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Introduction to Media Studies

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Tanya Vieira

on 15 May 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Media Studies

NARRATIVE Music Video Conventions ANCHORAGE: the copy text anchors the meaning of an image in a print advertisement
For example a single rose could be used for an ad for anything from a dating agency to a funeral home Media Language Key Concepts

The term refers to all media technologies and the institutions which own and control these and their content: What is “Mass Media”? Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. What is Media Studies? GENRE Media literacy is a set of skills that anyone can learn.

Just as literacy is the ability to read and write, media literacy refers to the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages of all kinds. Media Literacy Media Language Genre Narrative Representation Audience signs, signifiers, technical codes and communication of meaning Iconography, conventions, uses, relationships with other texts that share a genre. Does the text have a narrative/how is it constructed? How groups, people and places are
represented through the media Who is the media for?/how are they targeted? CONNOTATION: a description of value, meaning or ideology associated with a media text DENOTATION: a description of a media text indicating its common sense, obvious meaning Denotation = Two people hugging under an umbrella standing next to a lake. Connotation = The umbrella represents love as red, a colour often symbolized with love. SIGNS AND SIGNIFICATION:
Sign - a symbol which is understood to refer to something other than itself. This may be very simple - think of a "No Entry" road sign. it may get more complicated when reading media texts, where a sign might be the bright red coat that a character is wearing (which signals that they are dangerous)

Signification - the process of reading signs (see denotation and connotation) GENRE: A way of categorizing a media text according to its form, style and content. CONVENTION: The widely recognized way of doing something - this has to do with content, style and form
For examples the conventions of music videos STAR: A person who has become so famous, both for doing their job and appearing in many sorts of media, that their image is instantly recognizable as a sign, with a whole range of meanings or significations
For example - David Beckham = England, football, wealth, success GATEKEEPING: The way in which key personnel (news editors, newspaper owners mainly) have control over the information that is presented to audiences, and the way in which it is presented (the angle) TEXT: The text of any piece of media is what you actually see and/or hear. It can include written or spoken words, pictures, graphics, moving images, sounds, and the arrangement or sequence of all of these elements. Sometimes the text is called the “story” or “manifest text.” SUBTEXT: Your interpretation of a piece of media. The subtext is not actually heard or seen; it is the meaning we create from the text in our own minds.

While media makers (especially advertisers) often create texts that suggest certain subtexts, each person creates their own subtext (interpretation) based on their previous experiences, knowledge, opinions, attitudes and values. Thus, the subtext of a piece of media will vary depending on the individual seeing/hearing it. The text of this media message includes:
􏰀 An image of musician Sheryl Crow holding a guitar case and a glass of milk in a room with a lamp, bed, open door, etc. behind her. 􏰀 The logo “got milk?” and the words “Rock hard.”
􏰀 The short paragraph: “To keep the crowd on their feet, I keep my body in tune. With milk. Studies suggest that the nutrients in milk can play an important role in weight loss. So if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, try drinking 24 ounces of lowfat or fat free milk every 24 hours as part of your reduced- calorie diet. To learn more, visit 2424milk.com. It’s a change that’ll do you good.”
􏰀 Another logo that reads “milk. your diet. Lose weight! 24 oz. 24 hours”􏰀
A small image of Sheryl Crow’s album Wildflower. Possible subtexts include:Sheryl Crow drinks milk.
Sheryl Crow can only perform well by drinking milk.
Sheryl Crow wants to sell her album.
Milk renders great concerts.
If you drink milk you will lose weight.
Beautiful people drink milk. If you drink milk, you’ll be beautiful and famous, too.
Sheryl Crow stays at cheap motels.
Rock stars like ripped jeans CODE: A system of signs which can be decoded to create meaning.

In media texts, we look at a range of different signs that can be loosely grouped into the following:
technical codes - deals with the way a text is technically constructed - camera angles, framing, typography etc
verbal codes - everything to do with language -either written or spoken
symbolic codes - codes that can be decoded on a mainly connotational level - all the things which draw upon our experience and understanding of other media texts, our cultural frame of reference. INSTITUTION: A formal organization (with its own set of rules and behaviours) that creates and distributes media texts AUDIENCE AUDIENCE: The recipients of a media text, or the people who are intended to read or watch or play or listen to it. A great deal of media studies work is concerned with the effects a text may have on an audience. DEMOGRAPHIC: Factual characteristics of a population sample.
For example: age, gender, race, nationality, income, disability, education CENSORSHIP: Control over the content of a media text. Different media forms have different forms of censorship - sometimes from a government, but mainly from a regulatory agency.
For example: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) OWNERSHIP: An important issue in media studies - and a constantly changing one. Who produces and distributes the media texts we read? ENIGMA: A question that is not immediately answered and thus draws an audience into a text
For example: a body is discovered at the beginning of a detective drama. The killer's identity is an enigma. We watch to find out who the killer is. IDEOLOGY: Set of ideas or beliefs which are held to be acceptable by the creators of a media text.
For example, a text might be described as having a feminist ideology, meaning it promotes the idea that women are the equal of men and should not be discriminated against on the grounds of gender. REPRESENTATION Representation: The way in which the media "re-presents" the world around us in the form of signs and codes for audiences to read. Happy Family! REALISM: The techniques by which a media text represents ideas and images that are held to have a true relationship with the actual world around us.

Realism means different things in different texts - realism in animation (eg the movement of single hairs in computer animation) means something entirely different to realism in soap opera (eg the depiction of people eating breakfast and talking with their mouths full). It is important to assess how much a text strives for realism, how much audiences are expected to think it is realistic. POINT OF VIEW: A first-person camera shot that shows a scene from an individual character's viewpoint.
Used to help the audience understand what is happening in a character's head e.g. a predator stalking his/her prey
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