The term 'media' is defined by the Australian Oxford Dictionary as 'mass communications, especially newspapers and broadcasting, regarded collectively.' More specifically, the media is made up of the mass circulation press, the cinema, radio, television and recently, the Internet. The media constantly exposes us, as the audience, to an enormous quantity of ideas about elements of everyday life. Among other things, we are exposed to ideas about politics, culture, and economics, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and we are challenged to make sense of what exactly they mean to us as individuals, and members of society.
It is through previously established theoretical traditions and research methodologies developed in countries all over the world that enable us to form knowledge and opinion about different elements within the media. The theoretical conventions include those of the American 'Empiricism', European Critical Theory, Western 'Marxism', British Cultural Studies, Political Economy, and French Structuralism and Semiology.
Investigating these methodologies, along with exposure to media itself, can assist us in understanding the relationship between the text, the producer, and the audience, and therefore make sense of the political, economic and cultural meaning of everyday life.
Studying the media is a concept that has only been existent for a short amount of time and is controversial due to the media's rapid expansion and
The worth of media studies itself includes the preparation for media practice, as well as the preparation for skilled reception by the audience, which we are all a part of. For this reason, media studies in society is a vital skill which will continue to be relevant well into the future.
Media studies allows us to examine elements of the media and its affect on audiences, whilst investigating the influences that make up the media that we are familiar with. Cunningham and Turner describe briefly...