Key concepts


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Key concepts

  1. 1. Media Studies:Key Concepts
  2. 2. IntroductionMedia RepresentationsMedia LanguageMedia InstitutionsMedia Values and IdeologyMedia Audiences
  3. 3. Media RepresentationsThe subject matter of the Media is often ordinary,everyday people and yet they can often be representedin ways that they would find unrecognisable or evenoffensive. When we consider Media Representationswe will be considering:1. Who is being represented by the text?2. In what way?3. By whom?4. For what purpose?
  4. 4. Media LanguageAn analysis of a media text should include a consideration ofhow each of these elements affects our understanding andresponse to the text:1. Connotation and denotation2. Non- Verbal Communication3. Positioning of characters or objects4. Clothing, props, mise-en-scene, sets and settings5. Sound track, commentary and language6. Tone7. Sound and visual techniques (eg. camera positioning, editing, special effects)8. Iconography9. Genre and genre conventions
  5. 5. Media InstitutionsMedia texts do not just appear out of nowhere, theyare produced by often very powerful and wealthypeople. We need to consider: 1. What is the institutional source of the text and how has it shaped or influenced the text? 2. Who owns and controls the institution?
  6. 6. Media Values and IdeologyThese people who create media texts will often usethem either intentionally or not to present their view ofthe world. This is their ideology. We should ask:1. 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?
  7. 7. Media AudiencesYou, the audience, are possibly the most important and yetignored element in the equation. We all have our own verydifferent 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 texts 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?
  8. 8. You will also be consideringGenreWe can all tell within a few second of turning on the televisionwhether we are watching a thriller, a game show or whatever.We recognise the conventions of the particular genre:1.What genre does the text fit into? How can you tell- whatconventions does it follow of the genre?2. What do you know about the actors, stars, writers, directorsetc.? Bearing in mind their associations, meanings and historieswhy do you think they have been chosen for this genre piece?
  9. 9. And…NarrativeWhen you watch a film or a bit of T.V you are basically being tolda story. The study of narrative is the study of this story-telling andit is just as relevant in the TV News as it is in the latestblockbuster movie.1.What is the structure of the narrative or the logic of the orderof its component parts?2. How have specific narrative techniques been used (e.g. point ofview and identification with one particular character, building ofsuspense, use of reversals etc.?)3. How are characters used- heroes and villains etc. established?
  10. 10. Finally…Wider contextsNo media text exists on its own. We need to think how itfits in with the wider world and with the history of theMedia:1.What are the historical contexts relevant to anunderstanding of the text ? (generic, institutional, socialetc.)2. What are the economic determinants: the ways inwhich economic factors may have influenced andshaped the text?3. What are the political contexts relevant to anunderstanding of the text?