Global Awareness Camp - Workshop Outline

Workshop Themes

  • Lack of diversity and participation in corporate media
  • Ways that this affects us as consumers of media
  • Independent media as an alternative that offers more diversity and more participation.


  • Icebreaker, introduction and "survey" of media consumption patterns
  • Exercise on media ownership
  • Analysis of one form of media
  • "Being the media"
  • Wrap-up discussion

Icebreaker, introduction and survey

  • Go around: tell us your name and your favourite book or tv show
  • Introduce ourselves and the topic for the session. What do you think of when we say 'media'? What are the various forms of media?
  • Survey: stand up if you watch tv. Keep standing if you watch more than 2 hours a week... 4 hours... 6 hours... etc. (similar questions for music, newspapers, internet)

Media ownership

  • If we in this room represented all the newspapers in Canada, how many would be owned by one company? How many by another company? How many would be independent?
  • How many TV stations are owned by the same people who own all these newspapers?
  • If you owned all these newspapers and tv networks, what kind of power would you have?
  • What if one person (you) owned this many newspapers, and another person (different you) owned that many newspapers, and you disagreed about something? Say one thought blue was better and the other thought yellow was better. How could you convince people that your colour was better using your newspapers and tv?
(answers: through advertising, editorials, selection of stories, placement of stories, selection of people to interview for those stories, use of photographs to draw attention to certain perspectives, selection of letters to the editor, others...)

Media analysis

Discussion - may record points on flip chart or chalk board.
  • Pick a form of media that seemed to be most popular during survey.
  • Act out how we look (how active we are) when exposed to that form of media
  • What are the characteristics of this form of media?
  • What effects does it have on us?
  • Who can participate in this form of media (i.e. create the content)?
  • Is the content "balanced"?
  • Is there any such thing as a neutral story?
  • Discuss diversity in media - the difference between seeking the "right" perspective and seeking many perspectives. Diversity helps to get ideas and more sides of the story

"Being the media"

Activity - making our own mini-paper in the style of indymedia.
  • All of us have stories to tell and things that we think are important.
  • What theme do you have something to say about, that you think is important for others to hear? (generate a topic; could be from other issues they have discussed earlier in the camp)
  • Hand out a blank sticker or small piece of paper to each participant; have each write something on that topic
  • Now what - we could each stick our opinion wherever we wanted (like graffiti), or we could stick them on one sheet of paper, photocopy it and distribute it. (We could stick them on the internet too.)
  • (Assuming we put them together) Should we sign our "articles", or should they be anonymous? Why?
  • Is our paper "balanced"? (Continuing the colour analogy, if other papers represent blue and yellow, do we have to be the whole rainbow? Or can we build diversity by "being red" - offering a perspective that wouldn't otherwise be heard?)
  • How and where could we distribute our paper? Who might read it?
  • What if someone wanted to advertise in our paper; should we let them?
  • continue or cut off this discussion as time allows.

Wrap-up discussion

  • What have we done/learned here this morning?
  • How can you keep being the media after today?
  • Go around circle: say one thing you liked and one thing you didn't like (or that we could improve) about the session.

-- CarolHunsberger - 28 Jul 2003
Topic revision: r1 - 28 Jul 2003, CarolHunsberger
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