Section A (40%) 1 hour including 15 minutes reading/viewing time 32 marks The first section will be based around unseen stimulus materials which may be print, e-media, audio or moving image based. The stimulus materials will be designed to be easily assimilated by candidates in the space of 15 minutes and there will be time for note-taking and essay planning.
The materials will be chosen to raise issues about:
• media concepts (form, representation, institutions, audience, values and ideology)
• wider contexts
• media issues and debates.
There will be three compulsory questions based around the stimulus materials. The questions will demand short answers to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the media.
Task 1 - Carry out a personal audit of these areas as specified above - media concepts, wider contexts, media issues and debates. These have underpinned your case studies for Mest 3 and your investigations for Mest 4 - go through all your notes and highlight anything you need to revise. For example - you may not be entirely confident with the key concept of 'ideology' - be proactive, look this term up, look for examples where we have used it in class work etc etc.
Task 2 - Below is a long list of various theories and a brief definition. Read these and find a specific example present in contemporary media to demonstrate that you have understood the theory.
Post modernism - A fashionable term used to describe cultural products in the late 20th century onwards. Postmodernism can be defined through a range of features:
• Death of space / time / history – particularly in the age of Digital Media
Hyper-reality (Jean Baudrillard) - Hyperreal events are those that are ‘more real than the real itself’ – e.g. audiences receive images of war to such an extent that it becomes their perception of what a war is really like! We base our idea of reality on media images rather than reality itself! As such our existence is hyperreal!
The Male Gaze (Laura Mulvey) - The idea that fictional films effectively take a male p.o.v – objectifying females and subjecting males. Women in films are there to be looked at; men are givers of the look – what Mulvey terms the Male Gaze. Mulvey claimed this was part of a greater system of discrimination within the film industry.
Moral Panics and Folk Devils (Stanley Cohen) - A moral panic refers to a state of hysteria generated by the news media’s coverage of particular events in the news, e.g. terrorism, swine flu, paedophilia. A folk devil is essentially the scapegoat decided on as the cause of the panic, e.g. listening to emo music promotes self harm in teenagers.
Culture of Fear (Glassner) - A development of Cohen’s Moral Panics. Glassner used the Culture of Fear to describe the idea that the news media choose to focus their reporting on negative stories even though in reality these issues are not as serious as claimed to be! As such the public are constantly in a state of fear – e.g. daily terror warnings on American news.
News Values (Galtung and Ruge) - News Values refers to the system used by the news media to decide on what is news worthy and will therefore make the news agenda. There are various values such as Proximity (a fly in the eye is more important than an earthquake in china) and Status (e.g. celebrity).
Web 2.0 - Term used to define the current phase of the internet. The web has moved on from an age where content is produced purely by institutions. In the age of Web 2.0 content is shared, produced, created by audiences. Social Networking and YouTube are good examples of Web 2.0 in action. This theory links nicely with the issues of WeMedia and the Digital Divide.
The Global Village (McLuhan) - McLuhan coined this phrase to describe the fact that in the digital age the world is effectively becoming a smaller place due to the fact that audiences can now access information and communicate at the click of a button. As such there are no cultural boundaries anymore – and the spread of Capitalism has no limits.
Utopia / Dystopia - Terms used to describe the positive / negative viewpoints towards the development of digital media technologies.
Transmedia / Prosumers - In a Transmedia age no media product is a single entity – rather it is a cross platform experience that allow Prosumers (active audience members) to interact with and share the text. Cloverfield is a great example of a Transmedia text as the narrative was developed across a range of media platforms.
Jihad vs. McWorld (Benjamin Barber) - Post 9/11 the media has altered its rhetoric when referring to the West and Middle East. McWorld is a term used to describe the overwhelming power of the West as its brands takeover the globe! Jihad is a term used to describe the opposition to the global spread of the West.
Cult of Celebrity (Chris Rojek) - Contemporary media institutions and audiences are obsessed with the cult of celebrity. Rojek argued that the idea of celebrity has changed from people of worth (Achieved Celebrities), e.g. heroes of war, to Ascribed and Attributed celebrities who are ‘famous for being famous’, e.g. Katie Price.
Hegemony (Gramsci / Barthes) - Hegemony is used to describe the dominant values within a society by which we all abide. Hegemonic values typically allow those in power to remain in power over the masses. The mass media are often cited as a mouthpiece for many hegemonic values.
We Media - An age where people can distribute their own media content to global audiences. The idea that ordinary people are no longer consumers but producers of the media meaning that the media has become a more democratic force. A broader media revolution than Web 2.0
‘Power to the People’ – loosened control of the media by big conglomerates. Potentially this can have Utopian and Dystopian effects – e.g. Riots. Critics argue this can lead to ‘Dumbing Down’ and ‘Cult of the Amateur’.
Digital Divide - Younger high income people have greater access to new media and therefore contribute more online. As such it is argued that social inequality has moved online. People have different levels of access to new media technology and there is a clear barrier between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Only some people can take part and therefore potentially we are not as democratic as we like to think.
In lessons we will be doing lots of sample exam questions. Now is a good time to try to create your own that we can use in lessons alongside the official examples from the exam board and examples created by Ms Mayer. Look at this previous exam paper in the link below - two texts that have a link. Look at the three questions - the first question in a pure analysis question. Questions 2 and 3 not only link to IDENTITIES and/or IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA but are also written in order to encourage candidates to refer to wider examples.
Task 3 - Now write your own exam paper! Find 2 moving image clips or 1 moving image and 1 emedia/print and come up with 3 questions using the format in the exam paper and that we have used in class - use link above for a past paper.
TASK 4 - Write down some ideas of what would be good responses to your questions. Keep these separate from the questions so we can study them later on.