Explain to students that you will be exploring how media messages are driven by the intentions or purpose of their authors, or media makers.
Ask each student to choose one of the following three institutions:
Advertising Agency (selling a product )
Nonprofit / Charity (raising awareness & asking for donations)
News organization (emphasizing facts to describe the situation)
Screen the your chosen film (one that is under 10 minutes long) to your class without AUDIO (by turning the volume all the way down).
Ask your students to write a voice over for the film, adopting the tone and purpose of the institution they chose.
What message do you imagine the institution would want to communicate?
What tone might the narrator adopt in order to convey the message, in addition to the words they use?
Would this message best be conveyed by a male or female voice? Young or old? With any particular accent or other attribute?
What other qualities might you incorporate into your voice over to ensure maximum communication of your message?
Allow time for students to practice their narrations, in front of a mirror if possible.
Back in class, screen the film again without AUDIO with student narrators presenting a live voice over to the class. Do this at least once of each of the three institutions so that students can experience the differences in the impact.
After the presentations, ask students to share their observations. Emphasize how different agendas/ viewpoints or opinions can create a diverse set of meaning for the exact same images and how media messages are driven by the intentions or purpose of their authors.
You may wish to divide the class into 3 groups based on their chosen or assigned institutions and have them each nominate a speaker.
Share examples where media images may have been used or misused for the purpose of a personal benefit, a corporate benefit, or a political benefit. You may also want to share images that have been altered in order to misrepresent the truth in the original image.
What type of use do you consider appropriate and moral or inappropriate and immoral?
What systems, tools or checks and balances are in place in today’s media landscape to ensure an authentic representation of media images?
What might we add to this list in order to increase the likelihood of authentic representation?