Introduction to Curriculum Packet on “Today in Washington: The Media and Diplomacy”

This title is out of print. Download the Full Curriculum Guide (PDF, 8.1 MB).


Today in Washington: The Media and Diplomacy is an instructional package that explores the interaction between diplomats and reporters throughout our history, and examines the ways that both have used the media to deliver messages about international affairs.

DVD segments include “Portraits and Pamphlets: Franklin in Paris;” “Cartoons and Caricature: Diplomacy, Politics, and News;” “‘Remember the Maine!’ Moving Pictures and the Yellow Press;” “The Truth will Set Them Free: Cold War Diplomacy, and Propaganda;” “Diplomacy Live! Oil, Hostages, and Iran;” and “Dateline Yesterday: News and Diplomacy 24/7.”

This package also includes the DVD script, a chronology, glossary, lessons and extension activities, website links, and other support materials. Lessons focus on history, civics, geography, economics, and culture, and support the thematic curriculum strands of Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies of the National Council for the Social Studies. Lessons and support materials were also designed to promote the literacy emphasis of No Child Left Behind by including oral, written, and visual communication activities.

These instructional materials were designed to provide a high degree of flexibility for teachers. The DVD can be viewed in its entirety or in segments. It can be used to stimulate classroom discussion, to introduce a series of lessons on the topic, or to supplement existing classroom lessons. The DVD and print materials may constitute a complete instructional unit, or individual elements may be incorporated into existing units. These instructional materials support U.S. history, civics and government, economics, international relations, and modern world history courses.

Teachers are encouraged to enhance the content of this package with other instructional materials and information sources, such as textbooks, newspapers, television, and the Internet. Suggestions for using additional resources are included with a number of the lessons. Teachers are encouraged to modify suggested lessons and other materials in ways that are appropriate for their students, courses, and other local circumstances.

Print materials in this package are provided in black-on-white format. They can be reproduced easily to enable teachers to customize materials for their own classrooms. Some websites in the list of web resources may have copyright restrictions, and teachers are advised to review and abide by those restrictions. All materials in this package produced by the Department of State may be reproduced and disseminated without specific permission.