Tag Archives: media

The power of the press?

This article – Did the Mail and Sun help swing the UK towards Brexit? – by the media editor at the Guardian, Jane Martinson, questions whether the tabloid press influences or reflects the views of its readers. It looks at how the Sun and the Daily Mail played on people’s fears during the Referendum campaign.

Interestingly, “Surveys show that the British people trust the papers less than their European counterparts. As recently as September one showed that 73% of people in the UK “do not tend to trust” the printed press – the highest figure among all EU member states and a staggering 23% higher than the EU average.”

Yet, as she points out, there is evidence that the press still sets the agenda. As we have now all too sadly seen.

(“It’s the Sun wot won it!” refers to the Sun’s 1992 front page headline the day after the unexpected Conservative party victory in the general election. In the run-up to polling day they had launched an attack on Neil Kinnock, the Labour Party leader.)

You’ll find much more about “Brexit – what next?” under “Louise’s Teaching Tips” on the Münchner Kommunaler Bildungsserver für Medienpädagogik website from Monday 27th June. 

The best of April Fool’s Day

If you’re looking for something a little fun and are dealing with technology, the media or the environment, you might like to try out one or two of these April Fool’s videos with your students. They are not only fun but they will also provoke interesting discussions:


Google Nose (2013) is linguistically quite tough in places, but all students will be able to follow the general idea. Although it is meant as a bit of fun, the technology is being developed and scientists are looking into how “electronic noses” could actually be used. The following blog post on the Washington Post contains a few ideas and the students could then find out more on the Internet.

The Google Nose homepages for Germany and the US also shed some interesting light on intercultural differences: The headline on the US page was “Smelling is believing” (a twist on the saying “Seeing is believing”), but the German version had the somewhat plain and simple “Suchen und riechen”. The students should discuss why a different approach might have been chosen for each country and whether they think this was appropriate or not.

Guardian Goggles (2013) was a take on Google glass and shows how the media could influence our everyday choices. Although it is tongue-in-cheek, the students could discuss how much of what is presented is, in fact, possible (with smartphones, etc.).

Google Cardboard Plastic (2016) Google’s latest ad pokes fun at our obsession with seeing everything through special lenses and could either be combined with the Guardian Goggles above or with the following photo (a crowd of people watching an event through their mobiles and one old lady actually watching it directly) that went viral last year. It raises an interesting question of how we actually experience what is going on around us. You’ll find more suggestions at Louise’s Teaching Tips on the muc-kobis.de website where you can download the pdf “Mobile phones, social media and me” with links and teaching ideas.

The BBC video Penguins (2008) was so well-produced that many people were left wondering whether it was true or not. It is a short documentary-like clip about a special colony of birds that migrate to the Amazon each year to escape climate change … In addition there is short behind-the-scenes video Making of Penguins that shows how they managed to get the birds to fly.

Have fun and do send me your favourites!

Nobody saw it coming!

After the surprising events of the last twenty-four hours, the UK is still reeling: the Conservatives won outright despite the polls saying that they were neck and neck with Labour, the hung Parliament we had been led to believe was a foregone conclusion never materialised, the Liberal Democrats have been crushed, Labour has suffered a terrible defeat and the SNP have enjoyed a landslide victory in Scotland …

The bbc website and the major newspapers have all had live feeds and given extensive coverage. The Guardian’s coverage proved particularly good. Of course from a teaching point of view, Cameron’s first speech after the Conservative victory provides a lot of interesting discussion material, and a comparison of the resignation speeches by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage (all on the same webpage as Cameron’s first speech) could also be fruitful.

In addition, The Guardian posted an interesting selection of front pages from British daily newspapers this morning. It not only provides a clear overview of where the individual papers stand politically (such as The Daily Mirror “Five more damn years”, The Daily Mail “Hallelujah! Britain votes for sanity” and The Daily Telegraph “Cameron triumphs on shock election night”) but also an interesting insight into the different types of newspapers and reporting styles on offer.

Once the dust has settled, let’s see how things start shaping up.

Digital tattoos are forever

This fascinating six-minute talk – Your online life permanent as a tattoo – is given by the futurist Juan Enriquez. In this video, he talks about how the information we post online can be compared to a digital tattoo. It provides a great and less patronizing starting point for a discussion in Years 11 and 12 on what we post online. Before the students watch, you might like to ask them to think about what their online presence and a tattoo have in common.

There’s a transcript of the talk, too.