Media stories start with the essential elements and are made up of media codes and conventions. To understand media stories, we also need to explore why they are made in the way that they are. We look at this through the contexts of production.
Media stories are not made in a bubble, rather they are made in the context of a certain time and place and by a certain media creator. These contexts shape how the media is made and how the audience understands the story.
How the media producer makes a unique product using codes and conventions to tell a story they are passionate about and draws on their influences.
How the media product and the producer are affected by the discourse, ideologies, values and issues of it’s time.
How the media product and the producer are affected by economies and regulation of producing and distributing a media product in the media industry.
Analysing Media Stories
To use this framework to start analysing media stories, we can answer the following questions about a media story:
- What are the essential elements of the story?
- How have the contexts of production effected the story elements, or codes and conventions used?
For example, we could watch the following story from 'The Voice Australia' (2018) produced by ITV Australia
What are the essential elements of the story?
To turn a coach's chair / embrace his sexuality
Turns a chair and picks a coach / gets engaged
How have the contexts of production effected the story elements, or codes and conventions used?
Personal Style: How are the codes and conventions used in a unique way?
- use of the symbolic colour red for passion (symbolic code)
- use of silence to build dramatic tension (technical code)
- the use of turning chairs and coaches to give the power to the contestant (form convention)
Cultural Contexts: How is the media product and the producer affected by the discourses, ideologies, values and issues of it's time? (What's the moral of the story?)
- The issue of gay marriage vote in Australia
- The importance of the institution of marriage
- The importance of relationships
- 'Hard work will pay off'
- 'Believe in yourself'
Institutional Contexts: How has the media product and the producer been affected by economics and regulation of producing and distributing a media product in the media industry?
- Is a franchise of an international show - it must follow strict rules of it's presentation
- Is on televeision on primetime - which means it must follow guidelines to keep it 'PG' rated
- Is on channel nine, a commercial station. Has to follow dominant values in order to get as many people to watching as possible for it to make money.