Teacher Review for The Republia Times

A great example of media bias and how journalism can have a huge impact on the public.

Scott M.
Technology coordinator
Lincoln Hall Middle School
Lincolnwood, United States
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My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
Present this activity at the start of your unit. I would suggest running through the first day/level as a large group, then split up into individual/small groups for the rest of the levels. Try to not reveal much about the background or setting of the game--have students discover what is going on on their own. Unfortunately, though the game does allow for multiple endings, repeated playthroughs are not very engaging. Have students share what kinds of stories they picked and how it affected the outcome of the game. I would also suggest tying in some facts about 21st century skills/media literacy.
My Take
The Republia Times is a perfect introductory activity for a journalism class or any lesson involving propaganda. This is a free game found on the web, so there is very little set-up. The controls and directions are very easy to pick up. Students see newspaper headlines appear in a ticker, and have to decide where to place them on the page and what size to make the article. However, the government has given you orders to only print articles that put it in a positive light. This becomes harder and harder as the days go on and the news becomes more grim. Later in the game you are also given a twist--a resistance movement requests your help to get their word out. But will you sacrifice your family for the greater good?