This article examines both sides of the argument — should Facebook and Google pay news organizations for content or should the news organizations pay Facebook and Google for bringing them subscribers and advertisers?

Getting Started

Introduction to the article (perhaps by having everyone read it)

Survey the class and ask them if they read the news online. What sources do they use? Do any of their families subscribe to news online? Have a discussion about the accessibility of free news and what news they think would be worth paying for.

Subject Area(s) covered

Marketing, business management, current events

Study and Discussion Activity

Key things students can learn from this lesson

Students will learn that there are different and valid perspectives on the same issue and to consider all issues from different perspectives.

Action (here’s how we’ll do it)

  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • Organize the class into two equal groups. Assign one group to represent Facebook and Google and the other group to represent the news organizations.
  • Have students work together with an online white board or in small groups in class to create their debate arguments from each perspective.
  • Using representative groups, have each group select three speakers to present their group’s perspective.
  • Conduct a debate, having these students represent the group’s thinking, but allowing for other members of the group to come forward to add to the discussion and then retreat back to their position.

Consolidation of learning

  • At the conclusion of the debate, have each student write a summary of the arguments on each side of the debate.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria

  • Students are able to articulate different perspectives on a specific issue.

Confirming Activities

  • The article says Canada is considering emulating Australia’s legislation.  What do students think the impact will be?

Activities to do together

  • The article starts off by asking if restaurants should pay taxi drivers for dropping off customers or if an agent should pay an actor for bringing the actor a part.  Using this line of thought, brainstorm together other relationships similar to the ones described.
  • From students’ lists, discuss how this might work? Could it work? Would they pay?
  • If time allows, ask two or three local restaurants if they would be willing to pay taxi drivers for dropping off customers.
  • Do students think this happens already? Think about being a tourist in another city. When someone recommends a restaurant, whether they are a hotel concierge, a taxi driver or the doorman, do they and should they get paid?