Lesson Plan

What is Media Bias in News Reporting?

Online news on a smartphone and laptop


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GRADE LEVEL: High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, Language

SEL STANDARDS*: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making

What is media bias and how can we spot it while consuming news?

The media is a large and influential part of our everyday lives. Through radio, podcasts, television, news, images, video and the internet, there is bias in all aspects of media—sometimes subtle and sometimes overt. During the 2022 war and refugee crisis in Ukraine, many have noticed a “double standard” in the way that some journalists have talked about the people of Ukraine and the refugees who are fleeing the country, especially in comparison to other refugee crises our world has faced. This example can serve as a way to introduce young people to bias in media and how it manifests in different ways.

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn what media bias is, reflect on the Ukraine example as well other examples of media bias, and then study one example in depth in order to learn how to analyze a piece of media for bias.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will understand what media bias is.
  • Students will analyze the way that media bias manifests in reporting about Ukraine and will reflect on other examples of media bias.
  • Students will choose and analyze an example of media bias.

* Based on CASEL's SEL Framework