Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Media and Its Messages

Seventh graders are coming to the library each week this fall to consider ways in which the media sends messages to us all through newspapers, magazines, radio and television and -- yes -- the internet. We began our examination of the mass media with newspapers, identifying the major components of the paper (articles, editorials and ads) and, in some depth, the parts of the front page. We had the great good fortune to welcome a speaker who is a new kindergarten parent at Lawrence: Ellen Clegg is Deputy Managing Editor of News at The Boston Globe and makes the decision about what gets featured on the front page! She led us through a typical day in the editorial offices of the paper, a fascinating journey. We thought about banner headlines, human interest stories, hot-breaking news... and found plenty of examples of each over a period of just a few days given stock market fluctuations and a lively election season!

Down the line, we will examine in more depth the impact of advertising and the difference between fact and opinion in the media we confront in our lives. It is startling to really consider how surrounded we are by media messages.