2012 Media Exam

Our media studies class has wrapped up for the year. The exam is over and students are preparing for their gap year/university/work committments.

The end of year exam was as expected and was similar to the sample exam released mid-year. There were fewer questions in Section A and less of the curriculum examined in comparison to previous years. There is now a section dedicated to analysing the students major pieces of work which is a recap of their evaluations that accompany their portfolios.

Overall, the students felt it was a good exam and most felt they had answered the questions with confidence. There was an overall emphasis on tabloid media, commercial and public media institutions, media ownership, the difference between print and online media and journalism ethics. These are the main themes emerging overall in exams.

Ironically, given the fall in print media circulation, the portfolios have to be in print rather than interactive online magazines. Perhaps the people who write the course need to examine why they place such emphasis on the growth of online media yet are unprepared to assess these types of portfolios.

Exam Preparation Articles

Here are a couple of recent articles from independent online newspaper Crikey regarding the future of media. These would be useful to cite in the exam. The first article explores how media might look in 20 years time. The other article is about falling print circulation numbers. There are some good statistics to quote.

Remember, quote the source if you refer to this in your exam: you could write the following in response to a print vs online questions.  According to an article in Crikey (an online newspaper) print circulation figures across all major print newspaper mediums have declined for both Fairfax and News Ltd. This demonstrates the significant impact online media has had upon the print medium.

Future of media_ Gideon Haigh investigation into media in 20yrs _ Crikey

Newspaper circulation_ Fairfax and News Ltd results from Audit Bureau of Cir

Happy studying.

Exam Preparation and Revision

The best way to study for an exam is by practising. I have uploaded the sample exam but also look at exams from the previous two years as the questions are very similar. The only difference, that I can see in this years exam is that you may be asked a question on evaluating your portfolio (given that this is a new question in the sample exam it is a pretty good bet it will be in your final exam).


  • Practise writing for half an hour as this is the time you will get in the exam for each question.
  • Read through your blog posts, classmate blog posts and the marist media blog posts for revision.
  • There is a lot of information so sort through what you beleive you can answer best in the exam and focus upon reading and writing about this area.

Remember, you can only become good at something by practising – exams are no different. The more you practise and submit your exam responses to me the better you will get.



Exam Revision

Now that you have finished your folios you can give yourself and each other a clap on the back.  I thought you all did a fantastic job this year and the magazines looked beautiful.

It is almost over – now you have to get busy and do revision. The best way to practise for the exam is to keep answering exam questions. Give yourself half an hour for each one and try to answer as many as you can in the double period on Monday and Tuesday.

Go through my blog entries and your blog entries as revision. There is plenty of material in them and look at:

Cross Media Ownership
Online compared to print media
Media Ethics
Media Ownership
Representations of people on shows like A Current Affair and stereotypes.

The link to the sample exam is: https://maristmedia.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/sample-exam/

I’ll read your exam responses upon my return on Thursday.

Exam Post-Mortem 2012

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.

Useful Articles For Exam Preparation

The following articles relate to News of the World, The Death of Print Media and the overhauling of laws on Social Media.

Phone-hacking scandal_ New disclosures … NoW phone-hacking scandal just ge
Pell’s threat to sue Twitter highlights law’s use-by date
News of the World scandal_ Murdoch’s UK reputation is trashed _ Crikey (1)
Fairfax numbers look grim according to report _ Crikey
Chris Hedges_ Gone With the Papers – Chris Hedges’ Columns – Truthdig
A pressing case for standing up to Rupert Murdoch’s bullying

Updated Exam Revision Guideline

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

Exam Preparation

The best way to prepare for the exam is to read through past exams and try and answer the questions.  Give yourself half an hour for each response. When you have finished you can either email it to me or Katy O’Rourke for advice. We will practise writing some exam responses in class but you will need to spend time outside of class to prepare.

I have provided a check list on the link for you.

  • In the colour coded table you will find the area of study in orange under Media Issue.
  • In the green colum are the type of questions you would expect to get in Section A that relates to the topic.
  • The column coded in Blue is Section B questions that correspond to the topic. These questions have all been taken from past exams.

media exam revision checklist

Another useful resource is the TQA website examiners report which was distributed in class. If you did not receive it then go to the following link  http://www.tqa.tas.gov.au/4DCGI/_WWW_doc/045312/RND01/MED5C_Assessment_Report.pdf

Also, your textbook and the maristmedia blog has all the information you need to prepare for the exam.
Finally, you must look at examples and use them.

  • Watch the ABC News and Current Affair programs and compare to the Channel 7 & 9 content. Look at the production values and how they differ.
  • Read through the articles about tabloid papers and media ethics in this blog.
  • Watch the Gruen Transfer regarding advertising (viral advertising and product placement – which is also discussed on this blog)
  • Watch Media Watch for ethics
  • Talk about Social Values (smoking ads/sitcoms)

Always make an attempt to answer the question, even if your response is not great you will still get a mark. It is better writing something and getting some points than writing nothing and getting no points. Also, keep your eye on the clock and don’t run out of time.