section B = 50 marks
You will need to answer questions
about your summer work.
You will also be set an assessment
question about the information you
collected over the summer.
Quick news quiz: summer 2015
1. In pairs or threes discuss what the news story is, what you know
about it and what you think about it.
5 main questions we need to consider in A2
1. What is/are ‘We Media’ and what are the main arguments in this
school of thought?
2. Where / how has ‘We Media’ emerged?
3. What are the positives and negatives of ‘We Media’?
4. In what way are the contemporary media more democratic than
5. In what ways are the contemporary media less democratic than
‘We Media’ and Democracy –
Previous exam questions
How far can the media in 2010 be considered to be
Assess the claim that the media is becoming more democratic.
Discuss the meanings of the term ‘we media.’
Explore the claim that the ‘new’ media are more democratic
than the ‘old’ media.
What is ‘we media’ and what difference does it make to
‘We get the media we deserve.’ Discuss, in relation to the role
of media in a democracy.
We are going to look at a range of different media theories to look at democracy
and the media. You know lots already!
But a theory is just a clever way of explaining the meaning or effect of
something. A theorist spends a long time researching and find examples to back
up their explanation.
Some are more complex than others but often it is the LANGUAGE used that
makes them difficult to understand: the question and their answers are often
simpler to understand.
Why do they spend so long on it?
Answer: because they want to convince us that they are right! They haven’t
proven something beyond question and they want their theory to be accepted
Today you are all going to become media theorists. In 30 minutes.
You will need to be logged on or have access to a thesaurus.
You will need to be in a group of no more than 4.
By the end of next week your media theory will be on the wall of ENF3.
You are going to invent a media theory
In groups of 3 or 4 you are going to have 10 minutes to discuss an area of
media of your choice. One person will need to be the scribe, another will be
the ‘Chair’ Here are some suggestions but you can come up with your own:
- What is the point of horror films?
- Is it immoral to illegally download?
- Why is most news depressing/negative?
- Does violent content make you more likely to be violent?
- Do some music videos encourage sexist attitudes towards women?
- What makes a good TV Drama? Why?
- Why do some people avoid the news?
Stage One: Discussion and note-taking
Discuss your question.
The scribe will have to make notes about what has been said.
Try and summarise your discussion into 3 or 4 clear bullet
Use a thesaurus to explain your ideas in a clever way!
Stage 2: Ok, now you have the main parts of
your theory. Now name this theory.
Using a thesaurus, find better words for the main ideas in your original
For example, my question: Why do some people avoid the news?
Another word for avoid is avert.
So let’s call it a ‘News Aversion Therapy’
Theories are often named after the people who came up with them. So
name your theory after yourselves.
Stage 3: Write up your theory
Underneath each one of your bullet points for your theory. Explain the ideas
behind each bullet point. Try and use the best possible vocabulary.
FINALLY: Get ready to feedback your ideas to the whole group.
Stage 4: You are going to produce an A4 poster explaining your theory. You
have until next lesson to meet, improve and decide the wording of each
main point of your theory. You need to use the best language possible and
choose images to go with it. The class will vote on the most convincing
theory and your group will challenge/provide a counter-argument to one of
For teacher’s info only: I tried this question on
Why do some people avoid the news?
- Some people don’t care or aren’t interested
- Some people cannot cope with it as it is too upsetting and choose to
- There are more interesting things to watch or learn about
LACK OF COMPASSION OR DISINTEREST
CHOOSING DISENGAGEMENT AS A COPING STRATEGY
ENTERTAINMENT AND DISTRACTION
3. Alternative word for avoid = aversion
4. Add name and come up with your media theory.
CONCHA-LONDONO’S NEWS AVERSION THEORY
5. CONCHA-LONDONO’S NEWS AVERSION
LACK OF COMPASSION OR DISINTEREST: People are not immoral or have
bad intentions as evidenced by their care for their family members or
immediate neighbours. However, they feel detached from the people or
situations that do not apparently immediately effect them.
CHOOSING DISENGAGEMENT AS A COPING STRATEGY: people do care about
the plight of others around the world but they feel disempowered as they
are unable to change it. They avoid the news as they feel frustrated and
upset by systemic political failures. Their day to day pressures mean they
cannot cope with these pressures.
ENTERTAINMENT AND DISTRACTION: due to lack of compassion (see above)
and the need for a coping strategy frustration is released through the pursuit
of entertainment which may appear a superficial enjoyment. However, news
aversion is misleading as values and attitudes can be shaped by what
appears to be ‘harmless entertainment’.