Media Studies clarifications

Media Studies clarification

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91491: Demonstrate understanding of the meaning of a media text through different readings

Updated December 2017. This document has been updated to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Focus of the standard

The focus of this standard is to explore the meaning of a text through two different lenses (readings), rather than a discussion of a theory or issue with textual evidence.

For example, if a student is discussing a genre reading for Double Indemnity, the readings need to go beyond exploring the key features of Film Noir with examples from the film.  Instead the discussion might look at how the conventions associated with Film Noir help the shape the meaning within that particular text. 

Alternatively, a reading based on a particular issue within a documentary would still focus on the issue in context of the text itself, rather than a general discussion of the issue with a few textual examples. 

Both readings need to be at the appropriate grade in order to be awarded the grade. For example, where one reading reaches Merit and one reading reaches Excellence, the student is awarded Merit overall. 

Analysis and evaluation

In order to reach Merit and Excellence, students should analyse and evaluate the effect of the readings for the text and/or society. The discussion should be grounded in the text itself, and supported by textual evidence.

Different readings

It is important that the readings are sufficiently distinct from each other to meet the criterion of ‘two different readings’. For example, a gendered reading which looks at the femme fatale, and a historical reading focusing on the history of feminism, will not be sufficiently different from one another to meet the standard. The discussion of two genre conventions does not constitute two different readings.   

Students should avoid repeating the same evidence for both readings. Students are able to provide evidence from beyond the text but the focus is on the text itself. When completing an auteur reading for example, it may be relevant to support ideas with evidence from the director’s other films, but the main discussion should still focus on one text.

Appropriate text selection

Texts selected for study need to be age-appropriate texts. Texts with a restricted rating such as R18 are not suitable to be used if the student using the text has not yet reached the age specified.

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