Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DISCUSSING ABOUT MEDIA - newspaper, tv, radio in English - Group discussion example

Warm up:

Discuss and respond:

‘Mass Media’ is a means of communication which reaches larger
numbers of people. In today’s world we have the television, the
radio, the newspaper, magazine or journal, and the Internet which
we refer to as the ‘media’.

1. Do you read the newspaper everyday?
Do you listen to the news on Radio?
Do you watch the news programme on television?
Which do you find most informative?
2. Do you go to the newspaper/radio for the news only?
3. What programme do you enjoy the most on radio?
4. Which column of the newspaper do you read first?


The following is a conversation between two school boys:

Rajesh : Why are you worried about your project? Switch on
to Discovery Channel or Animal Planet. You’ll get
enough information through the various
documentaries on wild animals. Don’t you read the
newspaper everyday? The dailies carry magazine
sections during the week, and the Sunday supplement
has several features on Nature Science. I am sure
you’ll find sufficient material to work on.

Prasad : Thank you, Rajesh. I’ll check the paper but how
would I know when those programmes would be
relayed on TV?

Rajesh : “A guide to Radio and Television” is a regular section
in the paper. It gives you the various programmes
under each channel and the time of relay - be it news,
quiz, game or chat shows, comedy or drama series,
documentaries, movies, sit.coms, soap operas or
current affairs, live commentary or recorded
highlights of games.

Prasad : You must be spending a lot of time on TV viewing!

Rajesh : Not at all! The TV is shared by the family - we are
eight members! … we have cable TV facility with
64 channels, so there is a constant tussle between us
as to what should be watched, when and how! Either
the volume has to be turned up for my grandmother
who is short of hearing or it has to be turned down
for my sister who is frequently writing entrance
exams. And then, there’s my younger sister and
brother who quarrel over the remote control and keep
switching channels. While one wants Cartoon
Network the other wants a sponsored serial. I get to
watch TV only when they’re showing a good film or
music programme. That’s when there’s a unanimous
choice in the family. I do listen to radio programmes
often. I can receive broadcasts from all over the world
on my radio and I can pick up many interesting
stations on the short wave. Even the radio comes in
for tug-of-war between my brother and sister,
especially when the FM radio is broadcasting
‘Listener’s choice’ anchored by their favourite radio
jockeys.

Prasad : Then how is it you know so much about TV
programmes?

Rajesh : My source of information is the newspaper. There’s
everything under the sun in it. Some newspapers
focus on sensational news whereas a quality newspaper
reports facts and editors take care to be
objective. I prefer a newspaper to TV or radio because
I can choose what I want to know on my own time. If
I am in a hurry I read only headlines and get to reading
the news reports, the editorial and other feature
articles at my leisure. The newspaper has so many
other interesting sections. There’s the regional,
national, and international news, sports reports, the
business news, the special supplements, cartoons,
crosswords, zodiac predictions, weather forecasts,
classified ads, what not! Even an obituary column -
my grandfather makes me read it to him everyday
and most often he knows those old persons and tells
me so many interesting anecdotes from their lives.

Prasad : Don’t tell me you read all the newspapers available?!

Rajesh : No, I don’t but it’s not impossible! I’m told that a
certain U.S President would read eight newspapers
during his morning cup of tea, and was able to quote
from them during his discussions in the White House.
It is a matter of speed-reading really. The newspaper
has no doubt helped me improve my reading skills!

Prasad : Thanks Rajesh. You’ve been a great help!

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