How is the media manipulated, and how does the media manipulate us? This unit of work looks at how the media we consume has been constructed in ways which may make us think and feel in different ways.


Brainstorm as many different ways you can think of that the media around you may be trying to manipulate you. Think of the different types of media you consume every day. What message is it trying to give to you?

Photoshop and Beauty:

How much do you believe what you see in glossy magazines and advertisements? Explore what’s really and not through this series of activities and resources.


Other Resources:

News Reporting and the ‘Dodgy Guy’

Current Affairs shows such as ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘Today Tonight’ often have stories about “Dodgy Guys”. These Dodgy Guys can be builders, handymen, teachers, drivers or teenagers but are always praying on the weak (usually pensioners). These current affairs shows use a variety of techniques to make sure their subjects always look dodgy to us.

Camera Techniques

Dodgy guys always move in slow motion, and in black and white. Dodgy guys are also usually shot with handheld or hidden cameras and shown running away from their responsibilities.

Sound Techniques

Wherever Dodgy guys go, they are followed by deep, bassy and creepy music. Sound effects and accents may also be used.

Dialogue Techniques

The way the Dodgy guy is described by the presenter and the victim/s shapes the way we see them.


  • Watch some A Current Affair segments on dodgy guys and pay attention to how different techniques are used. Here are some great examples: Cruel ScamCarpet ConmanShattered DreamsCruel Stunt.
  • As you are watching the segments, take notes on the techniques the producers have used on a table like this one (Analysis Table). Discuss with your class what you found.
  • These techniques aren’t only used on shows like A Current Affair, but can be used to try and manipulate you on any type of docu-drama. Watch an episode of Border Security and discuss what techniques are used to make people look dodgy. (episode link)
  • Make your own Dodgy Guy Current Affairs Ad! Watch some of the ads for A Current Affair and create your own ad for a segment making someone in your school look “dodgy” and someone to be the “victim”. Use the camera, sound and dialogue techniques you have learned throughout the Unit. (Planning Sheet)


Assessment Resources

Media Manipulation rubric
Media Manipulation Marking Guide
A Current Affair Analysis Rough Draft
ACA planning
A Current Affair Video Planning
A Current Affair Analysis Planning