Kicking my heels between edits I thought I might dig-out some old Notes (they were originally written around 5 years ago for a professional publishing project that, for one reason or another, never came together) and knock them into some sort of shape in the sincere belief that someone might find them useful.
The “shape knocking” mainly involves slotting the text from a plain Word format into a slightly-more-attractive pdf format (with a few pithy pictures thrown in to prettify things a bit). I haven’t done much actual updating of the basic text – there are a few newer bits-and-pieces where I decided something needed a little more contemporary polish – which is why it doesn’t contain much that’s particularly up-to-the-minute in terms of research studies. Although these tend to be a few years old, I’ve mainly (but not necessarily always…) referenced them when I want to establish a particular point or principle that has contemporary relevance
I’ve started with Defining and Researching the Mass Media, mainly because I haven’t done a lot in this area over the past few years and it’s a topic I’ve always found reasonably interesting and as far as content goes, this particular set of Notes is something of a game of two halves:
This is the “Defining the media” part that covers broadly conventional forms of mass media definitions (“one-to-many” communication and so forth) plus an outline of how newer forms of mass media have somewhat blurred these traditional notions, particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to the development of media networks. It also looks at some basic features of “new media”.
This is the “Researching the media” part and it covers two related methods: content analysis and semiology. The former discusses quantitative and qualitative types and how they relate to media studies while the latter outlines the basic features of this method and how they can be applied to understanding media codes and conventions.
This chapter is also now available as an online flipbook.