Why Is It Important to Study the Media, Rather Than Simply Consume It?

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Everyday we encounter the media in some form. It could be waking up to the sound of the radio, or passing billboards in the streets or simply just watching television. They are a lot of different forms of media, for example, verbal or written media, visual media and aural media. Examples of media would include newspapers, magazines, film, radio, television, billboard advertisements as well as the internet. Media studies came about because of the developments in mass communication and it provokes the generation of exigent questions about what we think we know as well how we came about knowing it. There are always changes in the media and the term "media" refers to the many ways of physically forming meanings as well and carrying them. The term "media studies" on the other hand, means different courses priorities different media; different theories and different learning outcomes (Bazalgette, 2000).

Even though media studies is still new, it is important, as it has a high potential of being at the centre of essential changes in our thoughts about what we should learn and if they are worthwhile (Bazalgette, 2000). Since this subject is still new there are a lot of disagreements on how media should be interpreted and it is also a hybrid subject as the idea that it came about comes from a variety of sources (Bazalgette, 2000). Media studies is also considered an academic discipline as it binds the different types of hybrid disciplines such as semiotics, structuralism, sociolinguistics and a lot more and there are no limits to an individual as how to analyze the media. The analysis of media is very important for this particular subject. Educators today realized that students need to be involved in practical work to understand the subject better. Media studies are normally associated with the English subject. However the difference is rather apparent and media studies courses uses economic and political perspectives are their main ways to understand the media as well as it requires a person to consider texts from different contrasting perspectives. The English subject on the other hand, deals with reading and writing skills as well as analyzing critically. It also involves individual students' responses (Bazalgette, 2000).

There are five reasoning to why studying the media is important. The first is popularity. It emphasize the study of mass audience pleasure as well as the understanding of enjoyment people get from these texts and it also shows how audiences are easy manipulated. The second reason is exemplification, as it aims to exemplify a certain aspect of a theory. Notoriety is another reason why studying the media text is important as it helps us think about social, political and cultural contexts. Text on it's on is already something that is rather interesting but with its notoriety it reveals much more about their conditions of production as well as consumption. The forth reason is turning points, which can be included under notoriety, but texts can be vital without notoriety. Finally, comes aesthetic value, and it is a way of judging texts and making meanings out of them (Bazalgette, 2000). One of the most important influences in media studies is self and experience in a mediated world. The self is seen as a product of the symbolic systems which precede it (Thompson, 1995). A person's sense of identity and capacity to make sense of the world around us is said to be an outcome of a symbolic project. In short, this means, self-identity is the result of a project that a person forms out of the available symbolic materials to merge into a logical explanation of who oneself is. However, there are of course controversies to how the media construct our personal lives and the role it plays as well as the views of the world about it (Thompson, 1995). Critical approaches to media studies are developed through different types of theories. European and American theories are identified as application to media and communications....
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