This course is designed to enable you to develop a critical understanding of the role of the Mass Media in society. Media Studies is the study of the press (newspapers and magazines), film, television, radio and advertising. It also incorporates the study of other areas such as popular music and the Internet. Within these areas, you will investigate the industries behind the media, the products they produce and the audiences that consume them.
There are many reasons why we should study the media:
• we live in the age of mass communication;
• we are bombarded by messages through advertising, the press, television and film;
• leisure time is dominated by a media culture;
• political and social values are largely shaped by the media who provide much of the material by which people shape their identity;
• the media also cuts across gender, class, race, creed, and nationality to form bonds between groups of people who may exist in totally different circles, bringing us closer to a global culture;
• the media is a powerful force and constantly changing, providing students with endless material for deep and contemporary debate;
• it is necessary to be able to understand, interpret, and criticise the messages which stem from the media.