editing disabled

Information about this workshop

Hi scholars!
A scholarship workshop will be held here from 3rd November to 14th November. During that time anyone who takes part can post focusing questions, ideas for discussion and handy links. I’ll start the ball rolling but it is intended that you will drive the content and discussion in any way you see fit – this workshop is for scholarship students, and is your place to air your ideas/questions about the scholarship topics and ideas/questions about the scholarship exam itself. Teachers can contribute if they like (just so they don't feel left out!), but students are the focus here!

What you need to do:
  • You will need to join this wiki in order to contribute to the workshop and the discussion.
  • The topics will appear on this page and you are encouraged to add your own ideas/images/links/video feeds/polls etc – there's an excellent help menu above or click here to read about how a wiki works
  • There is a discussion tab at the top of the page (cast your eyes north at this point!), where you can post ideas for conversation
  • You are welcome to be anonymous, but please leave your initials after your post so that we don’t get confused!
  • You will need to click notify me (also at the top of the page) so that you can keep up-to-date with what’s going on

Please e-mail me deborah.thompson@auckland.ac.nz if you have any questions, before we begin.
If your school has a place on-line for scholarship - please let me know the address so I can add the link

Monday 3rd November
Welcome! It is my intention to put up a set of starters/topics/questions/thoughts about stuff every few days for the next two weeks. Feel free to add to these at any time - and let me know if there's something in particular you'd like to cover. If you would like to have conversation about these topics then please use the discussion tab at the top of the page. I'm guessing that you might have some questions and that they will fall into two categories - questions about the exam (format, what you are expected to do, how you'll be marked etc) and content (what you might write about). To begin with please consider the following to help you decide what you need to ask.
including links to media departments with on-line scholarship spaces

Question One will focus on the relationship between media and wider society.

Question Two will focus on the development of a medium and/or the factors that shape a media industry.

Question Three will focus on the close reading of media texts.

Media Futures

Why are media futures important for a scholarship discussion?
Let’s start by thinking about where the media is heading – no-one is asking you to be a mind reader, but there is lots of stuff being written about how media organization, distribution and consumption are changing. It’s mostly down to changes in technology that allow portable, cheap and convergent media tools and of course the development of the internet – currently being called web 2.0 (see more on this below).
Here’s a little diagram explaining the difference between the web when it first started and Web 2.0 (how the web has developed to this stage) - apologies if you read this on Monday and thought What the... where's that image? I forgot to put it in - so here it is - interesting huh!)

You might be interested in thinking about how the internet could develop from here on in:
Look at this link which discusses the possibilities for web 3.0
Look at this report which does some crystal ball gazing into what might be coming next in media/digital technologies (and make your teachers read it!!!)

Read this document which explains clearly important concepts about media futures. It starts with some words that are important in any discussion of media futures. We could have a discussion (use the discussion tab at the top) about what you think these words mean, and how they are useful for discussing media futures in a scholarship exam question.

So how could you use this in a scholarship exam?
Media Futures could be discussed in any of the three questions. Just make sure you don't repeat yourself across questions:

You could look at the changing role of the media in society, in terms of distribution and consumption. Consider this quote to get you started (and read the post – it’s very good for thinking about the development of the media).

“We're moving from TV to the web, from the living room to everywhere, from watching and consuming to participating and creating, from few and large organisations to many and small individuals”.
Ewan McIntosh – http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2008/10/looking-two-tim.html

Web 2.0

You could consider web 2.0 – how the internet has changed from a repository of information to a place where audiences/individuals can interact with each other and become “produsers” – both producers and users of media. Let’s face it, neither you or I would be reading/writing on this wiki without the development of web 2.0

How did it happen? It’s mostly down to the development of open source software. An interesting phenomenom where a group of people each donate some knowledge/time to develop a piece of software (such as this), which is FREE to use – you could do a bit of research on open-source and look at the implications of this development for social democracy, audience participation and distribution of media.The futures handout above has good information about open-source.
You could think about how advertising works in this new environment
You could look at social networking and it’s impact – especially in the way young people are using social networking sites. This is a report written in the UK about this very thing:
You could think about issues of censorship, privacy and intellectual property
Find out about creative commons

Think about the rise of You tube and it’s impact on the media consumption of literally millions of people
If you haven't already seen it this video is a must see to do with You tube:

This report charts the rise of the ‘Video Republic’ across Europe, a new space for debate and expression dominated by young people. It looks at democracy, censorship, inequity of access and the opportunities and the challenges of online communities. If you want you can watch the video instead!

You could look at the factors that shape a media industry (an aspect of Q2) by looking at an industry case study in terms of how different media industries are having to respond to the changes – for examples music downloading, digital film distribution, television on demand, online newspapers and radio etc – think carefully about the implication for the industry you studied.
Look at the links here about media ownership

And lastly from me today (phew!) a quote to get you thinking about close reading of media texts - how are media texts changing, being challenged by the new phenomenon of convergence between media forms? I was on a bus the other day (first time in a long time!) and I saw this quote on a billboard advertising AUT bachelor of communications. Have a think about what you think the implications of this are. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say:
"The world belongs to those who can mix their media"
p.s if you have any vids you want to feed here or on the student video page - go ahead - but remember the rules of taste and decency!!!

November 5th - happy Guy Fawkes (if you believe in that kind of thing - personally I worry about nasty burns)
It's good to see the discussion growing - check the discussion tab at the top of the page - There maybe something there for you!
It would also be GREAT to also get some discussion going on the media futures stuff, given that it affects all mediums/industries. Remember that scholarship success is dependent on your thoughts on stuff, not your teachers thoughts, or mine for that matter. Discussion with other students is vital for you to form your opinions, especially as there is such a range of topics you may wish to write about. According to the examiners the successful Media Studies scholarship student can:
• Connect, combine and integrate information in order to synthesise it - and come to perceptive conclusions.
Your scholarship answers will invariably stem from the work you have done this year, but it is important to take that study wider and consider past, present and future implications. Look here for a list of attributes for Media Studies scholarship students (including subject knowledge).

I've added some other links to the scholarship links page, so look for stuff there about news in the digital age. There's also a pdf about the movie business in America - relevant for those doing the American film industry at any point in it's history and could be useful for a comparison for those doing the movie industry in NZ or other parts of the world.

Here's something to do while you are thinking about studying - a bit of fun really, but might ring some bells with some of you in the lead up to exams. Except that even watching it is a self-fulfilling prophecy!

November 10th
Please make sure you click through the wikispaces confirmation e-mail link when you register for this site - or you won't get an e-mail to say I've joined you up. I've accepted everyone that's asked so far - so if you are reading this and you've requested membership - you're in!

Media Futures part 2

We've been lucky enough to get an offer from Simon Elder from TVNZ to answer any questions you have about media/digital futures.
Simon's official title is Online Editor, Television and Entertainment for TVNZ Emerging Business.

In practice, this means he is responsible for all the television related content that isn't news or sport on non-broadcast platforms for TVNZ. Largely that means Internet, On Demand and mobile platforms (content being delivered to cellphones), and he's also in charge of Teletext.

He works with Bebo, YouTube and MySpace as well as both local and international production companies to manage the web content. He's recently been to Google headquarters (whatever it's called) so that's something interesting you could ask about.

Simon's been at TVNZ most of his working life (he had brief stints in publishing, at the BBC & Xtra News), and probably the last seven years or so in the digital area. He started in production (Maggie's Garden Show) before moving through into publicity and from there to a role as a web producer for NZOOM (TVNZ's now disbanded web portal - it would be interesting to ask him what happened to that wee portal!)

As a tele / digital geek, Simon is well up on what's happening locally and internationally with digital content and platforms. Lately he's been talking about about building online digital communities to support shows (one of the earliest successful examples of this would probably be the NZ Idol website). He can also be quite convincing about why people might want to watch tele on their computers. (Thanks to Mel Webber for the bio on Simon).

Please post your questions for Simon on the discussion tab and he will answer them for you.

Today I also thought I'd talk about:

Media and Society

This is a very open question that allows you to focus on the relationship between the media and society (pretty obvious huh!). Check out the assessment (marking) schedule from last years' exam - as it covers the kinds of things people discussed in every question and what the markers wanted to see.

Commonly discussed topics include: censorship, violence in the media, the connection between genre and society, Dependence on media for messages about our world, media diversity/freedom of speech (or lack of it), media audiences, the creation of national and global identities.

Let's think about:
Media audience theory - how audiences interact with the media. Brook has started a topic for discussion (above) about this. It would be good to hear what you think. Try looking here for a short background on audience theory. This link has a slightly more complex take on it - and I'd like to hear what you have to say about it in light of what Brook has said about how rapid developments in media will change theories about audiences and their interaction with the media.

One of the phrases that's been coined for the way the study of the media is heading (they are calling it media 2.0) is 'we' media. This is to emphasise the collaborative nature of media in the internet age (this includes mash-ups, re-mixes and other forms of re- inventing stuff that has been previously made by someone other than yourself). When media audiences are media producers as well it slightly complicates the idea of audience theory - what do YOU think about that?
You might like to watch this take on Media 2.0 which talks (amongst other things) about a return to people collaborating together to create things (across boundaries of geography and culture often).

Lastly, you might like to think on this:

"Our media need to reflect and promote the diversity of our society, both through greater diversity in the mainstream media and through the strengthening of Maori, Pacific and other ethnic media to give voice to all New Zealanders”. Journalist recruitment and training should support this purpose, and good practice should be recognised.

The mainstream media play a vital role in communicating us to ourselves. They can ensure that they have a diverse staff, who understand and are connected to their communities, and they can broaden their coverage to ensure that we learn more about each other.

The demographics of their market are changing with an increased Maori, Pacific, Asian and other ethnic community audience, who want to see themselves portrayed fairly and equally. Maori, Pacific and ethnic media have an important role to play in fostering their own languages and culture, and in reflecting and interpreting New Zealand's other cultures and communities to their audiences."


Here's a couple of questions that this piece of writing made me think about;
  • To what extent to the media have a place in promoting a fair and just society where all people are represented fairly and have their own culture fostered.
  • Is it the place of the media to be an activist for change in society - and what currently stops/aids that from happening ???

November 14th

Close Reading

This is a new question this year. NZQA have released a circular to give some extra guidance to teachers and students about what they might choose to write here. The circular says:

"The intention of question 3 is to provide candidates with the opportunity to draw general conclusions about the medium, wider media and society, based on their own close reading of a range of media texts. Candidates will not be expected to close read unseen media texts in the examination".

I think that means that you are given an opportunity to go in a few different ways with this one. Like I said – it’s a new question and I only have access to the same information as you do, so it’s just my opinion, but based on what NZQA have said and what the scholarship standard requires, here are some thoughts on where you could take this.

Starting from your own close reading of texts you could look at those texts within any of these contexts. BE CAREFUL NOT TO REPEAT INFORMATION FROM THE OTHER QUESTION YOU ARE WRITING:
  • Within a medium – how are they the same or different as other texts within a medium, how are they an example of a development within a medium, a watershed moment for a medium,
  • Within a genre – how do they characteristic, subvert, break boundaries, set patterns, be commercial products, NOT be commercial products, be characteristic of time and place
  • Within a body of work – what distinctive style do the works characterize, how might they be remembered as part of a body of work – Auteur theory stuff
  • Within readings theories – remember 3.2 90600??? You could extend the readings you did - or look at more texts within the theories you have been taught
Any other ideas about how this could be approached??? I don't think there is a wrong way to do this as long as your starting point is texts you have looked at VERY closely. In fact there is a myriad of different ways to do this. Please add to Vicky's discussion topic above on this topic.

check out the banner quotes today! I love the Jim Morrison quote about "quiet vampires" - what does that say about the experience of watching film??

I've decided to keep this workshop going until the exam - The discussion side at least, but if I find something interesting I'll bung it up here. I know you are all busy with your level 3 exams now (and good luck with that!) - but I'll keep an eye out for anything on this page or on the discussion page - please feel free to add stuff as you see fit and ask any questions. if you can get together with others in your class/school doing scholarship - then that's probably the best thing. Discussion is vital for forming your opinions.
Please keep checking my delicious links (constantly changing over to the left on the nav bar). Better still join my network (on the nav bar) and we can share great sites we find.

Best of luck with all your exams. Remember:
"Our time is a time for crossing barriers, for erasing old categories - for probing around" Marshall McLuhan
accessed on http://www.teachandlearn.ca/blog/

If you want to know more about Marshall McLuhan - a pioneer in media theory (he's the one who said 'The medium is the message') take a look at this. Quite prophetic considering he said it over 40 years ago.