Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Home Study / Exam Preparation over half-term

Practise, practise, practise. Go over the questions you've already done; even better redraft / add / improve using the advice and comments. I'll scan and email you the annotated ones you have just handed in.

NEXT TASK:PRODUCE 2 PPT / ZOHO / PREZI, one for each product, summing up all the key points in relation to all the concepts. Look at the one below as an example (the title page is inaccurate though):

I am still waiting for redrafted collective identity essays. Please send them to me for marking / feedback.
Do look at The Sex and the City article further down on this page and the blog on Beyonce as some of the ideas expressed there can be applied to Lady Gaga and other artists...

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Collective Id. Beyonce's Who runs the world? as case study

Have just put together a few resources here in case you'd like to use this song / video as an example for your essay.
At the end of the page, I have embedded this little student video which I think you will find very helpful (which is why I am putting this here as well)!
Have you been following the Slut Walk? Is this real female empowerment? It certainly sounds like it! Read something about it here:

Because we've had enough
This is how it all started:
"On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.
As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.
Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.
We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault."

Read the rest by following the link.

Finally, follow this week's posts on Pete Fraser's Blog - exam tips for A2.

FINAL EXAM: 16th June (pm)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Collective Id. Good resource

Dan Laughey is a leading voice in Media Studies. Click on his Lecture called Feminisms. It's a short and straightforward PPT which will give you some ready-made points to make about ways of reading some of the examples you use in your essay.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Genre - Some of the slides from the lessons... including Theory

Some of the slides seem to have gone funny when I removed the background and uploaded...
Thriller and Genre Inc Genre Theory Blog Version

Reception Theory (preferred, negotiated, oppositional readings...)

Reception Theory - an outline

Extend your knowledge - Richard Dyer's Introduction to representation

Introduction to Representation - Richard Dyer

Uses and Gratifications

Uses and Gratifications

Monday, 2 May 2011

Essential Reading: Representation in Sex and The City

Following on from last lesson, here is an interesting article which will really help you write about representation of women in Sex and the City, and will complement the other reading material I distributed in class. It is a useful example to use in your essays.

Sex, the City and the American Dream

‘Two-point-four children,’ ‘white picket fence,’ ‘the ‘burbs.’ All familiar images in contemporary society: we all know what they mean, but more importantly, what they represent. These features are in fact often used as a common representation of the American Dream. One show which dares to both embrace and challenge elements of the often archaic American Dream is Sex and the City.

Sex and the City is a popular American TV show based on the book of the same name by Candace Bushnell and centred around the ‘sexploits’ of four friends living in New York City. A hybrid of genres, the show was primarily classed as a sitcom, but encompasses elements of soap opera and romantic drama. Often dealing with relevant social issues, it could be argued that Sex and the City has changed the way many of its viewers think about sex, gender and marriage.

The show stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw. The main narrator and protagonist, and a closet romantic, she is a sex columnist for fictional newspaper the Daily Star. Also starring are Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbs, a corporate lawyer with a cynical outlook on life; Kristen Davis as Charlotte York, a WASP obsessed with the idea of love and marriage; and Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, a charismatic PR rep. who always gets what she wants in the workplace and the bedroom. The four women are all in their thirties and looking for love as well as balancing their careers and sparkling social lives.

Sex and the City came out of the Home Box Office channel, creator of many successful American imports: shows such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and most recently Entourage have all heralded success and made a name for themselves on this side of the pond as well as in America. Channel 4, renowned for being less mainstream than other terrestrial channels, was the first to bring many of these shows to the forefront of popular culture. All of these programmes are aimed at a higher socio-economic group of twenty-somethings who are educated and aware of current events and media trends; the buzz generated by such shows exemplifies the Uses and Gratification theory that ‘everyone is talking about it.’ All of these shows have brought something fresh and unique to the TV schedules, boasting an original setting or theme which has never been explored before in mainstream viewing. Sex and the City has arguably liberated modern working women in their twenties and thirties by showing them a world which is believable and sympatheticially realised, yet still has an aesthetic to which they can – and do! – aspire. Other shows such as Entourage do a similar job, but this time for the men. In a world where reality TV is king, the smart drama series can sometimes seem a rare commodity.

A feminist text?

Throughout the course of the show’s six-year run, one of the key underlying themes has been feminism and gender roles in a contemporary society. In the show all four women are trying to survive and prosper in a patriarchal society and looking for equal opportunities in the workplace. The women are independent, earn their own money and look after themselves; this aspiration to be the best and to achieve financial security could be said to be a core aspect of the American Dream, and to follow its capitalist ideals.

However, in opposition to this, the women live unconventional lives in terms of the expectations of The American Dream. The show is set in the fast-paced city of New York, where the women are looking for men but are not willing to settle. They apparently pity friends who have married and moved to the suburbs – although ultimately they admit that this is what they really crave. The show has been criticized for taking a step back from the Women’s Movement; feminist critics have argued that it is wrong to portray these smart, single women as just wanting to get married. As Miranda says:

How is it that four such smart women have nothing to talk about other than boyfriends?

This ambivalence is part of the show’s appeal.

All four protagonists are strong, confident, independent career women; they make their own money and don’t need a man: they just want one. Arguably, it is a new variation on feminism: the fact that the women still want to fall in love and get married shouldn’t mean they are undermining the women’s movement, and they shouldn’t have to apologise for it.

Material girls – elitism or realism?

All four main protagonists in Sex and the City are in prestigious career positions in the upper groupings of the socio-economic scale, with large amounts of disposable income which keeps them kitted out in the latest designer clothes and Manolo Blahnik shoes. As unattainable as their lifestyles may seem, it is the aspiration to be like them which makes the show so popular. The aesthetically pleasing settings and iconography make for a pleasurable viewing experience. But at what cost? The show glorifies the materialistic, does this excessive spending on material items present a bad set of values or is it simply a true representation of the lives of modern working women?

I like my money right where I can see it; hanging in my closet – Carrie (‘To Market, To Market’, Season 6, Episode 1)

In the episode ‘A Woman’s Right to Shoes’ (6.9) Carrie is ‘shoe shamed’ by a friend who thinks that spending $485 on a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes is ‘insane’. She claims ‘Chuck and I have responsibilities now; kids, houses!’ This ideological view that your life is somehow more complete when you are married and have children is closely related to the American Dream. It is an aspiration to reach this type of happiness that is instilled in society as a whole.

Is it bad that my life is filled with shoes and not children? – Carrie

There is a divide between material possessions and family life; the aspiration is to be able to have both. But do material possessions fill a gap only until a family does eventually come along? Maybe there is a new type of American Dream which follows the same capitalist ideals but says you don’t need another person to feel complete, and that you aren’t a failure if you don’t have a family.

This ideology is what Sex and the City is all about. Its ‘new’ ideals address the single thirty-something woman who wants to be reassured that she is not alone; and indeed this type of situation is much more prevalent in today’s society where people are getting married and having children later and later.

21st-century fairytales?

The basic narrative of the show follows a modern day fairy tale format similar to the theories of Propp. All four women are looking for love and, as Charlotte says in the episode ‘Where There’s Smoke...’ (3.1) ‘Women really just want to be rescued’. These women don’t want to admit that they need a man or that they want to be rescued; but actually this ambivalence forms the basis for the entire show. Their unwillingness to admit to their true motives is a subversion of the dream to which, as single women, they are expected to adhere: an emotionally and financially secure marriage.

Throughout its six seasons the four women have been represented as damsels in distress when faced with various relationship situations. But they have also turned the tables on traditional gender roles as they are in essence the heroes battling the day-to-day dramas of careers, men, sex, relationships, and gender inequality. At times they are the embodiment of the ‘anti-damsel-in-distress’, a kind of modern day heroine who is independent and self-motivated.

All the women in a sense play up to the idea of the American Dream, all strive for success and want to beat the competition both in life and love. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they are following the ideals and beliefs of the American Dream. The elitist, capitalist lifestyle that it preaches supports the ideology and shows contemporary audiences that the American Dream is still relevant to today’s society, very much followed, and inspiration for a great many Americans. However, it is an unconventional view of the American Dream which is represented in Sex and the City; there is no white picket fence or house in the suburbs. The main protagonists mock this type of conventional conformity; instead they talk about ‘having it all’ which includes the perfect job, a perfect apartment, and the perfect man. This is their view of ‘The Dream’. They are popularising a new American Dream, an adaptation of the old form, which encompasses the needs, and desires of a new generation of Americans. The new dream embraces the single lifestyle, accepts the unconventional family and champions working women who make their own money and live on their own terms – be that with or without a man.

Cait McNamee is now studying Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University.

from MediaMagazine 22, December 2008.

Online Age AND representation of women! Great Media mag article on Goody and Boyle

Goody and Boyle: a tale of two (real) women

During 2009, tabloid press coverage has been dominated by the stories of two contrasting reality show contestants and the involvement of both old and new media in their rise and fall. Steph Hendry explores the central and ambivalent role of audiences in the lives of Jade Goody and Susan Boyle.

It’s been an odd year in the world of ‘reality’ television. Big Brother’s 2009 broadcast was less than enthusiastically received with declining viewing figures suggesting the country’s love-affair with BB and its tabloid spin-offs is at an end. This was confirmed by C4’s recent announcement that they will no longer broadcast the show after 2010. On the other hand, reality TV’s dominance in mainstream culture seems to have hit maximum capacity several times this year. Two events dominated the world of reality TV in the first half of 2009: the death of Jade Goody and the rise of Susan Boyle. Coming within a month of each other in March and April, the public and media responses to these two stories can be seen to represent the changing nature of modern media as we enter the second decade of the century. There is a decrease in ‘old media’s’ dominance in leading the way celebrity events are mediated and the phenomenon of Jade Goody was largely driven by ‘old media’ such as television broadcasting, tabloid newspapers and magazines. The Susan Boyle story symbolises the start of ‘new media’s’ power in disseminating information and allowing audiences to be part of the construction of a story; at the same time it highlights the rise in influence of new technologies such as YouTube and Twitter.

Jade Goody

The story of Jade Goody is a tragic one. The death of any 27-year-old mother of two is sad, but in itself not particularly newsworthy; however this event was the resolution of the tumultuous narrative the media and Jade herself had presented of Jade’s life. As a Big Brother contestant in 2002, Jade was vilified by the tabloid press and despised for being ‘fat’, ‘ugly’ and ‘thick’. Despite not winning Big Brother, she went on to be the most successful ex-housemate in terms of her public profile and earnings. She became a regular fixture in magazines such as heat, OK! and Now! and was the subject of fly-on-the-wall documentaries which consolidated her fame. At the height of this time of positive representations she followed the lead of other celebrity ‘brands’ and a perfume was released under her name. Her popularity was hit when she was accused of racist and bullying behaviour whilst taking part in 2007’s Celebrity Big Brother and, until her illness, this scandal damaged her earning potential and her media presence dwindled. Jade was in the process of rebuilding her career when, on India’s version of Big Brother (Big Boss), she was given the news that she had cervical cancer. From this time on, her media saleability increased as her illness, her treatments and ultimately her death were all reported in a range of media forms. Towards the end of her life she was being filmed by Living TV and the image of her physical deterioration was used in tabloid newspapers and in gossip magazines along with a range of stories following her and her family’s responses to the illness.

Jade’s story was that of an underdog making good. She was an ordinary girl, who escaped from the mundanity of everyday life and found herself in the privileged world of celebrity. Not possessing a saleable talent, Jade’s unique selling point was her ordinariness and the fact that she represented a belief that ordinary people, with limited talent, little education and from poor and troubled backgrounds could experience a life of wealth and fame. Her illness and death became public property and it was recognised that this trying time in her life could financially benefit her, her family and a range of media outlets. She epitomised a relatively new media phenomenon, that of the celebrity who lives their life on camera – she has subsequently been replaced by ‘Peter and Katie’ (and now ‘Peter’ and ‘Katie’ separately, of course) and Kerry Katona, who have film crews documenting the day-to-day details of their lives as well as the more glamorous activities they undertake. All of these celebrities turn the events of everyday life – children’s illnesses, marital disputes, bad moods and tantrums – into dramatic conflicts for their televised or reported narratives. Peter and Katie’s recent split and Kerry’s bipolar disorder, cocaine habit and assorted problems have become threads in the ‘soap operas’ provided for their audiences. At times it seems as if these lives are being presented to us as a way to make us feel good about our own lives as the audience is shown the downsides of celebrity life and we are often positioned to sit in judgement as celebrity marriages fray, careers take downturns and we see the human weaknesses behind the ‘public face’. Of course what we are shown is not their private life at all; the public watch lives that are carefully edited and constructed into stories. The audience gratifications received whilst watching such programmes or following tabloid reporting are complex: the aspirational desire for the lifestyles we see, combined with the pleasure we take in seeing these figures suffering, has been described as the modern equivalent of the medieval practice of public punishment. However, Jade’s illness took these ‘pleasures’ to another level as her ‘punishment’ didn’t fit her ‘crimes’: she died the way she lived, with the public watching.

Whilst the web is part of the communication of these stories, celebrity exposés and the ongoing reporting of these reality stars’ lives suits the tabloid format well. Tabloid newspapers like The Sun, The Star and The Mirror are constantly searching for front page stories/images that will persuade readers to buy their publications. One of the conventions of the tabloid is that they tend to use emotive stories to engage their audience – the emotion itself isn’t all that important: shock, outrage, anger, pity, sadness or joy all work well. The reporting of Jade’s illness saw several narrative devices being employed as she was transformed from a figure of hatred and mockery into a tragic hero the audience could identify with due to her ‘ordinariness’, and admire due to her courage and strength in adversity. Her whole family were recast into roles that supported this view (both her husband, Jack Tweedy, and her mother, Jackiey Budden, had received almost exclusively negative press before news of Jade’s illness broke) and the emotional story of Jade’s illness and subsequent death were used to sell newspapers. Tabloid/gossip magazines also contributed to the dominance of this story with their weekly or monthly front covers being devoted to the ‘next instalment’ of the story of her illness. OK! even went as far as to print a special memorial edition before Goody died (including the claim that the magazine contained her ‘last words’). Although the magazine was dated March 24th 2009, it was, in fact, on sale from the 17th March – five days before Jade’s death on the 22nd. The magazine claimed that this was following the family’s wishes but, given the practicalities involved in printing and getting a magazine to the newsstands, it’s as likely that this was a cynical move by an organisation who knew Jade had very little time left and was determined to beat the competition in getting the ‘memorial’ edition to the public.

Susan Boyle

Where Big Brother’s ratings have been on a steady decline, the TV talent show has really hit its stride in 2009. One of the biggest stories of the year came out of reality television: the story of Susan Boyle who rose to national prominence when she took to the stage for Britain’s Got Talent in April 2009. The original broadcast of her performance was swiftly uploaded to YouTube and, thanks to Twitter, word rapidly spread about the ‘shock’ performance on the show. Hollywood stars, politicians and the news media quickly got involved in discussions about Boyle and the discussions included comment on the relatively new phenomena that has been developing over the last few years: the power of e-media technologies to spread information quickly and across national borders. Within days, Boyle’s’ performance was the ‘most watched’ video on YouTube and the singer had achieved international fame by the end of the week. This was, of course, just the start of the Susan Boyle narrative which continued for several weeks and had several threads: her past was scrutinised and judged; her next appearance on Britain’s Got Talent was eagerly anticipated; the impact of the sudden fame on a ‘simple woman from Scotland’ was discussed and her physical appearance and its changes became a story in itself. The story built to the climax that was the TV programme’s final. This climax became more of an anti-climax though, as Boyle came second to a dance troupe and the excessive media interest in her seemed to have tarnished her talent in the eyes of the voting audience – perhaps a victim of media saturation.
After losing the competition, Boyle had a stint in ‘rehab’ and ironically the media that couldn’t get enough of the Boyle story began to blame the producers of the television programme for not protecting her from the pressures of stardom – perhaps that should have been the pressures of media attention? A subsequent tour had Boyle pull out of a number of performances and she has, until recently, been off the media radar as she is working on the recording of an album.

Now the hype has died down it’s worth considering what the story was really about. ‘Woman can sing’ is hardly news even if ‘contestant in TV talent show can sing’ is slightly more unexpected. Boyle appeared to be newsworthy in the first instance, not because she could sing but because of the way she looked. Susan Boyle surprised people because she does not meet audience expectations: she is a middle-aged, plump woman who has talent. Any exploration of the news values of the Boyle story has to explore the idea of the representation of women, given that the most common positive representations of women, in today’s media are as being thin, young and attractive. Despite the recent ‘Size 0’ debates, the idealised physical image of women is still very narrow and often a woman’s accomplishments are secondary to her physical appearance. Myleene Klass for example is a classically trained pianist. This fact has been played on in recent Pantene ads but the main point of the campaign has been that Myleene has great hair.

The surprise that was created by Boyle, is evident in the video of the original performance where the cuts focus us on the responses of the judging panel and the audience which were clearly based on her appearance. What is clearly visible in people’s faces is mockery and disdain because Boyle did not present the image expected of women singers. She was immediately judged on her appearance and seen to be ‘other’, an outsider in a culture that favours physical perfection, grooming and youth. Piers Morgan reacted with disgust when Boyle, responding to a question about her age, challenged the preconception of her by saying that being 47 was ‘just one side of me’ while gyrating her hips. Morgan reflected the contemporary focus on youth culture by being revolted at the idea that an older woman could be sexual – until she started to sing. Boyle’s voice created an unexpected juxtaposition to the expectations created by her physicality and shone a light on some naturalised contemporary values, forcing people to re-examine them.

However, as the story progressed, Boyle’s emotional breakdowns became the focus of the story and reporting began to consolidate the ideas her performance had originally challenged. Her lack of urban sophistication and what was seen as her sheltered existence reinforced the notion that she is different – ‘not one of us’. The fact that she found the media attention difficult to handle reinforced the view that she was an anomaly, suggesting our initial surprise was, perhaps, the right response as she clearly was not cut out for the glamorous and exciting world of media celebrity. Boyle underwent a makeover and began to look more polished but nothing could alter the fact that she is a plump, middle-aged spinster from the country – not the usual candidate for tabloid attention.
The original performance created a mini-narrative in itself where an unlikely hero rose against the problems and conflicts in front of her to reach her goal. As the story developed further conflicts came to light and the heroic victory Boyle initially achieved on the Britain’s Got Talent stage began to diminish. It is still not clear how this story will resolve.

The role of e-media in the Boyle phenomenon is also significant. The speed with which her story spread, not only across the UK but also across the globe, makes this a unique news phenomenon. Twitter comments and the accessibility of the YouTube video ensured that within 24 hours those who had not seen the original broadcast were aware of it and had access to it. The fact that celebrity support was given to Ms Boyle, notably from Demi Moore, added to the story’s newsworthiness and as more traditional news outlets picked up on the story its impact increased. At the time of writing, the original YouTube video has had over 79 million views (and there are several other versions of the same clip).

Some conclusions

Both of these stories identify the importance of the audience in today’s media landscape. In Boyle’s case, the audience response turned a non-newsworthy event into something that kept the world’s press busy for several weeks. The real story here was about the audience, not Boyle. The fact that millions of people found her performance noteworthy and, perhaps, felt guilty about their initial response to her appearance, was central to the media’s response. Similarly, the media’s focus on Jade’s illness and death was also a response to audience interest. If reality shows did not attract viewers and reality-show-led front page headlines did not enhance newspaper and magazine sales, it’s safe to say the story would not have dominated in the way it did. Given that these two events were followed by another celebrity media frenzy after the death of Michael Jackson (announced on a gossip website and passed round and commentated on via Twitter), it seems the modern audience may have been turned off by Big Brother of late, but the lives and deaths of celebrities big and small capture the public’s interest. New media are playing a major role in spreading the word and enabling audiences to be part of the story.

Steph Hendry teaches Media at Runshaw College and is an examiner for AQA.

This article first appeared in MediaMagazine 30, December 2009.

Women and Film - Research findings from a past OCR student

Women and Film (From Media Magazine archive)
In MediaMagazine 14 former A2 student Chloe White showed how she investigated and refined her title for the OCR ‘Women and Film’ topic. Here we include research findings, as submitted to OCR.

Why women are less successful than men at the box office with special reference to Jane Campion.

The Box Office Guru website told me that out of the 50 highest grossing films of all time, none were directed by women. One reason could because there are so few. Only 7% of directors are women according to the ‘Birds-Eye-View’ website and thus making them less known; in a survey I carried out, only 1% of the public could name three female directors whereas 99% could name three male directors. So in a time when females are increasingly powerful in every other workforce, why are women so absent from the film-directing industry?

In an article from Alternet.org (‘A highly acclaimed Internet information source that provides crucial facts and passionate opinions’) named ‘The Celluloid Ceiling’, female director Ephron (female director of Sleepless in Seattle) says the reason lies behind the audience:
the movies that make the most money are aimed at a subliterate market, by which I mean not just teenage boys, but the entire third world – the films need to have little dialogue and lots of action.

The evidence for this can be seen in the box-office statistics for Independence Day directed by Roland Emmerich, the action movie made a huge $306,169,255 dollars worldwide. However, Martha Coolidge, president of the Directors Guild of America said in the ‘Celluloid Ceiling’ article that women are not often given the chance to do action movies:

Many times I’ve gone to producers with the idea of doing a movie that I’m passionate about and found that they can’t conceive of a woman doing material that is not completely chick centric.

When I interviewed the director Coky Giedroyc (Women Talking Dirty) she said that she is more interested in making films about issues not widely explored, for example ‘the workings of the female mind’. Coky Giedroyc admitted that women are often confined by the ‘chick-flick’ genre: romantic comedies mainly. ‘Chick-flicks’ do prove popular in the box office; in my survey I found that 80% of the females I asked would rather see a ‘chick-flick’. Bridget Jones, a typical ‘chick-flick’ directed by female director Sharon Maguire made $71,409,079 dollars worldwide in the box office whereas another ‘chick-flick’ My Big Fat Greek Wedding from male director Joel Zwick made a lot more: $241, 438, 208. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. So why did the ‘chick flick’ directed by a man make so much more money? A number of reasons including publicity and case are involved. Perhaps the fact that Bridget Jones is set in England could have affected its US box office takings. Or, perhaps men are simply better than women at directing? This could explain only three women have ever been nominated for the Best Director Category at Oscars (n woman has ever won). It could also explain why, in The Times in an article stating the ‘top 40 best directors’ none were women or why in the same article in the ‘top 100 films you must see before you die’, there were no films directed by women. However, I believe the reasons go deeper than this. Cherry Potter, former head of screenwriting at the National Film and Television School in London, thinks it is a catch 22 situation. She said in an article in the Guardian:
the greater the commercial pressures the more scared the studio chiefs become of taking risks – women are seen as a risk because they lack experience which prevents them gaining experience

This is similar to what Coky Giedroyc said: ‘you’re only as good as the last film you directed’. Christina Choy, lecturer at New York Film School said in The Celluloid Ceiling article that women lose confidence at film school because the male lecturers give negative feedback to the female students work because they ‘can’t relate to it’. Some, including journalist Andy White from The Creative Week and actress Naomie Harris (in a Guardian website) believes it is about ‘who you know’ and women don’t belong to the ‘old boys network’ that is so influential in the film industry. Producer, Polly Ley, said in a recent article in The Guardian that the problem lies in the fact that there are no role models:
the Australian film industry has an unusually high percentage of female film directors. I once asked one why they thought this was and she cited Jane Campion as the person who made it all possible.

Director Jane Campion was the second woman nominated for an Oscar in 1993 for The Piano and was the first woman to win the ‘Palme D’or’ at the Cannes Film Festival. The Piano did fairly well in the Box Office considering it is not an action movie, earning up to $40, 132, 527, however her most recent film In the Cut did less well, earning $4, 750 602. Perhaps the speculation concerning it’s Oscar nomination boosted the audience numbers for The Piano. Campion is often said to be a ‘feminist director’, maybe this is why she is less successful in the box office; because her films are less attractive to males who can’t relate to them. In a survey I carried out, 30% said that out of the options they would like to see a film about feminist/feminine film, however, they were all women. Her films have been described as a ‘vehicle for feminist or post-feminist enquiry’ and Grahame Fuller has cited her as having a ‘career long examination of female masochism’ in Sight and Sound magazine. However, in the Jane Campion book, it says that in an interview, when asked about being labelled a ‘feminist director’ she said:

Even if my representation of female characters has a feminist structure, this is nevertheless only one aspect of my approach.

Campion believes that feminist culture ‘arose as a reaction to stereotypical representations to male-dominated perspectives’. To conclude, however, Campion says she no longer knows what a feminist director ‘means or expresses’. However, through studying the films myself I can see she is certainly interested in the female mind. Many of her films seem to explore the theme of imprisonment and freedom: Ada (Holly Hunter) in The Piano is trapped in an arranged marriage, Ruth (Kate Winslet) in Holy Smoke is trapped in a house in a desert and Frannie (Meg Ryan) in ‘In the Cut’ has her freedom imposed on as there is a murderer in her area. In The Piano Cook and Dodd of Women and Film noted that Campion, like other female directors Sally Potter (Orlando) and Julie Dask (Daughters of the Dusk) rewrites its national history from the perspective of the women caught up in it. In The Piano we see a suppressed Victorian woman. Her imprisonment within her oppressive society is shown in the opening image which appears to be bars, however, soon we realise it is a woman signifying her own state of imprisonment as the bars are her fingers held in front of her eyes. Cook and Dodd also observe that Ada is restricted by her clothes that pull her down in various points in the film. In the end, Ada earns her freedom back and finds her voice, but in the process she has lost her finger, her piano and her passion. The Boston Review described The Piano as a ‘culmination of sado- masochistic screenplay’ which, ‘explores Freudian erotics and archetypal symbols to explore a woman’s imprisonment and freedom’. In the Cut (2003) appears slightly less feminine than The Piano perhaps showing Campion’s attempt to gain more at the box office. Jane Grahame of Total Film magazine describes the film as being a ‘graceful, sinewy thriller’, however in an interview by the BBC, Campion said she wanted it to be a ‘relationship story first’. Campion said she believes women are trapped in their desire to be in a relationship:

women often postpone their lives, thinking that if they’re not with a partner than it doesn’t really count. They’re still searching for their prince’.

Although in this film, as Grahame Fuller writes in his review: ‘undercuts notions of femininity’ (Sight and Sound magazine), there are strong feminist undertones. This can be shown as Ryan’s character Frannie becomes the more masculine character; Frannie ties up the police inspector Malloy (Mark Ruffalo) in an act of sexual dominations, Malloy says: ‘I’m starting to feel like a chick’.
It seems to have dawned on the nation suddenly the fact there are an extreme lack of female directors who remain very absent from the box office and the need for women directors to have their films equally publicised. Anthony Minghella (director of The English Patient) said in an article in The Guardian

It matters in every possible way who is making the films. That perspective and that purpose is determined by the personality of the director…you wouldn’t want all the information to come from one distorted perspective.

‘The Birds Eye View’ Film Festival was recently launched and Amma Asante won a BAFTA for ‘Best Newcomer’ for her film A Way of Life, which indeed focuses on a female mind. In the interview, Coky Giedroyc said that times are definitely changing: in films she has directed she’s started to notice a huge rise in women in more ‘masculine’ areas such as lighting, camera operating and editing, perhaps from these positions they can work their way up to directing more easily.

To conclude, the film industry has been slow to progress explaining why there are so few female directors and therefore so few in the box office. It seems that female directors such as Jane Campion wants to make films about issues not explored by the huge numbers of male directors such as feminism and women’s roles through society, however this isolates a male audience who can’t related and also a third world audience who may not understand. Because women have been less successful because of their ‘feminine’ films, they are not given the chance to do more action-based films. However, I feel that if female directors become more predominant within the industry, as they slowly are, women’s choice of films to direct will vary and they will be given more of a chance by studios and producers.

Chloe White

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Media Mag - Post Feminism in Film PLUS revision for Section A

This is a great and concise little article for you. The first page clarifies what we mean by feminism / post-feminism succintly. The other 2 pages apply that to James Bond through the years, perfect to consolidate the work you have already done there.

Post Feminism in Film

Please use the link on the left to help you revise the big media concepts in preparation for Section A of the exam. Alternatively, click here: Revision - G325 - Section A (from Long Road)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Media Mag article on Creativity - Preparation for Exam Section 1 question b.

Remember that we have a subscription (see your log-in details)!There are lots of great articles in the archive and you can also read the latest numbers of The Media Mag online.
technology change tv industry

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Work from Ms Lyall to be completed on Thursday 7th April

Year 13 Media (N10 and Media Pod) Periods 4 and 5

• First task this afternoon is to produce a factsheet that provides a history of Google. Be imaginative about the way you present it and ensure that you give a thorough overview from its beginnings to the present. Media in the Online Age must by necessity reference Google!
• Your second task is to look at our third Media area for your exam response: Television. Divide yourselves into 3 groups and focus on the past/present/future with a focus on consumption and audience behaviour. Remember that this is Media in the Online Age and the present group needs to pay particular attention to the concept of the mini-series that can only be watched online. There are a number of them. A fourth group should focus on iPlayer giving a history and present statistics. These presentations will be given on the first Thursday back after Easter. Four groups – four presentations.
• Easter home-study. Please complete the following essay question: What difference has web 2.0 made to the two media areas you have studied? And are the bold claims that ‘everything has changed’ accurate in both cases?

Good Luck 


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Home learning and independent study

1. Look at the post below and make a point of reading the materials linked there. You might want to draw a few key points out of the article on Representations of Women on Television (this looks at adverts and TV drama / soaps).

2. Watch an episode of Ugly Betty, preferably from series 1 or 2, and make some notes on Betty's Character. End with a reflective response to:
You can work in pairs here but please post your notes individually.

Monday, 28 March 2011

UPDATED Collective Identity - Materials from one neat place

Dear all,
I have gathered a few key posts from previous weeks here, starting with the slides on Uses and Gratifications, then Stuart Hall, the vids on Women and advertising, the link on US TV drama characters, and some of the links from the 'Materials' page. Another way to quickly get all relevant posts is of course to click on the relevant label.
Let me know if there is anything else you want to see here.
PS: You can borrow any of the films we have mentioned in class to watch at home properly (ALiens series, Terminator as well as many others).
Don't forget to watch some of Knocked Up for your next essay.

- Media effects and Uses and gratifications presentations

- Collective Identity - Stuart Hall on Representation and the Media

- Media mag article - Stuart Hall

- Collective Identity - Women in advertising

- Representation / Identity - videos to watch

- The Portrayal of Women on Television - article by Helen Ingham

- US TV Drama - better female roles: With The Big C, Nurse Jackie and Weeds, US TV has given us women who are more than just Mistresses A generation of American leads are getting comedy from cancer, chaotic nursing and drug-dealing. When will the UK catch up? Read the article here

- Presentation on representations of women in magazines

- The Impact of Social Media on Women's Self-Image and Self-Representation

- The Future? The Expression of Female Identity Through New Media

- Scroll down this page to find 2 presentations - one on Laura Mulvey's Male Gaze and one on Feminist Film Theory

- ARTICLE JUST ADDED: Older women unhappy over their portrayal in films, survey shows Sixty-one percent of women aged 50-75 want more focus on their sexual desire, according to UK Film Council poll

How many of you have conducted that survey of women around you by the way? It would be a welcome addition to your arguments!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Lynx Advert - What they did next!

Angels are falling from the sky
Men’s deodorants have all but worn out the sexy-dame-falls-for-the-scented man tactic, and their advertising campaigns have become not only tiresome but indistinguishable from each other. Lynx has upped the ante with the use of digital technology. The Lynx Excite’s Fallen Angel campaign has not only got the tongues of lots of boys wagging, it also caused quite a stir in London.
The angels were spotted at London’s Victoria station, where travellers were able to interact with the (virtual) angels through augmented reality technology. Word of the fallen angels spread through the station so quickly that soon hundreds of people wanted to have their turn too. Lucky travellers got to dance with and hug the sexy virtual creatures!
Under the campaign’s tagline, “Angels are falling from the skies – and it’s all down to the irresistible scent of new Lynx Excite”, men are encouraged to entice the archangel to also fall from the skies: “But one angel remains, trapped alone in heaven – archangel Kelly. Could you be the one that Kelly Brook falls for?”
The fallen angels at Victoria were just the beginning of the campaign that includes a game, available on FaceBook (http://www.facebook.com/lynxeffectuk), which brings Lynx girls directly into game-play. And, by scanning unique QR codes, gamers can access exclusive content including a trailer featuring model Kelly as a fallen angel.
The game application allows challengers to interact with Kelly (even choose her underwear) to unlock different levels of the game. After unlocking these levels, gamers receive personal messages from Kelly and users are also personally included in the film!
The campaign, a partnership between Oil Studios and Mind’s Eye Media, is successful because it is entertaining and interactive, and is refreshingly different from other campaigns. The angels in London got travellers of all ages and sexes excited and while the game might not draw a huge crowd, the brand awareness that the campaign is creating is fantastic.

Read the post here and comment at the bottom if you wish.
(From La Resistance, COUP's blog)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Timely article for you to read!

Women, gay and black people still shown as stereotypes in film, says study
Older females portrayed as sexless while homosexuals and ethnic minorities also suffer, says extensive survey of opinion

Read article here.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Home Learning Due in 22.3.11

1. Conclusions of your Magazine Investigation.
Please take a look at this PPT to support your research (I am not the author)

2. Complete the exam practice essay set in the lesson.
“Representations in media texts are often simplistic and reinforce dominant ideologies so that audiences can make sense of them.”
To what extent is this true of the social group you have studied?

Do read the exemplar essays and moderator's comments.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Home Learning for Tuesday 15th March

1. Trace the development of the Bond Girl - Use an early Connery film, then a Moore (not necessarily the one with Grace Jones; look at the silly ones that followed), one with Brosnan and maybe one with Craig to finish. What emerges? What is changing and what remains the same?
Refer to your Gauntlett article (boxed, distributed in class)
2. Look at the emergence and evolution of the strong "action" female character with the Alien and The Terminator series, with Ripley and Sarah Connor respectively.
How did they develop as characters? In what sense can we call them "strong characters"? Do they lose their femininity as the films unfold or simply present a new definition of what it means to be female.
Refer to Berger and Mulvey as a starting point.

Monday, 7 March 2011

James Bond video for international women's day shows 007's feminine side

Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench team up for two-minute film highlighting the need for gender equality
Article here.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Collective Identity - Women - Work due in

- Research task set before half-term - Find out how women feel they are represented and how it affects them (aim to complete by week beginning 14.3.11). Use more than one research method.
- Exam practice question set in last lesson - due in next lesson: To what extent do you think that contemporary representations of a particular social group mirror current social attitudes towards that group? Two media to use for examples: adverts and music videos.

Also have a look at this article - it focuses on TV Drama which we haven't really tackled yet this year in detail.

With The Big C, Nurse Jackie and Weeds, US TV has given us women who are more than just Mistresses
A generation of American leads are getting comedy from cancer, chaotic nursing and drug-dealing. When will the UK catch up?
Read the article here.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Collective Identity - Women

Please use this link or the link on the left:
Collective Identity - Women - resources and videos

It is not finished but there are already several videos of films we will refer to. Ther are also some key presentations to help you revise. I will keep updating it.

Past exam questions for Section B

Media and Collective Identity
1. To what extent do you think that contemporary representations of a particular social group mirror current social attitudes towards that group?
2. How does the contemporary representation of a particular social group compare to representations from the past?
3. "The media do not construct collective identity; they merely reflect it." Discuss.

Media in the Online Age
1. What impact has the internet had on media production, distribution and exhibition?
2. In the last few years what have been the most significant developments in how individuals use the internet?
3. "The impact of the internet on the media is revolutionary." Discuss.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Collective Identity - Women - The Bechdel test

We will be looking at and applying the test to films in next lesson. I thought some of you might want to get ahead and see if you can find films that successfully pass the test!

Reference: Nick Lacey's article - Engendering Change (in the pack I have given you)

For more interesting videos from the same source, see this website: www.feministfrequency.com/. It focuses on pop culture and you will find great examples for your essay!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Representations - COUP online magazine

You have got to subscribe (for free) to this great mag. The current issue (issue 7) has a fantastic article about stereotypes, and just check out the Cover! Some real gems in the following article as well about the relationship between PR and the media.

Online Age - The Social Network

Ms Lyall needs you to watch The Social Network, which you should have watched in last Thursday lesson.
Get a feel for the film and its issues by reading (and watching) on...

Why The Social Network should win the best picture Oscar - video
The year's best film set two in-form heavyweights to work on a key phenomenon of our times, says Andrew Pulver, in the latest of our videos evaluating the Oscar nominees

Article from Guardian Film Blog:
There's a Sweet Smell of Success about The Social Network
The dark influence of Alexander Mackendrick's 1957 classic about the print media lives on in David Fincher's Facebook film

Finally, you should have listened to the podcasts on The History of Social Networking and made some brief notes. Click on 'older posts' or on the 'social networking' label to find them.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Online Age - Changing Media Habits - Everyday Use

The changing place of media in everyday life: traditional media consumption compared with the more creative and flexible uses of media which are becoming more common today. At under seven minutes, this is the compact, fast version of a one-hour lecture.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Independent Study - Representation of women

Make sure you keep reading, watching and listening to representations of women and start making your notes using the 4 key questions as sub-headings.

Start by reading the materials on this blog and the articles that your peers have found and linked.

You should also put together some examples that you think would make an interesting answer. For example, look into that Tangled film and read reviews. You could contrast it to older Disney films and look at how gender representations have evolved (Mulan also springs to mind).

You could also start selecting some TV or magazines adverts and analyze them

You could choose to focus on soaps and start exploring some key female characters.

Finally, remember to conduct your research into how a female audience responds to these representations and how they might be affected by them.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Debates about representation - Pete Fraser's blog

Re: the Eastenders cot death/kidnap plotline saga, here is what Pete Fraser wrote on his blog about it. He focuses on what it is that infuriated some of the mums from mumsnet, i.e. the representation of grieving mothers on the tele. The relevant clips are embedded inhis post.
Debates about Representation

(Apologies to the girls - it was posted!)

Online Age - video to watch

Watch Julian McDougall explain what we mean by Media 2.0, including the notions of The Long Tail and Wikinomics, two very important ideas which you need to know for your exam.

NOTE: Log-in details required.

Julian McDougall on Media 2.0

If you need support to understand what Henry Jenkins talks about inhis "Convergence Culture" book, then watch this short student Video - also a nice way to add to your own notes.

Representation / Identity - videos to watch

Please watch the videos from the Media magazine website which are listed below. NOTE: You will need your log-in details.
David Buckinghan on:
Ideology - Debates about Identity
Representation - A definition including Stereotypes

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Representations of women - Slides from lessons

Here is a shortened version; it contains slides which we did not have time to cover but would be useful for you in terms of planning your research and thinking about the impact of media representations on women (i.e. how they might affect their sense of identity). Find the research task towards the end.

representations: construction of gender in popular culture

representations construction of gender in popular culture

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Teenage Media Consumption Habits

Find the results of different national surveys and draw some conclusions after comparing these results to your own habits.
Conclusions of the report - Go here to Teens, media and why you shouldn't believe the hype and here to Media consumption habits change as teens age

How teens use media

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Online Age: social media revolution

Watch this! Great basic facts that you should know! Social media is definitely not a fad...

Collective Identity - Stuart Hall on Representation and the Media

Democracy: TV Leaders' debates during election campaign

TV leaders' debates did get young engaged with election
Study reveals that televised face-offs successfully attracted first-time voters and got them talking about politics
Read full article here.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Collective Identity - Women

Online Age / We Media / Democracy

From Paris to Cairo, these protests are expanding the power of the individual
Twitter is only part of the story of the empowering of a generation failed by the evaporated promises of the labour market
Read full story here.

At the heart of the movement is a new sociological type – the graduate with no future. They have access to social media that allow them to express themselves in defiance of corporately owned media and censorship. With Facebook, Twitter, and Yfrog truth travels faster than lies, and propaganda becomes flammable.
But the sociology of the movements is only part of the story. Probably the key factor is "horizontalism" which has become the default method of organising. Technology makes non-hierarchical organising easy: it kills vertical hierarchies spontaneously, whereas the quintessential experience of the 20th century was that movements became hierarchised, killing dissent within, channelling the energies in destructive directions.
In addition, the speed of doing things compensates for their relative lack of organization: in this the protesters have stumbled upon the principle of asymmetry – a swarm of disorganized people can effect change against a slow-moving hierarchical body.
On top of that there is the network. It's become axiomatic that the network is more powerful than the hierarchy.

The Secret History of Social Networking with Rory Cellan-Jones PT2

The Secret History of Social Networking with Rory Cellan-Jones PT1

Abc of Audience Demographics

Changing Behaviour of Marketing Communications (Online Age)

You might want to start with reading the conclusion.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Online Age - How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend

How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend
The way Twitter managed to get past Egypt's internet shutdown was the perfect example of a crisis breeding innovation.

Read the article here (Guardian online)

When they first came to office, the Obama team had a mantra: "Never waste a good crisis". They then spent the next two years doing exactly the opposite. In the past few months we've seen a couple of decent crises – the first involving WikiLeaks, the second involving the political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt. Both involve the internet in one way or another. So, in the spirit of Obama Mk I, let us ponder what might be learned from them.
The moral of the story: if governments want to keep information secure, then they have to think architecturally about system design. [...]

The WikiLeaks story has lessons for the rest of us too. The speed with which Amazon and PayPal dropped WikiLeaks should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks that Cloud Computing services can be trusted to protect the interests of their customers when the government cuts up rough. The idealistic kids who signed up to participate in denial-of-service attacks on PayPal and the credit-card companies as retribution for cutting off WikiLeaks's funding need to learn how to conceal their IP addresses before they engage in "hacktivism" – as many of them discovered this week when the police came knocking.

For hardcore geeks, the WikiLeaks saga should serve as a stimulant to a new wave of innovation which will lead to a new generation of distributed, secure technologies (like the TOR networking system used by WikiLeaks) which will enable people to support movements and campaigns that are deemed subversive by authoritarian powers. A really good example of this kind of technological innovation was provided last week by Google engineers, who in a few days built a system that enabled protesters in Egypt to send tweets even though the internet in their country had been shut down. "Like many people", they blogged, "we've been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we can do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service – the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection."

They worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter and SayNow (a company Google recently acquired) to build the system. It provides three international phone numbers and anyone can tweet by leaving a voicemail. The tweets appear on

How Cameron used the term "collective identity" and the repercussions of the speech

You can read the article here and then reflect on what David Cameron means by "collective identity" when he argues that, over decades, the "doctrine of state multiculturalism caused a 'weakening of our collective identity' which led young Muslim men to be drawn to extremism."

How would you define our collective British identity? How does he seem to define it? Is multiculturalism a threat to our collective identity or a part of it?

Furthermore, it is not so much whether you agree with him, but do look at reactions to the speech and what they reveal about commentators' (opinion leaders') views on multiculturalism. Is it there still a taboo / sensitive subject? Are there still things you cannot say? Or is it more about the context in which and the audience to whom you express these ideas? Are the reactions to the speech opening up the debate about multiculturalism and extremism or shutting it down?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Re: The Eastenders plotline - research

Since one of the groups is looking at this topic, this is Charlie Brooker's column on the question.
Complaining about the lack of realism in EastEnders is like moaning that Monster Munch crisps don't taste of monsters
Combining a cot-death with a baby-swap was one extreme event too far for EastEnders fans
Full article here. [link fixed!]

Also see Pete Fraser's Blog on the question, though he focuses on Representation.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Media and Democracy / Global Media - Al Jazeera site 'hacked'

Al Jazeera site 'hacked by opponents of pro-democracy movement' in Egypt
Read full article here (from journalism.co.uk)

Al Jazeera's Arabic news website was hacked into today following its coverage of anti-government protests in Egypt, according to the Qatar-based broadcaster.
In a release, Al Jazeera claimed that for two hours this morning – from 6.30am to 8.30am Doha time – a banner advertisement was replaced with a slogan saying 'Together for the collapse of Egypt', which linked to a page criticising the broadcaster.
A spokesman for Al Jazeera said their engineers had quickly solved the problem.
"Our website has been under relentless attack since the onset of the uprisings in Egypt. We are currently investigating what happened today. While the deliberate attacks this morning were an attempt to discredit us we will continue our impartial and comprehensive coverage of these unprecedented events.
"As with all the other obstacles that have been put in our path, whether that be the detention of journalists, confiscation of equipment, or having our broadcast signal interfered with, we will continue doing our job of reporting on events in Egypt."

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Michael Wesch's project - The Visions of Students Today

Here students from everywhere are invited to submit their videos to contribute to "The Visions of Students Today". I thought it might give you some ideas, particularly for your work on your Media Consumption Habits. This is a trailer mixing several students' submissions.
You can see more here. He is still currently inviting students to contribute and share till 15 February. If you want to contribute, tag your video VOST2011.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Online Age: Everyone's a critic now - Guardian online article

Everyone's a critic now (link to full article)
A refusal to heed the advice of highbrow cultural critics is nothing new. But when the public can quickly share their own - different - views on Twitter, Facebook, myDigg and other social media, is criticism dead?


So if this was some sort of critical last stand, a desperate ploy by critics to display their power by circling the wagons, it seems to have failed. Even if The Social Network wins the Oscar as expected, Freedom the Pulitzer Prize and Boardwalk Empire the Emmy, it would only serve to confirm the breach that now seems to exist between the critics and the public. Once upon a time, critics could close that breach through a process close to cultural brainwashing. They could get people to see and love The Social Network, to read Freedom, to watch Boardwalk Empire. Now they can't.

The usual suspect in this immunisation is the internet. It is certainly no secret that the internet has eroded the authority of traditional critics and substituted Everyman opinion on blogs, websites, even on Facebook and Twitter where one's friends and neighbours get to sound off. What is less widely acknowledged is just how deeply this populist blowback is embedded in America and how much of American culture has been predicated on a conscious resistance to cultural elites. It is virtually impossible to understand America without understanding the long ongoing battle between cultural commissars who have always attempted to define artistic standards and ordinary Americans who take umbrage at those commissars and their standards.

Michael Wesch - Online Age and We media

Another name you will become familiar with is that of Professor Michael Wesch who is a leading lecturer in Media. Below is a video he has produced to show the evolution of the web and how it has transformed the way we interact and engage with content and each other.
The Machine is Us/ing Us

This is Michael Wesch's lecture about the History of YouTube. It is worth watching the first few minutes to see why the Internet is a global medium!

If the video doesn't appear (it might be too long to load up effectively), please click on this link instead.

Media in the Online Age

This is a video featuring a virtual David Gauntlett explaining how we moved to the Online Age. Please note it wasn't produced by Gauntlett himself though he says he quite enjoyed it. The voices are of course very monotonous but the very fact it was produced with a piece of software then uploaded to YouTube is in itself an illustration of the Online Age we live in!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Rupert Murdoch Radio 4's "Today" Programme 26th Jan

Alternatively, use the BBC iPlayer. The programme was on Wednesday morning (26/1) and in the last 6 minutes of the Today show on Radio 4.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Charlie Brooker - How TV ruined your life

Charlie Brooker talks about Fear on TV. Watch out for the bit on Gerber's Cultivation theory.
If you've missed it, it's on BBC iPlayer here.

Next episode, next Tuesday!

Essential reading (look at this blog) + extra resources + H/L due in 27.1.11 and 1.2.11

1. This is a blog produced by a Cultural Studies class which contains several posts (with examples) about Cultivation Theory and Uses and Gratifications. It should really help you see things a little more clearly!

Theory Illustration Blog

You will probably want to link that to your own blog for reference and later revision.

2. I am adding another (short) Powerpoint presentation to clarify some of the points on Uses and Gratifications (below the first one from this morning). Hope it helps!

3. Home Learning:
- For next Thursday, remember to post something about your reading (Intro to Jenkins' book - Convergence Culture) so that Ms Lyall can see and check your work.

- For next Tuesday, write up some revision notes on the main audience theories seen so far. Illustrate with some examples. You might want to do a spectrum line. Best place for it would be your blog!
- Also post any research you have produced so far to allow others in the group to access it.
- Sum up in a few bullet points the main arguments Gauntlett and Jenkins use to refute Media Effects theories.

Don't fret - all this is a little overwhelming at first; accept it and keep reading! It will gradually firm up in your minds :0) Please refer to my PPT presentations to get clarification on some of the research we heard this morning (eg Kappler)

Tuesday 25th January

Lesson 2: conducting your research, ready to present lesson 3 (after break, meet back in N10)

4 research groups:
Conduct your research using the relevant slides and finding more sources (which you will list), including at least 1 or 2 videos from YouTube or Vimeo etc. Find at least one real example from the media to apply your theory to.

Prepare to PRESENT and TEACH your findings to the rest of the group (PPT or Prezi) – aim for 5 to 10 minutes.

Topics to choose from – 1 per ‘group’:
- Cultivation Theory
- Joseph Kappler’s Phenomenistic approach
- Uses and gratifications - Blumer and Katz, 1974
- Uses and gratifications – criticism of the theory

I am embedding the lesson PowerPoint for now but will remove by the end of the week.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Media Effects on teenagers - from peersunited.com

Here is the research that is presented as "Help for teachers, parents and teens"

Media effects on teenagers

Is one message or theory emerging as a dominant one on this page?
What are the issues that are dealt with and do you find the research convincing?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

One to follow - Untangling the web with Aleks Krotoski

This is really interesting stuff to find out about We Media and Media in the Online Age.
Untangling the web with Aleks Krotoski

About this series:
How has the most revolutionary innovation of our time - the internet - transformed our world? What does it mean for the modern family? How has it changed our concepts of privacy? Of celebrity? Of love, sex and hate?

Recent topics:
Hate and the internet
Does the internet encourage insidious and bullying behaviour? Aleks Krotoski investigates

The internet's cyber radicals: heroes of the web changing the world.
A generation of political activists have been transformed by new tools developed on the internet. Here, a leading net commentator profiles seven young radicals from around the world