How is the media manipulated, and how does the media manipulate us? This unit of work looks at how the media we consume has been constructed in ways which may make us think and feel in different ways.
Brainstorm as many different ways you can think of that the media around you may be trying to manipulate you. Think of the different types of media you consume every day. What message is it trying to give to you?
Photoshop and Beauty:
How much do you believe what you see in glossy magazines and advertisements? Explore what’s really and not through this series of activities and resources.
- Cut out different images of models from magazines and annotate how you think they may have been photoshopped.
- Look at the website http://photoshopdisasters.com. Pick out what the photoshop artists have done wrong. What do you think they were trying to do?
- Find pictures on the internet of model’s photos before and after photoshop has been applied to them. What changes are being made to them?
- Watch these videos: [ Fotoshop by Adobe / Dove Evolution / Miss Representation: Female Body Image ] What points are these videos making? Do you agree?
- Read the following article and answer the questions on the worksheet
- Cover Girl Interactive website
- Retouch Interactive website
- Mediasmart: resources for body image
- Media Literacy: Is Seeing Believing? Resources for teaching about the manipulation of photographic images
- How to tell if images were faked
News Reporting and the ‘Dodgy Guy’
Current Affairs shows such as ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘Today Tonight’ often have stories about “Dodgy Guys”. These Dodgy Guys can be builders, handymen, teachers, drivers or teenagers but are always praying on the weak (usually pensioners). These current affairs shows use a variety of techniques to make sure their subjects always look dodgy to us.
Dodgy guys always move in slow motion, and in black and white. Dodgy guys are also usually shot with handheld or hidden cameras and shown running away from their responsibilities.
Wherever Dodgy guys go, they are followed by deep, bassy and creepy music. Sound effects and accents may also be used.
The way the Dodgy guy is described by the presenter and the victim/s shapes the way we see them.
- Watch some A Current Affair segments on dodgy guys and pay attention to how different techniques are used. Here are some great examples: Cruel Scam, Carpet Conman, Shattered Dreams, Cruel Stunt.
- As you are watching the segments, take notes on the techniques the producers have used on a table like this one (Analysis Table). Discuss with your class what you found.
- These techniques aren’t only used on shows like A Current Affair, but can be used to try and manipulate you on any type of docu-drama. Watch an episode of Border Security and discuss what techniques are used to make people look dodgy. (episode link)
- Make your own Dodgy Guy Current Affairs Ad! Watch some of the ads for A Current Affair and create your own ad for a segment making someone in your school look “dodgy” and someone to be the “victim”. Use the camera, sound and dialogue techniques you have learned throughout the Unit. (Planning Sheet)