Most people get their information on political issues from the media. Often this can influence people’s opinions. Sir David Steel discusses the negative criticism over the cost of the Scottish Parliament building. A journalist discusses the role the media plays in holding politicians to account. The media can also exert political influence through campaigns, such as the one carried out by the Daily Record newspaper to keep Peterhead prison open.

First broadcast:
11 December 2003

This clip could be used to illustrate the role of media in society and the impact of newspapers on decision making. Students could be asked to consider the following question while watching the clip: "To what extent was the Daily Record influential in preventing the closure of Peterhead prison?" Following the clip, students could use newspapers from recent elections to consider the political slant of different newspapers. Other media campaigns on particular issues could also be examined to detect bias and exaggeration.
The class could debate partiality and impartiality in the media. As a specific point, students could consider why television in the UK is supposed to be impartial, while print journalism can represent particular politcal views.