Past Paper Analysis
1. I believe the examiner was right to criticise the writer for a lack of fluency in their answer. The writer used very little punctuation and there vocabulary was lacking much technical language, hindering the consistency of their sentences.
2. The answer uses a wide range of media debates from videogames to the war in the Middle East, indicating good knowledge of the subject matter and showing that the writer has done good research into their topic.
Developments in new/digital media mean that audiences can now have access to a greater variety
of views and values. To what extent are audiences empowered by these developments?
Online comments sections allow people to voice their opinions on a multitude of topics from politics and world events to the quality of a TV show or album. This development has allowed for much greater discussion and democratic debate since people can voice their opinions rather than accept the opinions foisted onto them by the established bourgeoisie.
However some online forums can also be the location of much bullying and favouritism. A common complaint of the website ‘Reddit’ is that employs the use of an upvote/downvote system. This system means that the most popular comments are located at the top of each page of the website so certain people’s opinions and arguments are valued over others and are more likely to be read than the comments at the bottom of a page. While online forums and comment sections allow for greater debate and freedom of speech they are often very biased towards certain opinions.
When viewing websites that are politically oriented the viewer will often encounter a bias towards the left wing or the right wing. Organisations such as Fox News, Sky News, MSNBC and The New York Times have reputations for favouring certain sides of the political spectrum and their websites are no different. The Fox News website features segments of ‘The O’ Reiliy Factor’ that is heavily geared towards a Conservative audience, featuring Bill O’ Reiliy’s televised rants against media and public figures who he deems a threat to American values. On the other hand The Daily Show website is tailored to a more liberal minded person with video clips from the show featuring Jon Stewart ridiculing various politicians for a multitude of reasons. While new and digital media does allow access to a larger variety of views and beliefs these views and beliefs are not necessarily presented in a democratic fashion where vastly different viewpoints are treated with respect, instead a person viewing these websites will usually have political beliefs spoon-fed to them rather than have the website present viewpoints to them and allow the audience to construct their own thoughts and philosophies.