Media Literacy

Getting below the surface

Key idea Information can be packaged in many ways

Success criteria

  • Be able to identify information neighbourhoods
  • What clues to look for in checking the accuracy of information
  • Identify some of the reasons why authors of information mislead their audience


1. Copies of one or more news story published in different papers

2. List of the information neighbourhoods produced as a handout/ worksheet or on a whiteboard






Raw information

Have samples of text published or compiled to illustrate the different information neighbourhoods.

Teaching Activities

Introduction to the learning

1. Take the same story appearing in different media. (example: report of the row over use of Mohamed images in Batley Grammar School in Daily Mirror, Sun and I on March 27, 2021)

  • What is different about the reports
  • Why are they different
  • Do you trust the accuracy of the reports? If so why
  • What tools would you use to check their accuracy

Main body of the learning

2. Information neighbourhoods

Produce samples of text, published or composed, that illustrate each of the neighbourhood areas and ask students to match one with the other. Discuss how they differ.

Take a news story and ask students, perhaps in pairs, to rewrite to represent one of more of the neighbourhood areas

Reviewing for accuracy

Writer’s intention. Explain definitions


In her interview with Oprah Winfrey Megan Markle said one of the Royal Family, not the Queen, has asked her what colour her expected child would be.  This led commentators to say that Megan implied the Royal Family was racist.  Prince William later said that the Royal Family was not racist.

What do you think was the intention of the statement? Is it just raw information? Or is it an example of disinformation or even misinformation or even indeed malinformation?

What more would you need to know to be convinced either way? For example previous comments by Megan to a similar effect.

How do you feel about the statement? Do you have any emotional reaction, eg sympathy with Megan?

On April 24 then President Trump questioned whether injecting disinfectant and exposing patients’ bodies to UV light could help treat the coronavirus.

What do you think his motives were in making that suggestion?

Was he being paid by suppliers of disinfectants and sunbeds for advertising for them?

Was it form of entertainment because it was so unlikely?  In fact some doctors at the time took the suggestions seriously.

Was it a form of disinformation to belittle the impact of the virus?

Was it just misinformation because he simply didn’t know and was speculating?

Was it malinformation to harm the experts and the scientists whom he didn’t believe?

News is packaged in many ways