Classroom Activity: Analyzing State Censorship & Citizen Responses

When analyzing digital media in the Middle East, it is important to recognize the lived realities and contexts that are often not in control by citizens. For this class activity, you will work in groups to uncover the basic structure of how a digital object, media, censorship, or internet phenomenon operates. Thereafter, you will begin to map out your group video essay.

  • Firstly, observe the piece, skim it, listen, etc. Write down your observations before working with your group.
  • Within your group, begin to answer the following questions. What is the source of your assigned piece? Which type of censorship style is it (proactive or reactive) and/or what type of response from citizens are you looking at? List the website and describe the context.
  • What is the methodology of the source? Meaning, what are the methods in which information is presented? How is it written or envisioned?
  • What is the story behind the source? Do some cursory Google research on the phenomenon.
  • Who is the audience? Who is trying to convince that audience? Is it convincing? Is it clear?
  • What is the overall tone of the website or digital media phenomena? Are there any subliminal messages?
  • What are the techniques used to convey the messages in the given piece? What is the quality of the piece?
  • If your piece has sound, watch chosen videos or moving images. If there is sound, listen to it with your eyes shut and with your eyes open. How do you feel? What is the visual aspect trying to invoke? Did you change your perspective? Discuss with your group members.

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