Hong Kong

-IN THE NEWS-

What is going on in Hong Kong?

Every day, the situation in the former British colony Hong Kong seems to be escalating. Today you are going to find out why there are so many demonstrations, what the latest development is and how the protesters have organized themselves.

Look at three various English-speaking media to find information about this.

 

Discuss: How has Carrie Lam used varied tools to advance the government’s cause?

How have the protesters used media to advance their cause?

President Trump’s relation to the media

Fake news is an expression often used by the US President and he is known for criticizing media. On October 24, President Trump announced that the White House should cancel its subscriptions to The Washington Post and The New York Times.  The reason why, is, according to the Guardian, that these newspapers present unfair coverage of him. Trump’s administration now instructs other federal agencies to do the same, to “save costs”.

Trump

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/24/white-house-trump-new-york-times-washington-post#img-1

What does Tump signalize by doing this?

In which ways can democracy be undermined by almost banning certain media outlets?

 

Read this article by the Freedom House. Look at the map, and find out which countries have the greatest challenges with press freedom .

Find a country that is described in the article, and summarize, using your own words, what the media situation is like in this country.

-M

Reading

Where and when do you read? Do you only use digital platforms and read news, social media feeds and fiction online? Or do you sometimes pick up an actual newspaper or book to read? And how long does it last until you get distracted? By your thoughts, by something popping up on you cell phone screen, or by actual people, or real-life events?

Did you know that research shows that onscreen reading makes us more impatient? And that this Guardian article draws upon the same research, and adds a number of other studies from across the world to prove its point? The first task for you in today’s lesson is to read these two articles, the second longer than the first, and track your own reactions. As the first challenges you overtly to react a certain way, the second challenges you more covertly. How do you respond? Monitor your reactions and take notes along the way.

The second task this lesson is to read two more articles, one from BBC and one from UC Berkeley. They both encourage you to read, but for different purposes and within different genres, thus also presenting different strategies. Take notes, depending on your previous experience with study techniques. Did you learn anything new from reading these articles? Or do you already employ these strategies on a daily basis?

But the main question for today is: how did you do when asked to read almost an hour in one sitting?

Hilde

The silent treatment, pillory or the middle ground?

Did you know that Ebola is still not eradicated? Nor HIV, despite existing medicines? Nor measles? Nor a number of other diseases? Why, in today’s day and age? Two weeks ago, the New York Times published an article about the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been five years since the world was scared almost into hysteria during the “last outbreak”, but was it really the last outbreak?

A week ago NRK published a series of pictures released by Doctors Without Borders, listing several forgotten humanitarian crises. I have not been able to find that topic mentioned in other media the last month.

And on a considerably different note, the Saudi Crown Prince was interviewed last night by the CBS show 60 Minutes. He was asked about wide-ranging topics, from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago, to women’s rights, to the war in Yemen. Did you know there is a war in Yemen?

Tomorrow in class you are going to write for 90 minutes. The tasks will invite you to discuss media in terms of global crises. You might not use any of these topics in your discussion, and media’s focus on Greta Thunberg, or on the Notre Dame fire rather than the fires in Brazil’s rainforest, could be equally interesting starting points. But you do need a starting point, a point of reference, when discussing how media works, or for whom media works, or in which situations we rely on media, or however I plan on phrasing one or two tasks for you. Good luck, and do not hesitate contacting me if you have any questions for tomorrow!

Hilde

 

Sources:

Polarizing a debate

The name and actions of Edward Snowden has been a presence in debates about both media and democracy during the last six years, and a recurrence has been posing the question “hero or traitor?”. Why the need to use such polarizing labels? Does that mean that people see the world in either – ors? Black and white? Right and wrong? Good and bad?

Write a blog post in which you reflect on reasons behind and / or effects of polarizing a debate. You may exemplify through the debate around Snowden, but you are welcome to use other examples as illustrations of a polarized debate as well.

Hilde

How to spot fake news

can be challenging! One of the negative aspects of social media is that it is so easy to spread misinformation online.  Take this quiz from the NYT to check if you are able to spot the fake news.

Fortunately, there are numerous online tools to check whether the news is fake or not.

  1. Read this article by  The Guardian  about  NewsGuard that makes it easier to detect false news.  Is this something you would use and recommend to others?
  2. Find at least two news stories and use this flow chart by the BBC to check if the information and the source are reliable.
  3. Share your findings with your group members.
  4. Discuss: Why is it so important to be critical to what we read online?fake news II-M

Positive and Negative Aspects of Social Media

Today we have heard about the media’s role in our global world. Who could imagine a world without it? As media consumers, we use a wide variety of media, and social media is perhaps the most used one. In your first blog assignment, I want you to write a brief text (max. 1 page) about the positive and negative aspects of social media.

-Målfrid
social media