Freedom of speech for everyone?

The French philosopher Voltaire once said:

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Watch Farred Zakaria on CNN talk about how conservative voices are being silenced, being concerned about how on both sides of the political spectre, people seem less interested to hear the arguments and opinions of the other side.

How far does freedom of speech go?

Can you lose your freedom of speech? How/why?

How should we react when someone uses their freedom of speech to offend us?

Visit this site from The Wall Street Journal and choose a topic.

See how conservative and liberal Facebook present the topic you have chosen.

Write a post where you discuss:

  • which topic did you choose to look at?
  • What is the conservative posts about, and what is the liberal posts about?
  • Are there any posts which you felt were offensive or promoting hate/negativity? Why?
  • Think about freedom of speech, should we be allowed to post whatever we want on social media, or are there limits?
  • Look at the side you disagree the most with, and try to find their best argument. Is there anything you can see having merit, making sense, something you can understand that people would think? What?


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Choose two of the questions on the film study work sheet (if you have lost it you can find it on Fronter) and write a blog post where you discuss your answer to these questions.

At the end of the post, sum up briefly what you learnt from this film, and how you liked it.


How different countries use newsproviding media

Wow, you gave me a challenge here – how do we approach this topic?

In groups, make a Prezi presentation of media usage in the country you have been given. Some things might be easy to find out, others a bit harder, and others yet again might be impossible… but let’s try! 🙂

Find out:

  • do they have a free press or any kind of censorship? Why/why not?
  • do they have state media or not? What could be the importance of this?
  • What are the biggest newsproviding media in this country?
  • Who owns these media?
  • How many use these?
  • Are they politically minded – liberal, conservative etc? If so, how is this seen?
  • Find the three biggest newsproviding media in this country and look at their frontpages: compare headlines, choice of causes, focus, read a story from each and comment on the journalism. Also, find them on social media; check out their Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account. How are they on social media? Many followers? What kind of profile do they have here? What kind of cases are their fronting on their social media?



Media in South Africa

Media in China

Media in Brazil

Media in India



Media coverage

The media has immense power, and often it is easy to forget that the cases written about, and its angle, is chosen by someone for some reason. Some media are more conservative, some more liberal, some write from one cultural background and some from another. This causes the both what is reported and how it is reported to vary from different media and different countries.

Look at the front pages of these different media: The LA Times, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera, CNN, The Australian and BBC .

Do all these media report on the same issues? Which are the recurring ones?

What are the various media focusing on? Do any of them focus on similar topics, or do they all vary?

Look up The Guardian, CNN and Al-Jazeera on social media (FB, instagram, twitter) – what are they sharing on social media? Is this different from the headlines on the actual newspaper? If so, why do you think they choose to share other cases on social media?

Choose two articles about the same topic to read, make sure they are from different media sources. Compare the two in terms of what it reports and focus on, the language – for who is this written, and possible opinions or views shining through. Write a short text where you discuss your findings.