ENA14 Media Studies (teacher Emma Marjakangas)

About the course

About the course

The media is an essential factor in our everyday life. We watch TV, movies and streaming services such as YouTube, read newspapers and magazines, listen to the radio and podcasts. And of course there exist various social media in the Internet. The aim of this course is to actively follow various media and analyze and report what is going on.

  • There are nine topics listed below. You can choose between some titles so that eventually you will submit seven pieces of text.
  • You can do the assignments in any order. Remember to include the sources you have used. Unless directed otherwise, each written report should be 2-3 pages long with 1½ spacing, font 12). It is encouraged that the report includes photos, headlines, links etc., but the actual written text must be all yours. Naturally, no copied internet articles as such are allowed.

  • Choose one of the assignments and prepare a presentation on a video of it and upload it here. You do not have to upload the written document.
  • Grading: pass/fail


1. What's the news?

Follow BBC world service news, during one week, on at least three different days. List the headlines (the breaking news) and the main news reports. If you use the BBC website (bbc.com) watch the one minute world news a few times and some of the reports during one week.

Check also Finnish TV news on the same days.

Compare the content, focus and style of reporting.

Also, have a look at the CNN news services on one day. Is the coverage the same or different? If different, how?

It is said that the BBC world service is very reliable and objective. Also, it is said that the media news coverage can change things or have an impact on events. What do you think?

How important is it to have news? How do you personally stay tuned with what is going on locally and internationally?

Sinulla ei ole tarvittavia oikeuksia lähettää mitään.

2. The Daily Paper

-a British quality newspaper, for example The Times or The Guardian;
-an American one, e.g The New York Times or The Washington Post;
-an Indian one, e.g. The Times of India;
-a South African one e.g The Cape Times.

Compare the headlines, front page and the sports section? Pick some interesting items and write a report.

What role do newspapers have in your daily life?
How trustworthy are the stories in the newspapers? What role do the so called "fake news" play in printed media?
Does anyone read or need the physical "paper" papers anymore?

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3. A "yellow" paper or tabloid

What is a "yellow" paper? Find some examples and write a comment. Where does the name "yellow paper" come from?
Have a look at a British tabloid like the Sun, the Daily Mirror.
Why do you think people like to read tabloids, like the Finnish Iltalehti, Iltasanomat, or the British ones?

What in your opinion, is or should be the ethics and moral of reporters? Are there topics that should not be covered? Disasters, murders, scandals, tragedies like bomb attacks....?

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4a. What's in? What's on?

Find out about theatre, music shows, art exhibitions and other entertainment in London, Sydney, Toronto and Mumbai. Write a report with comments on things that seem to be universal and events that seem to be culturally or geographically specific.

Choose between this topic or topic 4b.

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4b. What's on TV?

Have a look at TV programmes in at least 5 different places in the English-speaking world. What is offered? Are there worldwide shows or is there emphasis on regional programs? Why is there a TV set in almost every home or even in primitive shelters and public places? What role does TV play in your life? How have the TV watching habits changed in recent years? What's the use or need for the dozens of different channels we have for example here in Finland?

Choose between this topic or topic 4a.

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5a. My music

Tell about the part music has in your life. What is your favourite kind of music? A Band? Which band or artist would you like to see live?

Write either about this topic or topic 5b.

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5b. Megatrends

What are the trends in contemporary music? What is popular worldwide? What is out from what used to be in? How does some type of music become a world trend? Or an artist?

Write either about this topic or topic 5a.

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6. Reading books

Why should anyone read books? Why are there still books printed in millions of paper copies? Some of them are "bestsellers", some called "literature", some "classics" written maybe hundreds of years ago. When did you last read a book? Which one? Why?
What is the role of books in modern people's lives?
What is your favourite kind of literature?
Name three (3) writers that have got the Nobel Prize in literature and one of their books. Why do you think these writers got the prize?
What should be the criteria for the Nobel Prize in your opinion?

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7. Social media and I

Describe your relation to the media, specifically your use of the Internet and the social media. Do you write a blog or have a YouTube channel? What about Facebook,Twitter, Snapchat etc? Could you live a life without the net? What are the pros and cons of it? Are there any dangers you should be aware of?

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