Look at this poster and explain its intent. What kind of technique is being practised here?


Task 1: The Iraq War

The greatest cause of media bias, though not the only one, is government control. This is especially true in times of war.


Read the following article and see the short trailer to the film mentioned.


We will watch this film in class. While the film is playing, you will need to make notes of any main point that strikes you, with examples from the film to support it. I will stop the film occasionally to allow you to do this.


For further information on bias in various news stories from the past 40 years, the website of the author of the article (to be found at the end of the article above) is also highly recommended.


How much of this is true? What do you think? Here are a few more links to research, after which you will need to prepare notes for a formal discussion.


Task 2: Vocabulary

The very choice of words used by writers in all forms of media can indicate and influence bias.  Read through this document and try to explain how language can be used to show bias and/or to control how the reader thinks.


At the time of writing there are wars going on between the US Army and various ethnic and religious groups in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Do a little of your own research in to selected news websites, and investigate the usage of these three terms:

  • terrorist
  • freedom fighter
  • insurgent
Some websites that you could use, reflecting a range of opinion (bias) and cultural background, could include the following:
  • BBC / CNN
  • FoxNews
  • The Guardian
  • Al Jazeera
As you use these sites, consider in advance what bias they might possibly have, and how this bias could be reflected in their reporting, and in the vocabulary they use.


Written Task

How biased can you be? Now is the time for you to practice your journalism skills.


You work for either the FoxNews website, or the Al-jazeera website. You are writing a brief account of the killing of Osama bin Laden, accompanied by an equally brief biography of the dead man. Cover the following points:

  • Where and how was he killed? Was it justified?
  • Who killed him, and what is your view of them?
  • What kind of man was he? Sum up a few key events of his life.
Before you begin writing your article, have a look at some examples to gather a few ideas about the tone of language you should use, and the ways in which you could express your opinions. Remember also who your target audience will be.


This link may help you get the tone for your anti-Osama article:


Here is a brief collection of Muslim opinion:


And here is a neutral obituary from which you can take details about bin Laden’s life:

Task 3: The UK Riots

Finally, here is the document concerning the UK riots that we looked at back at the start of this unit. Use this as another example of bias; it may be useful as evidence for an essay, written task or oral activity.

UK Riots and Media Bias