SEMIOLOGY: This is a research method that involves analysis signs and codes within a cultural context- it is often used to uncover the message or some analyse it to uncover what they believe to be ideological messages.
ASPECTS OF THE MEDIA: The main elements of the media are; the internet, Television, Radio and Newspapers.
DEFINITION OF: McCullagh (2002): Defines It as simply, 'the means through which content, whether fact or fiction, is produced by organisations and transmitted and received by an audience'
MEDIA-AN AGENT OF SOCIALISATION: The media is a secondary agent of socialisation and has key influences on people from a young age through to their death. It effects different aspects of people's identity and is highly influential world wide.
DETERMINISM:- The influence of the media is often debated. Many people see the benefits of the media seeing it as a source of entertainment, education and information, with a wide range of outputs to choose from. However it is often argued that the media has a negative effect and can control audiences behaviour- removing the possibility of free choice.
McLuhan (1964) Argues the point that the media have a determining influenceon social change- he believes that the widespread use of the media has an importanteffect on how people experience life, society and the world.
CENSORSHIP: The media has to be regulated so that material is removed from reaching the audience or restrictthe audience being reached (watershed). There are Government bodies which restrictinformation which may damage national security, or watchdog groupswhich keep a check on media content. It is often debated that censorship is unnecessary as medias effect on audiences remain unproven.
CONTENT ANALYSIS: This is a research method which analyses particular patterns in media (e.g. representation of youth in the media) Best (1993) used content analysis to examine gender representations in children's reading schemes.