Sunday, 23 May 2010


Here's a checklist of  some  basic resources  we've used  for the earlier topics, either  as hand-outs or downloads from our intranet.  Most are in Word, a few in pdf or as mp3. If you need new copies to update your notes or have any access problems, let me know asap.  


Glossary; Media Literacy Key Concepts; Terms common to all media; Media Conventions; Genre;  Ideology; Realism and Representation ; McLuhan Summary; Media Theory Overview

Websites: McLuhan ;  PG's Radio Teaching Site (useful for close analysis  of radio drama production in Question 1)


General: Freedom, Regulation and Control (pdf)

Press: What is the Press Complaints Commission ? (also mp3); PCC Editors' Code(also mp3);

Film:  Censorship History (also mp3); Censorship in Hollywood -Hays Code (also mp3); The BBFC Classification  Process (also mp3) ; Case Studies in Censorship (also mp3);  Petely and  Barker on Censorship; BBFC Statement on The Exorcist; BBFC Statement on Crash


Audience  and  Media Effects; Audience Effects (Powerpoint) Media Effects - Gauntlett (also mp3);  How Children Interprete Screen Violence; Effects Research Glossary

Websites: BBFC Student Website; Press Complaints Commission

Friday, 14 May 2010


Here's a provisional schedule  for the month leading up to the exam on June 15. I've indicated the areas we'll be covering  and the main resources you'll need to revisit.


AM: Post Modernism - examples of Post Modern media texts  (plus materials from last session )

PM:  Ideology and Representation - analysis of your production work ( make notes)

Resources (intranet): Media Literacy Key Concepts; Terms Common to All Media; Ideology; Representation


AM:  Media Regulation - Print

Resources:          Notes on PCC code with case histories

HW:   revision re above plus past-paper question on production work

 If anyone needs extra tutorial time, I'll be available Wednesdays PM  by arrangement


AM:  Media Regulation  -  Film     Review case studies ( e.g "Crash")

Resources:  BBFC Student Site  plus  case studies from intranet; 

PM:  Past Paper Part 1


AM:  Past Paper  Part 2   

Email feedback  and personalised suggestionsbefore Travel Day.  re areas for further specialisation and/or reinforcement over the break 

Provisional suggestions:

Jack:  Print & Film regulation; Games & Film in the on-line age
Matthew: Print & Film regulation ; Radio  & Music in the on-line age
Dave:  Print & Film regulation ; Music & Radio  in the on-Line Age
Luke: Print & Film regulation;  Film & Music in the on-Line Age

JUNE 8 & 9

FInal review -  content will depend on those areas where people feel they need most advice/assistance

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Week 4/5 Introduction to Post Modernism

For the next three sessions we're investigating the synergy between the expansion of Web 2.0 and the  growth of a post-modern digital cyberculture.   The first session will give you an over view of Post-Modernism. In the two subsequent sessions   you'll be doing an assignment exploring these connections with relation to specific media texts and patterns of audience consumption.  You should be thinking about media productions that have post-modern features e.g:

TV:   Big Brother, The X factor, Dr Who, The Simpsons
Film: Avatar, The Matrix, The Truman Show
Music:  MTV, music videos

In addition to the handout   and the Power Point presentation ( email docs to follow),  you'll need to refer to Music and Post-Modernism   and Theoretical Approaches to Post Modernism.  

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Week 4 - Essay Guidelines - Media in the On-Line Age

The question:  What has been the impact of the internet on media production; and how has it affected consumer behaviour and audience response?

In your discussion you should compare the main area you've investigated with another medium - perhaps by looking at the way  the two have converged. OCR examiners advise  students to  cover three aspects of the topic.  This can also give you a structure for your answer.

Historical – dependent on the requirements of the topic, candidates must summarise the development of the media forms under discussion,  when relevant to the question.  You need to show some awareness  of the medium  in its pre-web or pre-digital state.

Contemporary – current issues within the topic area.   I have given some prompts in earlier posts.

Future – candidates must demonstrate personal engagement with debates about the future of the media forms / issues that the topic relates to.

Week 3 - Audio in the Online Age

When investigating effects of Web 2.0  and digital technology on radio and/or  the music industry,  you could consider:

  • copyright & intellectual property issues
  • peer-to-peer downloading, torrenting
  • sampling, mash-ups, remixes
  • death of the album?
  • bedsit recording/ web radio  prosumers
  • on-line audio collaboration
  • podcasting culture
  • new strategies for   distributing music
  • web radio & the global niche audience
  • web radio - is it "radio"?
  • new  ways of interactive music making

For an overview of web radio issues, see the conclusion of  Chris Priestman's Web Radio

For  contrasting views of the future of the music industry see   an official corporate view  (upbeat)  and a blogger's view  ( pessimistic).  There's a debate on the issues here.

For new possibilities in  collaboration and on-line interactive music making, try  Squidoo.    You could also refer back  to  links in my previous  post  and to the posts on Jaron Lanier.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Resources for Web 2.0 Presentations - etc

Whether you're focussing on film, radio, gaming  or  music, you  should investigate   - especially  The Emergence of Web 2.0,  and Participation Culture,  both presented  by David Gauntlett.   

Another good intro  to Web 2.0 issues  is Nick Potamitis's short video  on Vimeo,  a more upmarket version of Youtube.

Cultural trends  that have been accelerated  by Web 2.0  might include:

  • trans-global creative collaboration  
  • hybrid   multi-media integrating text/audio/video/animation
  • niche audiences spread globally
  • an increasingly visual culture, privileging image/icon/brand/logo   (some VI issues here)
My own on-line creative collaborations can be found  at  Culture Court,  Radio QBSaulQBSaul's Youtube Channel, and  Toxic Poetry .  There are thousands of other examples  out in the cyberspace you could explore, like "digital writer" Tim Wright's innovative approach to writing radio plays.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Week 3 - Film in the On Line Age

In looking at the impact of Web 2.0 & digital technology on  film production and distribution  you could research:

  • The development of CGI  ( e.g "Avatar")
  • Digital vs celluloid  cameras
  • Digital post-production - editing and FX
  • Digital   vs celluloid projection
  • Use of Web 2.0 for promotion ( websites, social networking, audience feedback)
  • Collaborative production via Web
  • Access  to audience via web for new film makers
  • Threats to traditional distribution patterns ( cinema, VHS, DVD sale/rental)
Sources:   - essential reading! An overview of the changes
Cinema Reloaded  -  a new approach to collective film production via the Web


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