This years exam demonstrated that students had a good understanding of the shift from traditional media to new media. Most people were able to give examples of the benefits of online newspapers including hyperlinks, video and audio content, comments, updates and access to breaking new stories with Twitter and Facebook.
Students also gave some good examples of media influence and referenced the scandals involving News of the World and the bias shown in newspapers towards political parties.
Students do need to be more analytical and make the connections between media and society and how this affects what we read, hear and see. Also, students need to structure their work as essays and not insert their own opinions. Always begin with your position at the beginning of the essay and what you are going to argue and how you are going to do it. Then when you finish your arguments you conclude with a summary. Otherwise your work reads like a random selection of sentences that are confusing.
You must use examples. There is no point trying to write a media essay if you cannot refer to something you watched on television or read in the newspaper. If you are writing about media bias then you must give examples of bias. There is plenty of evidence in the papers and on television of bias.
Practice writing essays before exams and then submit to me for review. The more you practice writing them the better you will get.
Fairfax employees must be worried about the latest move from Gina Rinehart. Longtime friend Jack Cowin has managed to secure himself a seat on the Fairfax board. Let’s hope that Cowin has been briefed on maintaining editorial independence.
At the very least Cowin could watch the video ‘Support an Independent Farifax’ a collaborative effort by the earnest journalists working at SMH and The Age clearly stating their understanding of independent journalism.
To use a chess analogy – Gina has positioned herself to put the board in ‘check’.
The Online Education Database released the 40 best blogs for media students recently. Unfortunately, it is very US focused, which is not surprising given it is an American organisation. Still, there are some worthwhile blogs that have appeared on the list.
Here is an update of the sort of questions and responses that would be expected in the 2012 mid-year exam.
1/Discuss the success or failure of print media engagement within the digital realm.
2/Discuss the findings of the recent review into regulating the media and how this affects cross media ownership
3/ Discuss the role of tabloid print journalism in relation to the media code of ethics
4/ What production values are used in producing a tabloid television show such as Today Tonight and Current Affair
5/ What is media influence and why should we worry about it?
6/ Compare a tabloid production on commmercial television to one on on the ABC or SBS
To give you some idea of the types of feature articles students wrote in 2011 I have included some of them below. Unfortuantely, not all the folios can be viewed as they are missing but these will give you some idea.
If you had any doubt that the journalists at Fairfax were worried about the influence of Gina Rinehart then look no further than this video. A selection of Fairfax journalists have united to support the editorial independence and integrity of the paper.
Let’s hope they unite on a social media strategy as well or else no amount of talking to camera videos is going to help!