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- Media Ethics
- In advance, listen to the original “War of the Worlds” broadcast: https://archive.org/details/OrsonWellesMrBruns. Determine which portions to play for students if the entire broadcast is too long.
- Read or summarize the background to the class.
- Pass out the worksheets and listen to the broadcast.
- While listening to the broadcast, students should use the Consumer’s Questions worksheet to analyze it.
- Discuss answers to the worksheets.
- Discuss the questions.
- Consumer's Questions worksheet (download), one per student or small group
- Did CBS have an ethical obligation to consider potential distress to listeners before broadcasting “War of the Worlds”? Why or why not?
- What tools and strategies did Welles use to make the “news report” realistic?
- After the program aired, critics called for federal censorship of radio scripts. Others advocated self-regulation by the broadcast industry. What are arguments for and against each position?
- Have you ever been fooled by a fake news report? What tools and strategies did the media producers use? How are they similar to and different from the tools and strategies Welles used?