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Media Now, Texts, Practices and Events

  • Module code: MD4003
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 4
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Co-requisites: none

Summary

This module enables students to gain an understanding of the ways in which media events are constructed and grounded in a wide range of media environments. Students will develop an understanding of how  communicative content is scripted, staged, and portrayed as 'media events' by interrogating the centrality of broadcast or digital media.

 The module is organised in two major blocks focussed on: 1) the construction of media events through storytelling, headlines, hashtags, photojournalism, memes and media spectacles 2) the second part of the module departs from Dayan & Katz's definition of media events as scripted ceremonial events (of contest, conquest and coronation) with an integrative function. The students will examine this theory and challenge the centrality of mass (and broadcast media) by looking at alternative models of media events including: disruptive events (catastrophe, conflict, violence), media scandals, viral (new) media events, everyday life events (including tabloid, "trash" media, and confessional cultures) .

Aims

  • To develop a critical understanding of a range of theoretical approaches to the study of communicative media events and media spectacles in their social, cultural and political contexts and across media environments
  • To identify and critically assess the strategies and approaches used to create, construct and stage a media event by media produces, users and consumers/ prosumers
  • To develop students' media literacy and encourage them to stay informed about the news and trending or current media stories in their immediate media environment 
  • To reflect critically on the nature of current media events 

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of conceptual and practical tools to analyse media written and visual texts, practices and events within their social, cultural and political contexts.
  • Analyse the strategies and approaches used to create, construct and stage a media event by media producers, users and consumers, utilising appropriate critical and conceptual tools.
  • Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of current events and media stories in various media of communication.
  • Utilise skills of research, presentation and evaluation in reflecting critically on the nature of current media texts, practices and events.

Curriculum content

Introduction and theoretical framework

  • What is an event/ what is story-telling?
  • Comparative analysis of newspapers' front page stories
  • Photojournalism
  • Memes and hashtags
  • Media spectacles
  • Comparative analysis of news programmes
  • Agenda Setting & alternative media

Comparative analysis main stories and headlines broadcast and social media

Categories and Patterns

  • Ceremonial events
  • Media scandals
  • Moral Panics
  • Media Campaigns
  •  Disruptive events, natural catastrophes & trauma

The culture Industries

  • Fashion, taste
  • Celebrity Culture
  • Sports Events
  • Real life events and "trash culture"
  • Festivals, memorials, mourning & celebration 

Teaching and learning strategy

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of conceptual and practical tools to analyse media texts, practices and events within their social, cultural and political contexts.
  • Analyse the strategies and approaches used to create, construct and stage a media event by media producers, users and consumers, utilising appropriate critical and conceptual tools
  • Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of current events and media stories in various media of communication
  • Utilise skills of research, presentation and evaluation in reflecting critically on the nature of current media texts, practices and  events   

 

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures and workshops 44
Guided independent study reading, researching news stories, collating examples, answering reading questions 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of contemporary media texts and events in their social, cultural and political contexts.

Creative Media Content: Podcast: In this assessment the students will select a topic related to integrative or disruptive events, apply its conceptual definitions to a current news story of their choice (covered in mass or new media during current year of study) and design/ organise up to 10 minute long debate in the form of a podcast.  This assignment is worth 40%.

The second assessment: in-class group presentation 20%

The third assessment will take the form of an analysis of a current media event using concepts and approaches from the module of 2,000 words. This assessment is worth  40%.

Opportunities to practice and prepare these  assessment and receive formative comments prior to submission.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of conceptual and practical tools to analyse media texts, practices and events within their social, cultural and political contexts. Formatively through the class exercises and draft blogs. Summatively through the selected blog post
analyse the strategies and approaches used to create, construct and stage a media event by media producers, users and consumers, utilising appropriate critical and conceptual tools Formatively through the class presentation and summatively through the case study
demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of current events and media stories in various media of communication Formatively through the class presentation and draft blog posts and summatively through the selected blog blog and case study
utilise skills of research, presentation and evaluation in reflecting critically on the nature of current media texts, practices and events Formatively through in-class activities and presentation. Summatively in both the blog and case study

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
PRC Creative Media Content 40
PRC In class presentation 20
CWK 2000 word essay 40
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Couldry, Nick (ed.) (2010) Media Events in a Global Age. Routledge.

Leavy, Patricia (2007) Iconic Events: Media, Politics and Power in Retelling History. Lexington Books.

 

 

Bibliography recommended reading

Suggested readings:

Burns, Kelli S. (2009) Celeb 2.0. How Social Media Foster our Fascination with Popular Culture. Greenwood Publishing.  

Chemack, Steven and Frankie Bailey (2007) Crimes and Trials of the Century: from the Black Sox Scandal to the Attica Prison Riot. ABC – Clio.

Couldry, Nick (2003) Media Rituals. A Critical Approach. Routledge.

Dayan, Daniel and Elihu Katz (19940 Media events: the live broadcasting of history. Harvard: Harvard UP.

 

 

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