Media Awareness Network: new educational resources on media and global issues

I’ve taken issue in the past with some of the resources produced by the Media Awareness Network — they sometimes lean toward being negative and playing on fear. But on the whole, they are good and useful. I’m also glad to see these are free–or at least appear to be–not subject to the licensing and fees of other materials they offer.

More than Just Disasters: Shedding Light on Global Development and the Media

Ottawa, May 21, 2008 – Media Awareness Network (MNet) is marking World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development with the release of a new series of lessons for students in Grades 7-12. The lessons, which were funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and are available free on MNet’s Web site, offer young people a better understanding of how media portrayals affect our view of global development issues.

“Mass media can bring the world to our doorstep, but have they given us a distorted picture?” says MNet Co-Executive Director Jane Tallim. “Cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis make the news – but what else do the media show us of the developing world? How can we use the Internet to go beyond sensational images and stereotypes?”

Developed in collaboration with educators from across Canada and designed to support social studies curriculum outcomes, Beyond Media Messages: Media Portrayal of Global Development includes four lessons in English and in French.

The lessons – Media Portrayal of Global Development; Celebrities and World Issues; Finding and Authenticating Online Information on Global Development; and Making Media for Democratic Citizenship – address how media influence our views of developing nations and global development efforts and teach students how to read or view media portrayals critically and become media authors to promote democratic citizenship.

A portal page to the lessons can be found on MNet’s Web site at


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