Most people beyond the media communication area are quite curious at “what do we actually study?” Well, something particularly interesting is that people from media basically have to study about everything: the fundamentals, basic stuff about the world- we generally link every aspects that evolve around us. This includes politics, technology, economy, cultural and the media itself.
We learn about engaging and you can clearly see the binary comparing to other degrees. I have also realized that tutorials from the science stream means doing answer sheets and seeking help from tutors regarding the questions. I am not too sure about computing or programming but they do have an hour lab work which is for practical tasks and get their hands on computers. For the Arts, the tutor is meant to be the leader of a discussion group, we students are the people who have to consistently raise our hands in giving our opinions on the questions. We are graded on participation which I find a great technique in encouraging students to interact with one another. Most importantly, is to gain your self-confidence.
People don’t actually care what you say unless they are really paying attention in class and sometimes when you say something that is so basic, people will still find them making sense because you are bold enough to speak out. Westerners are definitely trained to be that kind of a person. They have been educated to just whatever that is on their mind but of course there are still the good ones and the not-so-good ones. I remember the tutor told us that it doesn’t really matter whether you are correct or wrong, the most important thing is that you engage with the people around you and the relevant topic. Of course, it would be better if the thing you said make sense and the tutor will always there to correct you or explain it to you.
Secondly, when we study about the media, inevitable this includes television, Internet, radio. It draws us in with the history, the factors, the production, the image flows and the effect as well. Throughout the course we need to learn about certain theories and ideology that is formed within the media context. Some of the theory may be simple than the others, as we move higher towards the final years, I am pretty sure that the abstract intensity would be higher. Besides that, we learnt about media ownership, the culture within the media whether who controls the media and of course about audiences. In terms of audiences, we study the development on how they transform from passive audiences to active audiences. Although it cannot be deny that media studies are less difficult than biology, calculus and engineering, but to a certain degree, it may be hard for a science student to understand the concept of media communication.
Last semester I was quite fortunate to learn about films- this is also one of the stuff that we have to study. When we learn about films, we read them rather than merely watch them. Logically, we watch and read them at the same time. We refer films, music, literature, novel as texts. They are all texts to us that we have to analyse, approach them with critical thinking and associate the films with different aspects such as gender, genre, narrative, sound and national cinema. People might question:” Why do we have to think in-depth on films from different eras, different countries and from a variety of genre. Typically, films are part of us. We watch movies on a daily basis and the relationship is definitely not arbitrary, rather the connection is apparent. The films socially influence us and us on the other hand overall culturally affects how the film is produced too whether the setting, the plot, the story, the actors and the director. Moreover I have took screenwriting as one of my units. Even though it was just an introduction to screenwriting, I have gain an insight on how films are generated before filming. Gradually, you know what hard work is when it comes to film production. I know that appreciate a piece of film is not everyone’s concern- is all about entertainment.
Talking about this topic seems pretty dry for some of you but I do have a lot to tell. I shall continue because this is my personal space to write. I do have the right to express myself.
Besides just studying about the theory, there was a unit that requires students to actually come up with a social change campaign for the United Nation which I think it is a meaningful subject. Teamwork is definitely imperative, the opportunity that allows us to be organized and understand the crisis that some Third World Country is undergoing. Marxism, formalism, structuralism, feminism, globalisation, capitalism, neoliberalism, colonialism, psychoanalysis and of course there are many more concepts that I have come across. Paradigms are not that hard to understand if you really put in some bonding time with them. That is what media students do, gradually we read a lot, absorb a lot, inspired and we write based on our perception. I am not saying that our perception is correct but this is what media is all about- there is no right/wrong besides the theory part. It is a free flow of creativity, you can connect one matter to the other based on realism and you will never get wrong with support argument. The concepts that I have mentioned relatively show us that the world is class-based system, there is still inequality amongst the ideologies, the dominant norms will always win over the less dominant ones, the world isn’t single and images and ideas flow without boundaries. I would argue that media is not just about reporting to us what is happening around the world, what is the trend and what are the current affairs but it practically reflect the world we are living. Disney movies are so popular so we study about them but is not just about happy endings, media students have to write about every single details that supports the theorist’ argument. We are born to debate about the world, against the world or we just support the world- we are neither the opposition nor fellow mates.
Besides the basic teaching of the media, the university will also teach us about the copyright law, the importance of authorship, digital rights, privacy and there was one thing that I am in doubt on the fact that there is no creativity and people just basically derive ideas from somewhere, inspiration is a blank mind that is poured with external thoughts that have exist. Moving on, I have to learn about communication, about the models, on how we perceive the message via the model and the international level of communication. Frankly speaking, it is beneficial to learn about the world as globalization takes place- we can’t just live in our shell, we have to understand the cultures around us to initiate communication with different kinds of people. I know it is crucial to have mathematician, scientists and engineers who are the crème de la crème but I would like to emphasise the importance of public relation. To solve problems for the public, you do need a solution but if pandemonium breaks out- media is the one that captures the authority in informing the public and ensuring the public that everything is alright whether it is economic crisis, war, virus or any other serious matters- WE do the job. I am not fighting for myself but feeling envious towards people who are graduates of Media and have also gained themselves a reputation plus credits from their effort. I wonder what is the future of media…