Helping Students Deal with Images and News from Japan
by Frank W. Baker  Copyright 2011 (Media Literacy Clearinghouse)

Thanks to colleague Amy Jussel (Shaping Youth) for referencing this page


We are all overwhelmed by what we see in the news.  For many of our students, taking the time to help them better understand those images and where they originate is another step toward visual and media literacy.

Images can be frightening and unsettling—on that we can all agree. For your students here are some questions that might help get a discussion started and ease some of their concerns.

1. What did you hear, see, or read about the disasters?

2. Did you understand what you heard, read or saw?

3. Are news people using words/phrases you might not understand?

4. Do you know the source of the news, image or other information?

5. What sources do you currently use/trust to determine what is happening in Japan?

6. How reliable are your sources? How do you know?

7. Are there other reliable sources?  For example, are all of your sources US based; or are you reading sources from Asia, Europe, etc.?

8. How might international sources differ in style and tone from the US?  Give examples.

9. Why might it be important to “turn off” the news?