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Dr Atkins' MS1 Media Notes

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Dr Atkins

on 29 April 2016

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Transcript of Dr Atkins' MS1 Media Notes

Dr Atkins'
WJEC MS2 Media AS Level Prezi
Mise en scene
: everything in the frame. A way of analysing moving image media texts.
Mode of address
- how is the reader/veiwer addressed - Often the second person pronoun 'you is used. L'Oréal: "you're worth it!"
Hegemonic norms
- those aspects of a culture perceived as normal/common sense features of reality; for example,

- the visual images and symbols in a media text; often linked to a specific genre; e.g. guns in a western.
Production values
Brand recognition:
extent to which a consumer can correctly identify a particular product or service just by viewing the product or service's logo, tag line, packaging or advertising campaign
Star persona:
The image cultivated by a film/pop star.
Anchorage – how meaning is fixed, as in how a caption fixes the meaning of a picture
Archetype – A universal type or model of character that is found in many different texts, e.g. ingenue, anti-hero, wise old woman, hero-as-lover, hero-as-warrior, shadow trickster, mentor, loyal friend, temptress
Audience – viewers, listeners and readers of a media text. A lot of media studies is concerned with how audience use texts and the effects a text may have on them. Also identified in demographic socio-economic categories.
Binary Opposites – the way opposites are used to create interest in media texts, such as good/bad, coward/hero, youth/age, black/white. By Barthes and Levi-Strauss who also noticed another important feature of these ‘binary opposites’: that one side of the binary pair is always seen by a particular society or culture as more valued over the other.
Catharsis – the idea that violent and and sexual content in media texts serves the function of releasing ‘pent up’ tension aggression/desire in audiences.
Censorship – Control over the content of a media text – sometimes by the government, but usually by a regulatory body like the British Board of Film censors.
CGI – Computer Generated Imagary, Refers to the (usually) 3-D effects that enhance all kinds of still and moving images, from text effects, to digital snow or fire, to the generation of entire landscapes
Code – a sign or convention through which the media communicates meaning to us because we have learned to read it. Technical codes – all to do with the way a text is technically constructed – camera angles, framing, typography, lighting etc. Visual codes – codes that are decoded on a mainly connotational level – things that draw on our experience and understanding of other media texts, this includes Iconography – which is concerned with the use of visual images and how they trigger the audiences expectations of a particular genre, such as a knife in slasher horror films.
Consumer – purchaser, listener, viewer or reader of media products.
Context – time, place or mindset in which we consume media products.
Conventions – the widely recognised way of doing things in particular genre.
Convergence – The way in which technologies and institutions come together in order to create something new. Cinema is the result of the convergence of photography, moving pictures (the kinetoscope, zoetrope etc), and sound. The iPad represents the convergence of books, TV, maps, the internet and the mobile phone.
Demographics – Factual characteristics of a population sample, e.g. age, gender, race, nationality, income, disability, education
Denotation – the everyday or common sense meaning of a sign. Connotation – the secondary meaning that a sign carries in addition to it’s everyday meaning.
Diegetic Sound – Sound whose source is visible on the screen Non Diegetic sound –Sound effects, music or narration which is added afterwards
Enigma – A question in a text that is not immediately answered and creates interest for the audience – a puzzle that the audience has to solve.
Feminism – the struggle by women to obtain equal rights in society
Gaze – the idea that the way we look at something, and the way somebody looks at you, is structured by the way we view the world. Feminist Laura Mulvey suggests that looking involves power, specifically the look of men at women, implying that men have power over women.
Genre – the type or category of a media text, according to its form, style and content.
Hegemony – Traditionally this describes the predominance of one social class over another, in media terms this is how the controllers of the media may on the one hand use the media to pursue their own political interest, but on the other hand the media is a place where people who are critical of the establishment can air their views.
Hypodermic Needle Theory – the idea that the media can ‘inject’ ideas and messages straight into the passive audience. This passive audience is immediately affected by these messages. Used in advertising and propoganda, led to moral panics about effect of violent video and computer games.
Ideology – A set of ideas or beliefs which are held to be acceptable by the creators of the media text, maybe in line with those of the dominant ruling social groups in society, or alternative ideologies such as feminist ideology.
Indexical sign – a sign which has a direct relationship with something it signifies, such as smoke signifies fire.
Image – a visual representation of something.
Institutions – The organisations which produce and control media texts such as the BBC, AOL Time Warner, News International.
Intertextuality – the idea that within popular culture producers borrow other texts to create interest to the audience who like to share the ‘in’ joke. Used a lot in the Simpsons.
Media language – the means by which the media communicates to us and the forms and conventions by which it does so.
Media Platform – nothing to do with trains, this refers to the different ways that media content is delivered, mainly via TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone, cinema, video/computer game, printed page etc. for instance the BBC delivers content via TV, laptop and mobile device, and also through printed publications. Most media organisations deliver their content via a multitude of platforms.
Media product – a text that has been designed to be consumed by an audience. E.G a film, radio show, newspaper etc.
Media text – see above. N.B Text usually means a piece of writing
Mise en Scene – literally ‘what’s in the shot’ everything that appears on the screen in a single frame and how this helps the audience to decode what’s going on.
Mode of Address – The way a media product ‘speaks’ to it’s audience. In order to communicate, a producer of any text must make some assumptions about an intended audience; reflections of such assumptions may be discerned in the text (advertisements offer particularly clear examples of this).
Montage – putting together of visual images to form a sequence. Made famous by Russian film maker Eisenstein in his famous film Battleship Potemkin.
Moral Panic – is the intensity of feeling stirred up by the media about an issue that appears to threaten the social order, such as against Muslims after 9/11, or against immigrants, or against ‘video nasties’ following the Jamie Bulger murder.
Multi-media – computer technology that allows text, sound, graphic and video images to be combined into one programme.
Myth – a complex idea by Roland Barthes that myth is a second order signifying system ie when a sign becomes the signifier of a new sign
Narrative code – The way a story is put together within a text, traditionally equilibrium- disequilibrium, new equilibrium, but some text are fractured or nonlinear, eg Pulp Fiction.
News values – factors that influence whether a story will be picked for coverage.
Non-verbal communication – communication between people other than by speech.
Ownership – who produces and distributes the media texts – and whose interest it is.
Patriarchy – The structural, systematic and historical domination and exploitation of women.
Popular Culture – the study of cultural artefacts of the mass media such as cinema, TV, advertising.
Post Modernism – Anything that challenges the traditional way of doing things, rejecting boundaries between high and low forms of art, rejecting rigid genre distinctions, emphasizing pastiche, parody, intertextuality, irony, and playfulness. Postmodernism favours reflexivity and self-consciousness, fragmentation and discontinuity (especially in narrative structures), ambiguity, simultaneity, and an emphasis on the destructured, decentered, dehumanized subjects!
Preferred Reading – the interpretation of a media product that was intended by the maker or which is dictated by the ideology of the society in which it is viewed.Oppositional Reading – an interpretation of a text by a reader whose social position puts them into direct conflict with its preferred reading. Negotiated Reading – the ‘compromise’ that is reached between the preferred reading offered by a text and the reader’s own assumptions and interpretations
Propaganda – the way ruling classes use the mass media to control or alter the attitudes of others.
Reader – a member of the audience, someone who is actively responding to the text.
Regulation – bodies whose job it is to see that media texts are not seen by the wrong audience (eg British Board of Film Censors) or are fair and honest (EG Advertising Standards Association)
Representation – The way in which the media ‘re-presents’ the world around us in the form of signs and codes for audiences to read.
SFX – special effects or devices to create visual illusions.
Shot – single image taken by a camera.
Sign – a word or image that is used to represent an object or idea.
Signifier/Signified – the ‘thing’ that conveys the meaning, and the meaning conveyed. EG a red rose is a signifier, the signified is love (or the Labour Party!)
Sound Effects – additional sounds other than dialogue or music, designed to add realism or atmosphere.
Stereotype – representation of people or groups of people by a few characteristics eg hoodies, blondes
Still – static image.
Sub-genre – a genre within a genre.
Two Step Flow theory – the idea that ideas flow from mass media to opinion leaders, and from them to a wider population.
Uses and Gratifications – ideas about how people use the media and what gratification they get from it. It assumes that members of the audience are not passive but take an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives.


Hypodermic Needle Model

Uses & Gratifications
During the 1960s, as the first generation to grow up with television became grown ups, it became increasingly apparent to media theorists that audiences made choices about what they did when consuming texts. Far from being a passive mass, audiences were made up of individuals who actively consumed texts for different reasons and in different ways. In 1948 Lasswell suggested that media texts had the following functions for individuals and society:

cultural transmission
Researchers Blulmer and Katz expanded this theory and published their own in 1974, stating that individuals might choose and use a text for the following purposes (ie uses and gratifications):

Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine.
Personal Relationships - using the media for emotional and other interaction, eg) substituting soap operas for family life
Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from texts
Surveillance - Information which could be useful for living eg) weather reports, financial news, holiday bargains
Since then, the list of Uses and Gratifications has been extended, particularly as new media forms have come along (eg video games, the internet)
Case Studies
ADS: MR T Snickers
Fast food ads - Maccy's
Burger King KFC

audio visual codes
audience positioning
working class/middle class
MS1 Mark scheme

Two-Step Flow
Reception theory
FILM TRAILERS: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Candidates will be required to study how media texts are constructed and how
audiences and users respond to and interpret them using the following framework:
(a) Texts
 genre conventions
 narrative construction
 technical codes such as camerawork, lighting, editing and sound for
audio-visual media and graphic design elements for print-based and
interactive media
 language used and mode of address.
(b) Representations
 the role of selection, construction and anchorage in creating
 how the media uses representations
 the points of view, messages and values underlying those
Candidates will be expected to have studied a range of representations of:
 gender
 ethnicity
 age
 issues
 events
 regional and national identities.
(c) Audience Responses
Candidates will need to consider the ways in which different audiences can
respond to the same text in different ways. This will involve studying:
 the ways in which audiences can be categorised (e.g., gender, age,
ethnicity, social & cultural background, advertisers' classifications)
 how media producers and texts construct audiences and users
 how audiences and users are positioned (including preferred,
negotiated and oppositional responses to that positioning).
Any media can be explored but the media texts used in the examination will
be selected from the following:
 advertisements
 DVD covers
 CD covers
 newspaper front pages
 magazines (including comics)
 radio sequences
 film extracts
 television sequences
 music videos
 websites (if selected for examination, websites will be reproduced in
print-based format)
 computer game extracts.


Candidates will be expected to have studied a range of representations of:
 gender
 ethnicity
 age
 issues
 events
 regional and national identities.

A written examination paper of two and a half hours, assessing AO1 and AO2. This
will consist of three compulsory questions:
 Question 1 requires an analysis of an audio/visual or print-based
extract (40).
 Questions 2 and 3 will be based on representation and audience issues and
may be subdivided where appropriate (30 and 30).
Note: for questions 2 & 3, candidates will be expected to draw on their own studies of
representation and audience response issues.
Full transcript