Free Trade vs. Fair Trade


Personal Reaction to a Global Issue
We are bombarded with information about global issues each day. We learn about these issues in many ways, including newspapers, television news, online blogs, and more recently, tweets. Documentaries also act as a way for individuals to present one or more sides of an issue through investigation, interviews, and footage of the places and individuals involved. In this unit, you will write about your personal reaction to a global issue presented in one of the documentaries listed below.
While watching the documentaries, it is important to pay attention not only to the information presented in the video, but also to the information that was left out, ignored, or written off as unimportant. Everyone holds personal biases about issues, and it is important to recognize that directors may not always offer a balanced view of the issue they are presenting. In other words, when watching documentaries it is important to critically analyze what you are watching.
When you critically analyze something, it is useful to pay attention to the following:
1. Context
? How is the information being presented?
? Are both sides of the issue represented?
? Is personal opinion or bias evident?
2. Sources
? Is the information provided recent?
? Are sources relevant?
? Are the sources from different viewpoints, or only one point of view?
3. Publisher
? What are the interests of the publisher?
? Do they have anything to gain/lose from the content provided?
4. Cause and Effect Relationships
? Are cause and effect relationships true, or exaggerated?
Example: John walked down the street at 10pm. At 10:15pm my house was robbed. John robbed my house.
This is not an effective cause and effect relationship because it is based on assumption, not fact.
5. Anecdotes
? Anecdotes are personal stories, not fact. Just because one person experienced something, doesn’t mean it is true for everyone.
6. Missing Information
? Is there information missing?
? Have all sides of the issue been examined?
7. Statistics
? Do statistics represent a variety of people from different backgrounds?
Example: If you create a survey asking people their opinions on poverty, but only ask people who make $250,000 a year from one neighbourhood, the responses will be different than if you ask people from various economic classes and neighbourhoods.
? Have an appropriate number of people been questioned?
Example: If you only ask 10 people the survey question, the results will not be as accurate as if you ask 1000 people.
For this assignment you will submit a 500 word written response summarizing and critically analyzing a documentary of your choice. The following documentaries are only suggestions. If you find a documentary on another global issue that is of more interest to you, you may write your assignment based on it, pending your instructor’s approval. This assignment will make up part of your personal global awareness portfolio. Therefore, it is important that you choose an issue that is of interest, or perhaps has personally affected you, your family, or a friend. If you are an international student, you may wish to choose an issue that is affecting your country. Some alternative suggestions are documentaries relating to: natural resources (water, oil, renewable energy), political instability, global health epidemics, global warming, corruption, electoral practices, land ownership, military issues, etc.
Make sure your response:
? Briefly summarizes the main ideas and arguments presented in your chosen documentary
? Critically analyzes the video (i.e. what was left out, ignored, what biases you noticed, etc.)
o Use the critical analysis suggestions in the introduction to assist you.
? Shares your own personal reaction to the global issue presented in the documentary
It is strongly recommended that you leave yourself enough time to locate the documentary required for this assignment. It is also strongly recommended that you use additional internet research to familiarize yourself with the global issue you have selected.
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Fair Trade, Ethical Trading. (2005). [Videorecording]. Films Media Group.
This video is available through the Films on Demand Database through the Algonquin College Library.
Quinones, S., Rubin, J. (2003). Guatemala/Mexico – Coffee Country. [Videorecording]. PBS Frontline. Available at: