This activity uses recent newspapers
and news media to develop an awareness of rights issues
in everyday life and to show human rights not only as they
are violated but also as they are protected and enjoyed.
1. Divide participants into small groups.
Each group receives a newspaper or pages from a newspaper,
scissors, tape or glue, and a sheet of chart paper.
2. Each group will construct a poster
using items from the newspaper grouped under these categories:
a. rights being practiced or enjoyed
b. rights being denied
c. rights being protected
d. rights in conflict
Encourage participants to look not only
for news stories but also for small features such as announcements
and advertisements (e.g., the language of the paper itself
illustrates the right to language and culture, advertisements
can illustrate the right to private property, reports of
social events may illustrate cultural rights, and personal
columns can reflect many rights in practice).
3. Once participants have found stories
for each category, they should select one story from each
category to analyze:
a. What specific rights were involved
in the story? List them beside the article.
b. Find the article(s) of the UDHR
that cover each right and write the article number(s)
on the list.
Alternative: All groups contribute
to four separate posters, combining the articles they have
found to make class posters.
4. Ask a spokesperson from each group
to summarize the groups selections.
5. Choose one or two stories from each
groups poster and ask the group to explain their analysis
of the story in terms of the UDHR:
- What specific rights were involved
in several stories?
- What articles of the UDHR were involved?
- Were more stories concerned with
political and civil rights or social, economic, and cultural
rights? See Part V, A Human Rights Glossary, for definitions.
Why do you think one kind of right appeared more often?
- What categories of rights stories
were easiest to find? Hardest? Why?
- Did some articles of the UDHR come
up more often than others? Did others not come up at all?
How can you explain this?
- How many articles explicitly mentioned
human rights? How many concerned human rights issues but
did not use those words? Why do you think human rights
were not mentioned?
- Based on these news stories, what
seems to be the state of human rights in the world today?
In the USA? In your community?
- What are some positive initiatives
and actions for the protection and fulfillment of human
rights indicated by the stories? Who is taking these actions?
1. Keep Searching Leave
the posters hanging for an extended time, during which participants
continue to add clippings. Reassess the posters and the
2. Compare Media Coverage
Ask participants to compare coverage of the
same human rights stories in different
newspapers and/or different media (e.g., radio, magazines,
TV). What differences can they observe in importance given
the story? In emphasis of features of the story? Are there
different versions of a single event? Did any version of
the story explicitly mention human rights?
3. Survey Television Coverage
Ask participants to watch a news program on TV and
write down the topics covered and the amount of time given
to each human rights topic.
Source: Nancy Flowers, Human Rights
Educators Network, Amnesty International USA.