Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Media bias - some resources

Tabloid Watch is a useful blog with a variety of detailed posts looking at the frequent inaccuracies of papers such as the Mail and Express.You can click on tags - the Mail tag flags up 790 stories!
My MediaReg blog covers media regulation; this post, for example, highlights a few cases of inaccuracy by papers such as the Mail. I have also blogged on some satirical videos, though some are not suitable for KS3/4 viewing.
You can also find profiles of what kind of person reads each newspaper (and other media organisations) here.
The name of The Sun Lies blog rather gives away what it looks at!
Is media ownership an issue? Some politicians think so. There's a Wiki too! There's a long government document on this.

One of many resources you can use
below the line, a list, hyperlinked, of many of the media regulators and campaign groups

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Women in Parliament

You can watch a video of the exchange here.
It wasn't so long ago that the Prime Minister caused an outcry by telling a female MP, "calm down dear" in the style of a notoriously sexist film director Michael Winner (who used the phrase in an insurance ad).
Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle, at whom the comment was aimed, said "a modern man" would not have "expressed himself that way".
But a Downing Street spokesman said it was just "a humorous remark" (BBC)
I noticed today two interesting articles in the Guardian, looking at the experience of female MPs and comparing the percentage of female MPs here and elsewhere.

Here's a sample quote from a Labour MP, Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow constituency):
For young women, particularly, when they see a woman from their area in parliament (I grew up in my constituency and I went to local schools), that makes a big difference, because they can identify with you. It makes the idea that this is a career they could go into much more realistic and possible. And to me that’s really important – if they want a career in politics, then why not? “Why not” is what I say when people say they can’t, or it’s too difficult. Women being visible in national political life, working on issues that not only affect women but society at large, is a really important message. Parliament still doesn’t look like society in terms of gender and ethnicity – that needs to change. (Guardian)
Here's a graphic overview of how women fare as elected politicians across the EU (the article has further graphs illustrating the % of women in the UK and Scottish governments, plus further analysis):

Songs about relationships

Some songs about love and relationships

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Is it alRight if there's no Left left?!

Use resources on this blog!
Your task today is prepare a presentation of around 3-5mins in which you report to the class on the views, ideology, policies, philosophy of one major political party - one from...
There is also an option to look at Respect, not a major party with significant hopes of large numbers of MPs, but they do have as many MPs as the Greens or UKIP at the time of writing (before a bye-election UKIP look set to win)!

NB: You will be logged off computers with 20 minutes left in the lesson, so print off anything you need by then, or email a PowerPoint to me (I'll put this on the board).

I would like your report to include some detail on the following:
  1. PARTY HISTORY: Briefly outline the history of the party: how much time (if any!) have they spent in government; have they always been a major/small party or have their fortunes changed over time; who are some of their most significant leaders (or MPs); have they formed any alliances/coalitions at any time?
  2. ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES: Factual detail on how many MPs, MEPs (European Parliament), MSPs (Scottish Parliament), MAs (Welsh Assembly), MLAs (Northern Ireland Assembly) they have. Include the total number for each, eg there are 650 MPs in the House of Commons (Wiki). Comment if you can on this party's local standing - is this an area in which the party enjoys success? You could briefly discuss why when you come back together.
  3. LEADER + 2015 ELECTION HOPES: Using at least one left-wing and at least one right-wing newspaper as sources (ask if unsure!) sum up/provide a flavour of how the party leader is viewed; find the odds on this party winning the 2015 election, and any predictions on how many seats they might win; what do opinion polls say?
  4. POLICIES + IDEOLOGY: Using newspapers and/or the parties' own website, find at least 3 current/recent policies, and sum up whether these reflect a party that is right-wing, left-wing or even a mix of both! Think back to the findings and points from your own questionnaire results last time.
You can use a variety of resources on this blog to help with this task: