studying media

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Much of what we know about the world, beyond our immediate experience, comes to us through the media. Media studies gives us the tools to respond thoughtfully and critically to media content, and recognise media productions as deliberate constructions rather than windows on reality.
The ‘mediated’ society in which we live, is heavily shaped by the transfer of information. Many of our values, our ideas, and our knowledge of the world come from beyond our individual daily or immediate experience, usually via the media.
They play a vital role in democracy, shaping citizens' understanding of social and political issues and functioning as gatekeepers through which issues, and events must be passed. By studying the media, and understanding the implications of mass communication, we are able to develop an understanding of how things work, how people become informed, and misinformed, and how the myths and ideologies that govern all of our lives are created and sustained.
The media are an important part of our lives for many reasons. Primarily, they help to keep us informed about current affairs, both in the world at large and on the home front. The media are a central part of our lives. Think about how much time we spend being ‘exposed’ to their product’s everyday and how many different ways it can be used. Everyday, we use the media for information and perhaps less willingly, we also accept the media as a source of persuasion, most notably through advertising.
Another way in which media represents an important part of our lives is through the influence and power they hold in society. Although it is not always clear what influence is held or whether it is good or bad, the media are often blamed for many of the problems in today’s society, most commonly with reference to the portrayal of violence. There are a disturbingly large number of cases in which the perpetrator of a violent crime has cited a relationship to the media, and in some cases has admitted to imitating a character or scene from a film.
Though the media are a prevalent part of our lives, we need to recognise that there are other influences that are as strong, or even stronger. Family, education, religion, and peer groups all help to shape our ideas, values, beliefs and behavior. Whilst it is generally accepted that Hollywood films may desensitise children to the consequences of violence, we shou...

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...dia and the way it reacts is especially important in society today. Everyday, interpretations of texts are made available to us in the form of mass media such as newspapers and television and it is in our interpretation of these media texts where the basis of public opinion is formed.
In summary, the study of media is a crucial tool for regulating what is said and what should not be said. It gives us the power of choice and the power to question. Its main concern is with helping us develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of media, the techniques used, and the impact of these techniques.
More specifically, it aims to increase understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality. It teaches us to understand the enjoyment people derive from texts and how audiences may be manipulated and deluded by stereotypical material.
It helps us to develop important critical insights, and generate questions rather than taking what we are told at face value. Most importantly, it empowers us, its students, with the knowledge required to be active consumers and producers of the media. Words: 1,102.
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