Getting Silly

It would be really useful if you were to make the time to answer the following task:

Example Q2

The KEY ASPECT that is the focus of the task is “meeting the needs of its [the media’s] audience”

The stem (or initial starting point) is a consideration of whether the media is ‘out of control’. For our purposes, we can consider the demise of The News of the World. Why did it happen, and was it a sign that the media were indeed ‘out of control’.

Review Panorama (Youtube Link) and the role of the ‘Redtops’ in preparation for answering. Remember, you need to make specific references to information from your research/knowledge.

The task has two parts:

a) give detailed information or ideas about the role of media referenced above, and discuss this by giving some opinions, arguments or conclusions about it

Remember, with regards the role of the media, we have looked at three specific roles. These are in the inverted triangle diagram, and have been mentioned umpteen times so I am not repeating them here!

The task invites you to consider whether the media’s defence — that it is meeting the needs of its audience — are sufficient to justify its actions.

Do not confuse the role of the media with the three analytical perspectives on the media we have been considering, namely: traditional, neoliberal, public service. They are not the same thing. 🙂

b) give specific examples from media content which illustrate the information, ideas or discussion

The second part demands specific examples to illustrate the more general argument/discussion/point of view you have advanced in a). You need to make reference to, and explain the relevance of, specific incidents or newspaper stories, or any other thing you feel helps illustrate your argument that the media is justified or not in how it meets its audience’s needs.

This must be completed by everyone and on my desk by Friday at the latest.

Some Useful Links

Found some links that may be of use for question 2. They are from 2011 and cover the death of The News of the World.

If you only read one, make it this one:

MEDIAWEEK (7/7/11): “News of the World to close, ending 168-year history”


The Guardian (5/7/11) – Npower reviews News of the World advertising amid phone-hacking row” 

The Daily Telegraph (5/7/11): News of the World loses adverts over Milly Dowler scandal

The Daily Mail (7/7/11): News of the World shuts after key clients pull their adverts” (NB: This is an archived page to prevent the Daily Mail receiving any traffic and/or advertising revenue)

Yahoo News (6/7/11): Advertisers Ditch News of the World as Cameron Takes Heat

ABC News (Australia)(8/7/11): Murdoch ditches News of the World tabloid

BBC Website (7/7/11):News of the World: Counting the cost

And a wee bit of historical info from the previous year when, presumably, the News of the World were still actively trying to find scoops by hacking. Can you think why they may have felt justified? (And which perspective is this related to?)

Mediaweek (22/3/10): Profits for The Sun and News of The World slip 10%

Q2: Role of Media – Guidance

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First things first, here is the handout from today. Download it, and use it as a reference for approaching the task.

Next, you should make time to watch the whole Panorama documentary:

Hacking, Power, Corruption and Lies
(BBC, UK, 2014)

Once you have viewed the programme, refer to the summary sheet as a prompt to considering how an audience could view the actions of The News of the World / NewsCorp / Murdoch.

Don’t confuse the role of the media with the perspectives of the media. It’s easy done, so to avoid this, simply remember that the three roles of media that you are expected to understand and will be assessed on, are as follows:

  • influencing behaviour and attitudes (intentionally or unintentionally)
  • meeting needs (for information, entertainment, education)
  • achieving particular purposes (profit, self-interest, public service)

In contrast, the perspectives (neoliberalism/traditional/public service) relate to how we interpret the media, and what we understand to be the reason(s) for the media creating the product(s) it does.

According to the SQA:

candidates should be prepared to answer questions on any of the roles given above. Questions may be general, or may focus on one or more of the elements given in brackets.

That’s enough to be going on with. Watch the Panorama, and remember: You need to focus on The News of the World / NewsCorp / Murdoch… and not the Panorama programme itself.

PS: Couldn’t get on to WordPress in school, hence the delay. 😦

Homework: Role of the Media

Take this Role of the Media question stem as your starting point:

The role of the media can be said to be to provide information and/or education and/or entertainment.

Read the following two editorial pieces from The SunsunssayDon’t worry overly much if you don’t understand what all the words or political ideas being put forward are, instead, concentrate on the language used by the writers. (These are both editorial pieces, which means they are an expression of the newspaper’s point-of-view, its mode of address).

1) Look at the opening sentences of both pieces (the one in bold type… and note the house style: Sans serif bold. followed by serif body text…and a Sans serif bold final sentence/paragraph to conclude)

Can you identify any emotive language/word(s) used in these opening sentences? List the emotive word(s), and explain what impact they are designed to add — or what reaction do they invite from the reader?

2) Read the body text.

From each piece, identify three phrases or expressions that reinforce the emotive language/word(s) you identified in the previous question.

3) Consider that one piece was written for The Scottish Sun, the other for The Sun (published in England/rest of the UK [aka: rUK]).

Can you suggest reasons why the ‘same’ newspaper may publish two opposing pieces on the same day?

Bonus points: Given the ease with which the internet allows people to access these two different editorials, what is suggested about the newspaper’s opinions of its readers?

As always, try to justify your answers by close textual reference, and try to use appropriate media terminology as you discuss them.

We’ll be viewing Panorama in its entirety tomorrow, so be ready to make plenty of notes. I’ll provide you with a ‘crib sheet’ to help with your note making before we start. 🙂

Monday Part Two

9amNow seen my timetable for today. I’ll be available from 1pm(ish) until at least 5pm.

I’ve got Blank DVDs and CDs and labelling pens.

I’ll also have white paper by then! (We’re using orange at the moment)

School email address is for sending in things to print.

Hopefully I’ll see you this afternoon. Failing that BEFORE (and that is NOT negotiable) 9am tomorrow.

Later, peeps!