Media Studies tests practical and analytical skills, and requires an up-to-date knowledge of how media affects all levels of society in our Communication Age. From advertising to movies to TV dramas to magazines to social networks, media forms shape how we think about and react to the world we live in. It's vital to understand how different media influence our thinking, and increasingly, it's vital to be able to produce our own media texts in order to communicate with others.
Media literacy is key to 21st century success. Even if you don't plan on having a media career, in today's multi-tasking work environment you will be called on to create videos, marketing copy, promotional images, web pages, and social media posts — and that might just be as part of your search for a job!
A good place to start is the Key Concepts section, where you will find information on the main areas of Media Studies (remember the acronym MIGRAIN):
Otherwise, use the menu at the top left to search particular areas, or try the Search Page with key words. There are almost 500 pages on this site, so hopefully you'll find what you're looking for.
If you want to cite this (or any other website) at the end of your essay remember to include the full URL of the page you are referencing (ie not just "http://www.mediaknowall.com" but "http://www.mediaknowall.com/as_alevel/alevel.php" for this page), the site author and dates of publication (ie for this site, Karina Wilson 2000-11).
Try posting in the discussion area of our new Facebook page.
Independent reading and research is a vital part of success at this level. You are lucky doing Media Studies: there are a lot of fascinating and relevant sites out there, so you can conduct a large part of that research via the Internet. Do remember to CHECK INFORMATION. Anyone can launch a website and not everyone is as responsible about accuracy as they should be.
It seems very tempting to cut and paste from websites - don't! Put your thinking and explanations into your own words, especially when it comes to coursework. Many teachers and examiners now use services such as TurnItIn.com which instantly references your work against the entire internet. Even more simply, your teacher can Google a phrase from your essay and find all other instances of its occurence online - you are immediately busted. DON'T DO IT.
You may also find these sites useful:
Is Media Studies a "soft option"? Every August (as A-level results are reported) it seems to get sneered at in the press but increasing numbers of students are opting for it. Here's a brief round-up of some recent op-eds on the topic that you may find interesting reading