The Media Student's Book
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The Media Student's Book

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Description

The Media Student's Book is a comprehensive introduction for students of media studies. It covers all the key topics and provides a detailed, lively and accessible guide to concepts and debates.


Now in its fifth edition, this bestselling textbook has been thoroughly revised, re-ordered and updated, with many very recent examples and expanded coverage of the most important issues currently facing media studies. It is structured in three main parts, addressing key concepts, debates, and research skills, methods and resources. Individual chapters include:




approaching media texts
narrative
genres and other classifications
representations
globalisation
ideologies and discourses
the business of media
new media in a new world?
the future of television
regulation now
debating advertising, branding and celebrity
news and its futures
documentary and `reality' debates
from `audience' to `users'
research: skills and methods.


Each chapter includes a range of examples to work with, sometimes as short case studies. They are also supported by separate, longer case studies which include:




Slumdog Millionaire
online access for film and music
CSI and detective fictions
Let the Right One In and The Orphanage
PBS, BBC and HBO
images of migration
The Age of Stupid and climate change politics.


The authors are experienced in writing, researching and teaching across different levels of undergraduate study, with an awareness of the needs of students. The book is specially designed to be easy and stimulating to use, with:








a Companion Website with popular chapters from previous editions, extra case studies and further resources for teaching and learning, at: www.mediastudentsbook.com
margin terms, definitions, photos, references (and even jokes), allied to a comprehensive glossary
follow-up activities in `Explore' boxes
suggestions for further reading and online research
references and examples from a rich range of media and media forms, including advertising, cinema, games, the internet, magazines, newspapers, photography, radio, and television.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 462 pages
  • 191 x 248 x 22.86mm | 1,043g
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 5th New edition
  • 192 Halftones, color
  • 0415558425
  • 9780415558426
  • 51,594

Table of contents

List of Figures





Acknowledgments





Introduction





Section 1: Key concepts





1 Approaching media texts





Introduction


Semiotic approaches


Structuralism, difference(s), and oppositions


Denotation and connotation


The social nature of signs


Debates


Content analysis


Conclusion








Case study: Visual and aural signs





Analysing a poster, and notes on two photos


Voices and sound signifiers


Audio-visual moving images


Content analysis








2 Narratives





General theories of narrative


Narration, story and plot


Narratives in different media


Long running and `single' narratives


`New media' and narrative debates


Conclusion


References and further reading


Case study: CSI: Miami and Crime fiction


The classification `crime fiction'


Plot/story


Applying Todorov


Applying Propp


Applying Barthes


Applying Levi-Strauss


Narratives, institutions, ideologies


References and further reading





3 Genres and classification





Classifying films: Thelma and Louise (US 1991)


Repetition and difference


Repertoires of elements


Case study: Formats and genres


Status and genres 1: `escapism' and verisimilitude


Status and genres 2: the cultural context


Conclusion


References and further reading


Case study: Horror as popular art The Orphanage and Let the Right One In





The child in the horror film


Global and local audiences


Style and the Gothic: different repertoires


Authorship and promotion


Distribution patterns





4 Representations





`Representation' now


Stereotyping and `scripts'


Case study 1: US plantation stereotyping


Scripts and performances


Case study 2: Representations and gender


Stages of change, and `positive/negative' debates


Realisms and representations


Comedy and questions of representation


Historical and institutional processes


Conclusion


Reference and further reading





Case study: Images of migration


Introduction


Discourses and stereotypes of `migration' and other kinds of travel


News media


The `grain of truth' in stereotypes?


Varieties of media representations


References





5 Globalisation





Your experiences of globalisation


Global histories


Approaches to globalised media


Global-local flows


Global futures?


Conclusion


References and further reading








Case study: Slumdog Millionaire: global film?





The background to a global hit


The production of the film


Distribution


The Bollywood connection


Controversies in reception


After the Oscar ceremonies . . .





6 Ideologies and discourses





Introduction





`Ideology' and its histories: Marxist approaches





The persistence of class and its (in)visibility





Post-Marxism and critical pluralism





Discoures





Lived cultures





Conclusion?





References and further reading











Case study: The Age of Stupid (UK 2009) and Climate Change Politics





Introduction


Context: images and discourses


The term `propaganda'


Textual approaches to the film


`Cinema' and its `everyday practices'


Conclusion








7 Media as Business





Studying business organisations


Ownership and control


The experience of conglomerates


New players in India and China


Public or private funding?


Public or private in filmed entertainment


The new digital environment


Business models


Different perspectives


Conclusion


References and further reading





Case study: Music and movies - digital and available





The challenge of copying





Piracy





Changing models in the film industry











Section 2 : Debates





8 `New media' in a `new world'?





Introduction


`Newness' and histories


Academic approaches


Openness, collaboration and `users'


`The long tail'


Digital copies and the `enclosure' of information


New media, old metaphors


`New media', vanishing resources


Conclusion


References and further reading








9 The future of television





Introduction


Ownership and control in the television industry


Paying for television


Business models for television broadcasting


Public service broadcasting


Network television


Subscription





10 Regulation now





Introduction





Politics and media economics





Regulation and `freedom'





Historical background





Changes in the orthodoxy of economic policies and new models





Deregulation, liberalisation and media institutions





The contemporary regulatory environment





A `free market' for classification, censorship and sex and violence?





The public gets the media it deserves?





`Free choices' and free speech?





Conclusion





References and further reading











11 Debating advertising, branding and celebrity





Introduction


Advertising, marketing and branding


Debates


Histories


Hollywood and branding


Hollywood: the brand(s)


Case study: `Brangelina'


Citizenship and consumption


References and further reading











12 News and its futures





Introduction


The importance of news, and views of `the public'


The construction of `news'


`Impartiality' and accuracy


`News values'


Debates on the influence of news


Futures: `new' news?


Conclusion


References and further reading








13 Documentary and `reality' debates





Recent issues in documentary


Documentary and assumptions about `realism' and truth


`Direct Cinema'


Performance and documentary


Ethics and documentary


Recent hybrids 1: `pranksters'


Recent hybrids 2: `reality TV'


Recent hybrids 3: forms of `drama documentary'


Conclusion


References and further reading





14 From `audience' to `users'





Introduction


Academic representations of audiences


The effects model


The uses and gratifications model


From `effects' to `influence': factual forms


`Cultural' approaches


Re-mediating audiences


Conclusion


References and further reading








Section 3 : Research methods and reference





15 Research: skills and methods





Introduction


Basics


Using the internet, and print forms


Fear of `theory'


Methods


Qualitative and quantitative


Textual approaches


Samples


Focus groups


`Ethnographic' methods


Footnote : Wikipedia


References and further reading








Glossary





Index
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Review quote

"This book does precisely what you want a textbook to do. It brings students to a wide range of concepts, issues and debates in media studies and sets them within critical, yet accessible, contexts. Through a guided and fully illustrated tour of textual, political, economic, social, technological and regulatory concerns the reader is encouraged to grasp the fundamentals of the field. It is littered with both contemporary and classic examples, links to online resources and probing questions to both cement understanding and challenge assumptions. It is effortless to read and should be the bread and butter of every media student's diet." - Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London


"The fifth edition of The Media Student's Book is the best textbook on the media available on the planet today. It is an invaluable resource not just for students, but also for scholars of media and cultural studies. Beautifully produced, with full-colour images, informative sidebars and information boxes working in tandem with Gill Branston and Roy Stafford's engaging text, the new edition addresses every and any topic in media studies today: documentaries, new media, globalization, advertising, news, and media regulation. With a key chapter on research methods and innumerable ideas for activities, assignments and projects, this book will find a home in media studies courses everywhere." - Imre Szeman, University of Alberta, Canada





"A terrific new edition, a re-write which takes on the challenges of Web 2 and uses it to explore and analyse the complexity of media production and use. A brilliant introduction to media studies with a range of accessible and up-to-date examples and student exercises which are thought-provoking and engaging. The re-design presents the material vividly and the cross-referencing to the companion website makes this a superb resource. Case studies provide an excellent basis for course activity while the clear advice on research methods and references is invaluable support for project work. The editors are experienced teachers and it shows.


Branston and Stafford's enthusiasm for a wide range of media is infectious but they don't shy away from tricky issues like media ownership, regulation and environmental impact. In such a fast-moving world, updating this classic text book was an almost impossible task; to do it so well is a tremendous achievement." - Christine Geraghty, University of Glasgow


"This is an excellent core text for first year undergraduates, offering breadth, balance and a wealth of guidance towards further reading and research. " - Christa van Raalte, Teesside University


"The fifth edition of The Media Student's Book is the best edition yet. Its reorganized and revised contents make the material more accessible and also provide valuable updated overviews of contemporary developments in both new and longer-standing forms of media. One of the book's major strengths is its combination of detailed up-to-date accounts of contemporary media forms together with a deeper historical and theoretical perspective. The widespread inclusion of discussions and case studies on media texts and genres which have emerged since the fourth edition also ensures the book's continuing ability to dialogue with media students and to provide a focused account of the contemporary media landscape." -Hilary Dannenberg, University of Trier, Germany


"This book breaks down the discipline into concepts, then shows how each one links to others. It makes sense of the huge interdisciplinary area of media studies by providing clear definitions of key concepts, illustrated with up-to-date examples and a wealth of external links. The language is simple and direct without being patronising. As well as allowing students to understand different approaches within media studies, this book will be a useful tool in essay writing and other assessment projects. Perhaps most importantly, because of the range of examples used and its thought-provoking style, I think after reading this, students will apply what they read and through that at least begin to understand the media around them. I think both lecturers and students will find this interesting, stimulating and very useful." - Carole Fleming, Nottingham Trent University





"Branston and Stafford still offer the best, one-stop resource for media studies with an incredible range of material and contemporary case studies presented in a conversational style. The book links itself to the broader mediasphere through the archiving of additional material online and references sending students to youtube clips and short films, encouraging students to be active participants in the process of learning about media rather than simply passive readers of the text.


Through the expansive coverage, information distilled and ideas on display, The Media Student's Book will remain a valuable resource for students throughout their studies, as well as for many academics and those involved in the analysis and creation of media more generally." - Jason Bainbridge, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia


Student Feedback:





"The new edition is great! It is accessible and easy to relate to. The use of normal everyday examples that a student will have come across instead of academic (probably unseen ones) makes understanding difficult theories and philosophies easy and straight-forward. It is like somebody your age is explaining it. I like how it acknowledges the change in the way people learn, with a greater reliance on the internet and absorbs this into its design and layout. The 'Explore' sections are also really well put together as they make you aware of all the media things that saturate your day-to-day life that you have grown to ignore or take for granted, and they make you take a step back and critically analyse them." - Charlotte Dean, Media Studies student at St Andrews University


"I think that the new edition is fantastic. It's very comprehensive and the examples used are very relevant to the topics discussed. I like the side information as it explains key concepts for readers who may not be aware of their meaning. Also, the extra websites and exercises I feel will enhance learning and allows the student to interact more with the topics covered. In the introduction, I like how readers can feedback to the publishers directly by email. I think it displays two-way media and new media culture very well." - Anna Jordan, Media Studies student at Stirling University
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About Gill Branston

Gill Branston is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. Roy Stafford is a freelance lecturer, writer and examiner in media education and training.
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Rating details

63 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 17% (11)
4 33% (21)
3 30% (19)
2 16% (10)
1 3% (2)
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