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By investigating the coverage of the Millennium Development Goals in the media, students learn about both the local and global presence of development issues, as well as gain an introduction to the way the media represents these issues in different parts of the world.
Time Required: 1 hour (plus additional out of class time to explore media resources)
Students will understand the everyday significance and global scope of the Millennium Development Goals.
1. Tell the group that even before they began this activity, all of them had heard about the Millennium Development Goals. If students disagree, take a class poll to ask who has heard of HIV/AIDS before, or learned about the importance of protecting the environment. Explain that these issues, along with others, are core values addressed in the Millennium Development Goals. Explain that on a daily basis they may encounter information related to the Goals but not realize it.
2. Ask students to bring a copy of a newspaper to class, either a local media source or a national or international newspaper, ensuring that a variety of sources are available so that both local and global media are represented within the group.
3. Once all the students have a newspaper, write the eight MDGs on the board or a large piece of paper.
4. Ask students to go through their chosen media source in search of articles that relate to any aspect of any of the MDGs. They should keep a running list of where they identify the Goals, and how many times they find connections to each one. The articles do not need to mention the MDGs or have any direct relations to the Goals, but rather just need to touch on issues related to the Goals. For instance, an article on a local pond being protected would relate to MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability. This step of the activity can also be completed independently outside of class time, followed separately by the group discussion.
5. Bring the class together to discuss their results. Review as a group whether each Goal was identified, and if so, how many times. Ask each student, or several volunteers, to talk about one of the articles they found, explaining how it related to one of the MDGs.
• Were you surprised by anything during this activity?
• Which Goals had the greatest coverage? The least?
• Was there a difference in the local coverage compared to national or international?
• Would understanding more about the Millennium Development Goals change the way you might read these articles in the future? Would it change which articles you would choose to read?
• Do you think the Goals affect your life and community?
This activity was developed as part of the Educator's Guide to the Millennium Development Goals, created by TakingITGlobal and the One World Youth Project
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