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Our right to comment

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Our right to comment

Description
Since media organizations have moved to online formats, they have struggled with the practice of hosting online comments next to their content. Many news organizations require posters to meet specific standards, moderate the comments, and reserve the right to remove or delete comments and users. Some organizations even require each post be approved by a human before it can be live on their sites. More recently, NPR is the latest news organization to completely remove comments from their news sites. Has the ability to comment on news stories created a more or less informed culture?

Objectives

  • Students will explore the best ways to interact with news media
  • Students will define the roles of a media outlet

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Length

60 minutes

Materials / resources

NPR story about taking comments away

Worksheet

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Have the students read the article linked above
  2. Break the students into groups of four and choose a current event. Have each group read the comments section of a different media outlet you assign them for the current event you have chosen.
  3. Have the students complete the worksheet.
  4. As a whole class, discuss the findings.
  5. As an editorial board, come up with guidelines for your own media. You can find model guidelines here.

Differentiation
During this activity, Editors who already have had discussions about comments could be exploring the policies that various student media have.

One group of students could also be using the time to look at ways that social media fills the role of the comments section for some media outlets.

 

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