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In the drama Fawkes uses stories from different news media as evidence that The Circle are picked on to justify his using violence against them. Gessler challenges what the news stories mean and Scarlett is left confused as to who to believe.

In the real world different news papers report the same story from different points of view, each has a different “angle” and each creates a different impression of what happened and has an important role in shaping opinions.

On this activity sheet are some real headlines that appeared in newspapers the day after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001.

Divide the class into small groups and ask them to use the headlines to compare and investigate how the media might contribute to the construction of attitudes and opinions. How would these headlines influence how people think and feel? How can we be sure of what the truth is?

You could draw or project a table onto the white board (like the one on the activity sheet). Hand out post-it notes to each group, ask them to think about the questions below and write their answers onto the notes and stick them to the white board in the appropriate box.

Ask the whole class if there are any things that the headlines have in common? In what ways do they differ?

  • How do these headlines help us paint a picture of the events? Are there any things missing, things we want to know more about?
  • What understanding of the events would you have if you read only one of the news papers?
  • Do you think we have an accurate understanding of the events on 9/11 from the papers?

Extension –

1) Ask the small groups to write a short article to go with one of the headlines. They can attempt to take an objective view or be as subjective as they want?

2) Make a still picture in their small group that would accompany one of the headlines.


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