WJEC/Eduqas GCSE Media Studies: Student Book

The Media Studies Theoretical Framework 1 OVERVIEW The GCSE Media Studies specification is based on a framework for exploring and creating media products . This provides a foundation for your studies in all components and will help you to explore the subject in a critical way. The theoretical framework is divided into four inter-related areas: • Media language : How the media communicate meanings through their forms and codes and conventions • Representation : How the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups • Media industries : How the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms • Audiences : How media forms target , reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how audience members become producers themselves. Media Language Every media product you study will use media language to communicate meanings to audiences. Media producers encode particular messages and viewpoints that they want to convey, and audiences decode and interpret these meanings. The particular elements of media language that a media product uses will vary depending on the form and type of product. A music video, for example, will use moving images, whereas a DVD cover will use still images. Each media form and genre has different codes and conventions. You will learn about the particular elements of media language that are used in each form, including: visual codes, technical codes and language codes. This will form a ‘toolkit’ that you can apply to your analysis of any media product. Products Individual examples of media output, such as an advert and a newspaper. Forms The different types of media, for example television and advertising. Codes and conventions The expected elements that will be included in products from particular media forms and genres. Social groups A way of categorising people, for example by gender (females form a social group). Platforms Different technological ways in which media products are made available to audiences (a website, for example, is an online platform). Target Aiming a product at a particular group of people; a target audience. Respond How media audiences receive and react to a media product. Encode Media producers include messages when creating products. These might be encoded through specific language or images. Decode Audiences interpret encoded messages. They might or might not decode the messages in the way the producers intended. Genre A category of media product defined by a set of codes and conventions, for example news or comedy. Key Terms 14