Part B: Reflect on the headlines

Take another look at these headlines.

Teenager charged with drink-driving ride-on lawnmower at Ingham Courier Mail, 8 May 2011
Dozens detained in Gay Bar raid Herald Sun, 4 April 2011
Call for action on Aboriginal crime Courier Mail, 3 November 2011
My day as an undercover Muslim Daily Telegraph, 22 June 2011
Asian crime gangs cross the ethnic line Daily Telegraph, 8 Feb 2010
Ten Aussie heroes honoured with pride Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2011

Why do you think groups are mentioned in the headlines?  Does this make it easier to predict what the story is going to be about?

As soon as a word like 'Aussie' or 'Asian' is seen the reader makes connections between this group and their existing views about the group.  This can help the reader quickly understand and make meaning from the headline.

While referring to groups may help engage and make meaning for the reader, it can also create and reinforce stereotypes about groups.  For example, the headlines above reinforce the idea that teenagers are reckless and Aboriginal people commit crime, when in reality this is only true of some teenagers and some Aboriginal people.

How would you feel if you were a member of these groups?

Now it's your turn to create an introduction to a news story inspired by one of these headlines.

Use one of the actual headlines above and predict what you think the article will be about by writing the first few sentences of the news story.  The first few sentences of a news item always contain the important information - who, what, when, and where.  They give the reader all the key facts in case they do not wish to read on and get the details.