Media Representations The subject matter of the Media is often ordinary, everyday people and yet they can often be represented in ways that they would find unrecognisable or even offensive. When we consider Media Representations we will be considering: 1. Who is being represented by the text? 2. In what way? 3. By whom? 4. For what purpose?
An analysis of a media text should include a consideration of how each of these elements affects our understanding and response to the text:
1. Connotation and denotation 2. Non- Verbal Communication 3. Positioning of characters or objects 4. Clothing, props, mise-en-scene, sets and settings 5. Sound track, commentary and language 6. Tone 7. Sound and visual techniques (eg. camera positioning, editing, special effects) 8. Iconography 9. Genre and genre conventions
Media texts do not just appear out of nowhere, they are produced by often very powerful and wealthy people. We need to consider:
What is the institutional source of the text and how has it shaped or influenced the text?
2. Who owns and controls the institution?
Media Values and Ideology
These people who create media texts will often use them either intentionally or not to present their view of the world. This is their ideology. We should ask:
What are the major values, assumptions and themes underpinning the text or naturalised/embedded within it?
2. What are the criteria that have been used for selecting the content that has been presented?
You, the audience, are possibly the most important and yet ignored element in the equation. We all have our own very different ways of using the media. We will be considering:
1. To whom is the text addressed- what is its likely target readership/audience? 2. What is the text's likely place in the schedules or newspaper/magazine? 3. In what ways does the text work to position its audience? 4. What are the likely conditions in which the text will be received? 5. What is the probable size and constituency of the audience? 6. What are probable and possible audience readings?
You will also be considering
We can all tell within a few second of turning on the television whether we are watching a thriller, a game show or whatever. We recognise the conventions of the particular genre:
What genre does the text fit into? How can you tell- what conventions does it follow of the genre?
2. What do you know about the actors, stars, writers, directors etc.? Bearing in mind their associations, meanings and histories why do you think they have been chosen for this genre piece?
When you watch a film or a bit of T.V you are basically being told a story. The study of narrative is the study of this story-telling and it is just as relevant in the TV News as it is in the latest blockbuster movie.
What is the structure of the narrative or the logic of the order of its component parts?
2. How have specific narrative techniques been used (e.g. point of view and identification with one particular character, building of suspense, use of reversals etc.?)
3. How are characters used- heroes and villains etc. established?
No media text exists on its own. We need to think how it fits in with the wider world and with the history of the Media:
What are the historical contexts relevant to an understanding of the text ? (generic, institutional, social etc.)
2. What are the economic determinants: the ways in which economic factors may have influenced and shaped the text?
3. What are the political contexts relevant to an understanding of the text?
Oh, I forgot… Assessment
Unit 1 (MEST 1)
You must respond to an unseen print-based or moving-image media text (a video, advert, photograph, etc), applying your knowledge of the key concepts.
You will have to write about the text and its form, commenting on the concepts of Representation, Media Audiences and Media Institutions.
Unit 2 (MEST 2) Creating Media
You will produce two media texts, informed by the study of the Key Concepts and one of the contemporary media topics studied during Unit 1. The project has two parts:
Two linked production pieces
Written evaluation on both production pieces (1500 words)