MS1 Key Words

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Action Code
An action that moves the narrative forward or tells us something important. Eg. A close up of a hand moving towards a gun, a guilty look between two characters etc.
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Active Audience
An audience that responds to and engages with media texts, rather than passively taking in information and messages. Active audience theories include Uses & Gratifications and Pick & Mix.
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Anchorage
The words that accompany an image, giving it meaning. Eg. The caption under an image could change how we interpret that photograph.
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Binary Opposition
Where two characters are opposites to each other, representing conflicting views or forces. Eg. Good vs. evil, criminals vs. the law.
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Brand Identity
The associations an audience make with a brand. This is built up over time. Eg. Coca Cola is a family-orientated brand, Galaxy is a brand associated with luxury and indulgence for mainly women.
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Canted Angle Shot
Where a shot is filmed on a slant, creating a disorientating feeling.
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Circular Narrative
Where we see the end of the story at the beginning of a media text, and then the rest is revealed throughout the narrative.
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Cover Lines
Sub-headings on a magazine cover suggesting what content is inside. They often contain teasers (enigma) and rhetorical questions.
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Colloquialisms
Informal expressions used in casual conversation rather than formal writing. Eg. Badass, hashtag, lol
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Connotation
The meanings attached to part of a media text. Eg. The colour red connotes danger and passion, the use of low-key lighting connotes mystery and suspense.
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Construction
How a media text is put together using elements of visual and technical codes (CAMELS).
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Consume
Another way of saying how an audience uses a media text.
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Context
Where the media text appears – a cinema screen, a bus stop, a women’s magazine etc.
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Conventions
What an audience expects to see in a media text. Eg. The conventions of science fiction include: aliens, scientists, gadgets, space travel etc.
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Demographic Profile
An audience profile made up of easy to categorise factors such as age, gender, social class etc.
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Denotation
Elements of a media text as you see/hear them. Eg. The car in the advert is red, the music contains elements of strings and percussion, the lighting is low-key.
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Diegetic Sound
Sound whose source can be seen onscreen, such as dialogue, sound effects etc.
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Dominant Ideology
The views and values of the majority of society, also called the hegemonic view.
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Ellipsis
Where a sentence is incomplete and finished with a series of dots…
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Enigma Code
A mystery or question built into a narrative to engage the audience and make them want to watch/read on. Eg. A murder taking place at the start of a crime drama, a magazine cover line stating ‘Read inside to find out more…’
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Hand-held Camera
A style of filming where the camera is not on a tripod, and can be quite shaky. This suggests realism and makes the audience feel more involved in the action.
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Hegemonic Representation
A representation that fits with the dominant ideology, often using stereotypes.
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High-Angle/Low-Angle Shot
Where the camera is placed either looking up or down at the subject, making them appear either weak and vulnerable, or powerful and menacing.
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High-Key Lighting
Where the image/scene is brightly lit.
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Hybrid Genre
Where a media text incorporates elements of two or more different genres. Eg. Romantic Comedy, Reality Gameshow, Docu-Drama etc.
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Hyperbole
Over-exaggerated language used to create dramatic effect.
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Iconography
The props, costumes, settings, lighting etc. associated with a particular genre. Eg. A crime drama will feature uniforms, blue flashing lights, crime scene tape and police radios.
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Ideology
The values and messages held by a group of people or media producer. Eg. A newspaper such as The Daily Mail may have a certain point of view on asylum seekers or the Euro.
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Intertextuality
Where one media text references another, such as a film or fairytale being referenced in a music video.
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Juxtaposition
Where different elements of a media text are placed next to each other. Eg. Two shots edited together, two images side by side.
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Lexis
The choice of words used in a media text. It can be simple or complex, subject-specific or general. Eg. Use of ‘techie’ language on a niche interest magazine cover.
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Linear Narrative
Where the narrative unfolds in chronological order, from beginning, to middle, to end.
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Low-Key Lighting
Where an image/scene is dimly lit, using shadows to create effect.
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Masthead
The name of the magazine along with the font style and colour.
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Mise-en-Scene
Visual elements within a text such as setting, costume, props.
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Mode of Address
The way in which a media text ‘speaks’ to it’s audience. It can be formal or informal, direct or indirect.
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National Identity
the representation of a country as a whole through the media.
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Non-Diegetic Sound
Sound that doesn’t have a visible source onscreen, such as a voiceover or soundtrack.
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Non-Linear Narrative
Where a narrative manipulates time and space, using flashbacks or flashforwards.
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Passive Audience
An audience that doesn’t actively engage with media texts. They are more likely to accept the preferred meaning of a text. Some passive audience theories include the Hypodermic Needle Theory and the Bobo Doll Experiment.
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Platform
Different types of media such as TV, newspaper, video game, film etc.
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Pluralistic Representation
Where a representation goes against the dominant ideology, presenting us with an alternative view and therefore challenging stereotypes.
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Polysemic
Where a media text has more than one meaning and can be interpreted in different ways by different audiences.
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Production Values
Features in a media text that show how much it cost to make. A big-budget film will have big name stars, luxurious settings and high quality effects – a high-production value.
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Protagonist
The main character in a narrative.
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Selective Focus
Where parts of an image/shot are in focus and parts are blurry, to direct the audience’s attention to something.
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Signifies
Similar to connotes, the meaning behind something in a media text. Eg. The use of low, ominous music signifies that something bad is about to happen, the use of expensive clothing signifies that the character is wealthy.
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Stereotype
An exaggerated representation of a particular group, drawing on certain characteristics. Eg. Blondes are dumb, people with glasses are nerdy.
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Sub-Genre
Smaller groups within a large type of media text. Eg. Within the genre of magazine you can have music, gaming and house magazines. Within the genre of sci-fi film you can have alien, time travel and super hero films.
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Tag Line
A short phrase or slogan that sums up a film or TV show.
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Teaser Campaign
A series of posters or short trailers for film or TV that release limited information to the audience, presenting enigma and ‘teasing’ them.
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Technical Codes
Camera, Lighting, Editing and Sound.
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Tokenism
Where a media texts contains members of a minority group just to try and be politically correct. Eg. The token plus size model in a magazine, the token black man in a sitcom etc.
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Unique Selling Point (USP)
The thing that makes a media text different than the rest, encouraging audiences to buy it. Does it offer an exclusive interview, feature a big name star or have an unusual twist to the narrative?
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Visual Codes
Acting/Body Language and Mise-en-Scene.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

An audience that responds to and engages with media texts, rather than passively taking in information and messages. Active audience theories include Uses & Gratifications and Pick & Mix.

Back

Active Audience

Card 3

Front

The words that accompany an image, giving it meaning. Eg. The caption under an image could change how we interpret that photograph.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Where two characters are opposites to each other, representing conflicting views or forces. Eg. Good vs. evil, criminals vs. the law.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The associations an audience make with a brand. This is built up over time. Eg. Coca Cola is a family-orientated brand, Galaxy is a brand associated with luxury and indulgence for mainly women.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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