Monday, December 15, 2014


End of unit task: Introduction to Media Index

To finish off our Introduction to Media unit you need to create an index of ALL your MIGRAIN Introduction to Media tasks from the last 14 weeks. This will be hugely useful for revision for the upcoming January assessment, February mock exams AND the real MEST1 exam in May.

Use the MIGRAIN Powerpoint to help you (and to revise).

It should follow a clear format:

Date > Key concept > Title of work as a link to blogpost


September 2014 > Media Language > Media consumption task

September 2014 > Media Language > Reading an image 50 Cent analysis

October 2014 > Narrative > Narrative theory clip analysis

November 2014 > Audience > Uses and Gratifications blog task

At the end of the index, check that you’ve covered all 7 key concepts:

Media Language
Genre (note: largely covered in Film Language unit)

Complete this index for homework this week if you don't finish it in the lesson.

If you have missed any of the key concepts, you can access the blog archive down the left-hand side of the main Year 12 Media Macguffin blog. It is YOUR responsibility to ensure you have covered all the course concepts prior to sitting the final exam.


Ideology and binary opposition

The key notes from today's lesson:


What is an ideology?
An ideology is a world view, a system of values, attitudes and beliefs which an individual, group or society holds to be true or important; these are shared by a culture or society about how that society should function.

Dominant ideologies
Ideologies that are told to us repeatedly by important social institutions such as the government or media are called dominant ideologies.

Dominant ideologies are ideologies or beliefs that we live by in our day-to-day lives and often do not question – they have become 'natural, common sense' things to do. This effectively dissuades people from rebelling against these beliefs, and keeps a sense of stability in society.

Why is ideology important in Media Studies?
Media texts always reflect certain values or ideologies though sometimes we may not be aware of this. When studying a media text you may look for the dominant ideology present and question whose world view is represented and which groups have not been represented.

Levi-Strauss: Binary opposition
Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009) was a French philosopher and one of the most important cultural theorists of the 20th century. 

His theory of binary opposition is important for media students.

Levi-Strauss suggested everyone thinks of the world around them in terms of binary opposites such as up and down, life and death etc. and therefore every culture can be understood in these terms.

Binary opposition in media
Binary opposition is used to create narrative and conflict in media. It is also used to simplify complex situations for easy consumption (e.g. TV news).

Along similar lines, if something is not easily reduced to binary opposites, it is far less likely to receive widespread media coverage.

Binary oppositions can be used to create stereotypes and promote certain ideologies or beliefs.

BBC Question Time: binary oppositions and ideology

Watch this clip from BBC Question Time with Russell Brand and Nigel Farage. The BBC deliberately placed the two against each other and the episode resulted in far more people watching and tweeting than usual.

What examples of binary opposition can you suggest from watching this clip?

What ideologies are on display in this clip?

Embed the video into your blog (as above) and answer these two questions in full paragraphs.


Research and planning checklist

All of your MEST2 Research and Planning is due on Friday 9 January - the first week back after Christmas.

This Research and Planning checklist will help you ensure that you've completed everything required.

Don't forget to use the OFCOM Broadcasting Code outlining the pre-watershed rules to make sure you don't fall foul of the guidelines.

Good luck!


Revision: January assessment

A reminder that you will have a MEST1 Section A assessment in the first week back in January. You need to revise the following:

The assessment will involve a clip (shown three times) and then four questions under the headings Media Forms (language), Media Representations, Media Institutions, Media Audiences. You will have 60 minutes (15 minutes per task) to answer the four compulsory questions. 

Due: first week back in January


Audience focus groups - blog task

I hope the audience research focus groups for our MEST2 TV show ideas have been useful - it's a brilliant opportunity to share good ideas and improve our productions. You now need to write up your own group's recording in a blog post - note this write-up is an INDIVIDUAL task. The blog post should include the following:
The focus group audio recordings will be available on the GHS VLE if you don't upload them in the lesson. Go to: Departments > Media Studies > Shared Documents

Your blog post for this aspect of your audience research needs to be AT LEAST 500 words - it may well be a lot longer and remember you will use bits of this later in your MEST2 evaluation (worth 25% of the overall marks).

Friday, December 12, 2014


12A: Representation task

There is an excellent article on the Female Gaze and how women are represented in advertising in the new issue of Media Magazine (MM50). Complete the following tasks on your blog:

Go to our Media Magazine archive and open up MM50. Scroll to page 56 and read 'The Female Gaze: Rethinking Representation'

Answer the following questions on your blog:

1) What is the article about? Summarise the article in 50 words.

2) What is the name of the film that has sparked this recent debate on body image and female representation?

3) How does the 'Female Gaze' in this article differ from the 'Male Gaze' of Laura Mulvey's theory?

4) What is your own opinion of the representation of women in advertising? Should the media carry more representation of 'real' women? Why does the media not currently feature size 14 women if that is the average size of a British woman?

5) Go to the website of A Perfect 14. Watch the trailer and read about the film. Write your own summary of the film and what it is trying to achieve.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


New issue of Media Magazine out

As a Media department, we subscribe to Media Magazine, an excellent resource for Media students with articles on all the key issues dominating the contemporary media landscape.

If you're serious about aiming for an A or A* grade in A Level Media overall then you need to read it - when each issue comes out and the archive too.

The new issue of Media Magazine (MM50 - December 2014) contains articles on science fiction, case studies on Lionsgate (the Hunger Games film studio), the BBC and an article called The Female Gaze - rethinking representation. There's plenty that will inform your case studies, critical investigations and exam preparation.

We have a fantastic online Media Magazine archive (the last 20 issues available in pdf format) along with a Word document tracking all the articles in the last 20 issues that makes searching for topics and issues easy.

Make use of it!

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