CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Role of the Media

Type:
Assignment
Subjects:
Media Studies, Business Studies
Duration:
1 lesson
Purpose:
To analyze the role of the press in reporting on corporations
Summary:
Students discuss their positions on the role of the media in portraying corporations.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Explain to students that corporations often rely on the media for their success. One way they do this is by trying to get favorable coverage in newspapers and broadcast media. In an era of increasing media ownership concentration, the ties between corporations and media become even tighter. Many observers have drawn attention to the responsibilities of members of the news media in covering business. Several clips in the CBC Digital Archives website topic "Stranger than Fiction: The Bre-X Gold Scandal" focus on the media's role in "hyping" Bre-X and not asking tough questions. Discuss students' views on the responsibility of the media to be tough on corporations and to ask critical questions.

 

Outline the Opportunity

 

Direct students to the topic Stranger than Fiction: The Bre-X Gold Scandal on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them examine the clips "Gold fever", "Walsh clears the air", and "Australian miners knew something was awry." For each clip, have students summarize the main point of the clip in one sentence, list which experts were quoted, and list the questions that were posed.


As a class, discuss the Bre-X "facts" that were not reported, using students' responses.

Ask students to consider the following questions:

If that information had been in the press at the beginning of the scandal, how might things have turned out differently?

Did the press miss an opportunity to research the situation and report on the Australian experience? Why or why not?

Did the press have a responsibility to uncover and report on the Australian situation?

 

Revisit and Reflect

 

Ask students to reflect on their reactions to the clips they viewed and the class discussions. Distribute the download sheet The Role of the Media and ask students to map out their positions on the matter of media responsibility. Have students compare their positions.

 

Extension

 

Students can investigate media coverage of another Canadian company and determine whether they think coverage has become stricter since the time of the Bre-X scandal, and how the coverage differs from that of Bre-X.


Download PDF

Related Content

Getting the Games: Canada's Olympic Bids, ext...

It might be the most ruthless of all Olympic competitions: the race for the right to host the ...

1974: 28 million rotten eggs

Agriculture minister Eugene Whelan is in the frying pan over an egg scandal.

Getting the Games: Canada's Olympic Bids

It might be the most ruthless of all Olympic competitions: the race for the right to host the ...

Stranger than Fiction: The Bre-X Gold Scandal

It had all the elements of a great novel: a dramatic rags to riches story, a mysterious suicid...

1997: The Bre-X bubble bursts

Investors panic when scandal rocks the small Calgary-based mining company.

Politics, Sex and Gerda Munsinger

If Lucien Cardin had kept his mouth shut on March 4, 1966, the sensational political sex scand...