Alternative Media

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Using alternative media to present news and issues in an accessible manner

This section of the Media Literacy Lesson Plans explains how information is spread in the digital age....

... from continuing the age-old practice of satirical cartoons to adopting new digital platforms.

In the following lesson plans, students are asked to view global news through new lenses. Exercises within the lesson plans will provide students with the opportunity to assess the integrity of alternative media, for example, as well as consider whether media are delivering accurate and fair messages.



  • Blogging Revolution — Blogging is the domain for new voices in media, acting as a means of distributing information and ideas across the globe. This lesson plan uses Yoani Sanchez's blog "Generation Y" as a case study to explore the media of blogging from the perspective of those living under the Cuban dictatorship. 
  • Cartoons and Visuals — Visual satire has existed as a form of print media for hundreds of years, acting to knock politicians off their pedestals and expose corporate and financial scandals. This lesson plan shows how today's mass media are using political cartoons to analyze global controversies in a provocative manner.  In the exercises, students are challenged to explore the "why" behind visual elements in political cartoons. 

  • Citizen Journalism — Democracy is strengthened when voices of all people can be heard. This lesson plan focuses on a case study of a South Korean site called OhmyNews, a web page created in the interest of expanding citizen journalism, allowing disperate perspectives to be heard in an online setting. 

  • Mobile Citizenship — Both in the global north and the global south, mobile phones are vital means of communication. This lesson plan explains that the mobile phones can also act as a prime source of news and documentation, and explores how students themselves can become journalists via this tool. 

  • Music as a Medium — Music does not exist simply as an artform.  It can also give voice to those who recognize a need for change. This lesson plan explores the work of a contemporary musician whose lyrics and messages make political and cultural statements.