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English Language   >   Language in the Media

What is Media?

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Language in the Media

In this course, Dr Sylvia Jaworska (University of Reading) provides an introduction to analysing media texts. In the first lecture, we think about what we mean when we talk about ‘media’, including the idea that a ‘medium’ is something that we use to fulfil a particular function. After that, we think about media texts that combine two or more modes and the idea of multimodality more generally. In the third module, we think about how and why we might divide media texts into particular genres, before turning in the fourth module to think about how the media industry makes money and the rise in sensationalism in media texts, and especially the phenomenon of ‘clickbait’. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about the phenomenon of fake news, including why humans are uniquely predisposed to spread (and to believe!) fake news, and some of its linguistic characteristics.

What is Media?

In this lecture we think about what we mean when we talk about ‘media’, focusing in particular on: (i) the association for most people between media and mass media, e.g. newspapers, television, social media, etc.; (ii) the broader use of the term ‘media’ used in communications studies, i.e. anything that comes between one entity and another and helps to facilitate communication or interaction between those two entities; (iii) the work of Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) and the concept of cultural tools; (iii) the work of Marshall McLuhan (1911-80) and the idea of media as ‘extensions of man’; (iv) the usefulness of thinking about what people do with media rather than what it is; and (v) the opportunities provided by media (affordances) as well as its limitations (constraints).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jaworksa, S. (2022, October 20). Language in the Media - What is Media? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jaworksa, S. "Language in the Media – What is Media?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Oct 2022,


Dr Sylvia Jaworksa

Dr Sylvia Jaworksa

Reading University