Section 4 – Employment in the Media Sector

In this section I am going to explain the different employment opportunities available in the media industry and the key role they each play. I will elaborate on each to show a clear understanding on how each job is important and what they do.

Employment Opportunities

Full-time

Full time jobs in the media industry are jobs with a status of working all hours. In more regular work areas such as retail, this would mean a standard 9-5 shift 5 days a week. In the media, this could/would mean the job doesn’t have a cap. For example, actors and actresses e.g Scarlett Johannesson wouldn’t stop working because their career is round the clock – due to their fame status and constant involvement in media industry they don’t technically stop working. It is a job that can be in flow at all times, that doesn’t or may not have a set time schedule. Therefore, this is a full time job. The advantage of full time work is that it grants a much better pay, especially in the media where everything is fast paced. However a disadvantage is this means less free time for that individual.

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Part-time

Part time jobs are jobs with fewer hours or designated shifts than a full time job. Typically they consist of under 30 hours a week, and work around rotational shifts. Part time jobs are an advantage and come in handy for many reasons, such as if a person does not have much free time (i.e they are looking after someone, or are still in education) or doesn’t have the qualifications for a full time job. In the media, and example of a part time job could be a publishing assistant. Although, a disadvantage could be that part time employees don’t earn as much and can find it harder to work with the money they’ve got. Media part time jobs can come into play when a company is either small enough to not need a lot of management (i.e photography) or big enough that there are enough employees that not all of them are needed at once (e.g marketing).

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Freelance

Free lance is when a person is self employed, and run their own business rather than  being employed by someone else. They are their own management and self sufficient, meaning they work their own entitled hours. Free lance is a pro-dominant method of employment in the creative media. This is because it means that the freelancer can come up with their own creative business ideas, or invite people to give them commissions. In the media, example of freelance jobs can be related to photography, graphic design, music, writing, acting, modelling, web designing, and more. The advantage of free lance work is that there is no strict working hours, and the employee is free to utilise their creativity to their advantage. Although despite this, a disadvantage is that free lancers may not be sure when they will next have work, so many free lancers do other work alongside their business to ensure a steadier income.

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Permanent

A permanent job is a form of contract. This contract entails that an employee will/may work at a certain job for an indefinite and non constricted amount of time. This entitles a person to stay at a job for as long as they wish given the circumstances of the company, rather than only for a limited time span. In the media, permanent jobs would be jobs where the company requires consistency and loyalty, i.e the BBC. In addition to this the company is likely to want someone with experience, so in the media giving someone a permanent job means they will gain valuable experience from that one consistent job rather than lots of little ones. This long term experience is an advantage of a permanent job, and means less switching jobs for the individual. On the other hand a disadvantage could be that an employee may feel tied down with a permanent contract and appear to have less chance of gaining different job experience.

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Temporary

A temporary job is the alternative to a permanent job. It is a form of contract where an employee is designated to work for only a certain period of time for a company. This means that they are not entitled to work there beyond their contracted time span, which may be because the job only requires a certain amount of due work time. For example, in the media, some jobs do not need to be worked on indefinitely, i.e creative projects such as film making and acting. An advantage of a temporary job is it means that the employee is free to explore different job opportunities after the contract ends whilst still engaging in a consistent job. However, a disadvantage is that the employee is expected to complete their contract and it can be difficult to quit early as it is fixed.

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Entry Routes into the Media

Networking

In the media industry, networking can be a vital route to landing in successful job roles. In the media, networking is when people get connected. It is a string of people knowing other people, a web of personal recommendations for people’s skills. Say if a person needed someone else to fill in a role, they may ask someone who they know that would be best for that role. That person is likely to make a recommendation based off of who they know, so the more people in the industry you know and are familiar with, the more likely you are to be recommended and hired for a role. It can be very hard to land high worth job roles in the media as the industry is so big and fast paced, so the more people you know the better as this provides you with status.

 

Adverts in the Press (i.e newspapers)

Adverts in the press are a key part of making yourself known as a company or brand. Even the smallest press adverts such as small sections in the back of a newspaper or tear off promotional tokens will provide you with awareness and recognition in the industry. Adverts in the press are promotions for what you’re working on, and invite people to invest their time and money in your brand or product. To be successful in the media industry you will need people to know your brand. Without people knowing about your company or what you’re offering, there is little chance you will make profit or success. You need to be able to sell to people what is unique about your product in order to achieve success as you need to have something new to offer, so taking advantage of the promotional areas available to you shows that your business is willing to go the extra mile to reach people.

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Work Experience

Work experience in the media is previous work that you have undertaken. It shows a history of the skills you have obtained and it shows proof to employers that you know what you’re doing and the capabilities you have. The more work experience the better – it shows you are able to work in a range of environments and shows enthusiasm to gain different skills. In the media, it is vital to have some experience in your field as if you have something to show you can show people how creative you are and the individuality in your field you have. Employers will be looking for something different, new and exciting to bring to their company so if you can provide evidence on how you have achieved this before you are more likely to be hired. In the media it is a highly creative and fast paced industry so you need to be able to show that you can handle this with flair.

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Voluntary Work and Working for Free

Voluntary work is when you work for a company for the sake of experience and good will without financial profit. This is important because it gives you valuable skills in the field of your choice, and allows you to gain an understanding of what working in that area is like. This is a wise choice to undertake before studying it at university – it helps to gain grounds on what working in that field is actually like rather than basing judgement off of theory. So if you wanted to work in the press, volunteering for your local newspaper to write a few articles will show to you whether or not it is something you enjoy and wish to pursue. In addition to this, you can add it to your CV. Employers will appreciate that you have taken the liberty of investing time in certain fields and it shows your enthusiasm to work, meaning you are more likely to be hired. In addition to this, in the media industry, high levels of experience and creativity are needed as it is a highly competitive industry that requires individuals to prove themselves above the rest. So having voluntary work to your name shows your unique eagerness.

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Personal Websites/Blogs

A personal website is a webpage that an individual creates for their own needs or purposes. The media is very centralised around the internet and virtual recognition and success. Having a personal website has many uses, as you can publish whatever you want and demonstrate who you are and evidence what skills you have. It is a good place to start showing people what you can do. For example, an aspiring graphic designer or illustrator may find it useful to create a DevianArt profile, where they can publicly publish and sell their work and have the ability to gain feedback on it. It provides a voice for that person and allows them to show their unique creative ability. To get into the media industry you need to be able to show that you are creative in order to be noticed, so taking the liberty of starting your own website is a great kick start.

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Show Reels

A show reel is s presentation of an person’s previous works and achievements to date. It shows the creativity they have used before and provides a visually pleasing demonstration of what they can do. These are a highly and effectively used method in the media industry – for example an actor might show their best acting scenes when auditioning for a role which shows their commitment to their passion, making them a better candidate. The same could go for a graphic designer, showing the products they had designed before – it shows off their individual flair and talent. The advantage of a show reel in the media industry is that it shows that you are up to date and aware of the developments – before, people would present a portfolio, but showing a show reel is one step further as it is more current. In the media you want to take advantage of all the perks you can – the more creative, up to date, and experienced you are – the better chances you have of success.

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Job Roles

Creative

In the media industry, a creative job role is a role in which the person is part of the actual project itself. They make up part of the actual production, and are involved in the modelling of production. Some example of creative job roles are directors, hair and makeup designers, costume designers, prop makers, script writers, musicians, camera operators, lighting operators, and more. These roles are important because without them, there would be nothing to work with. It would be impossible to create something without creative people as they are needed to fill their demonstrative role. They interconnect with the other roles, as technical people provide creative people with the instructions of what they need to do. The editorial people interconnect with the creatives as the creatives can provide part of an effect whilst the editorials can finish it, and the marketers interconnects because without promotion the creatives cannot get credited. The financial people interconnect with the creatives as the financials can work out how much each creative role will cost, such as how much a camera costs or how much budget there is for lighting and costume.

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Technical

Technical job roles are roles that involve setting up and testing equipment around sets and areas of production. Some examples of what they may do is set up and adjust cameras, lights, wires, sound, rigs, and other technicalities. This is a vital role as without these people equipment might break, not work properly and/or not fulfil what they are required to do. The role of a technical person interconnects with a creative as if a technical is not there on production, effects that the creative people may want to make are more difficult to produce, for example a creative may want a certain lighting effect so they would call on a technical to set it up. Technicals interconnect with editorial people as editorials can communicate with technicals to show them what effect they want to create after they edit the product, so the technical can then use their expertise to their advantage to create this effect as much as they can. Marketers interconnect with technicals as without the marketers, there would be no point in technicals as the production would be unlikely to succeed due to lack of recognition. The financial people interconnect with the technicals as the financials can work out how much the equipment that the technicals will set up will cost.

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Editorial

Editorial roles are roles that are involved with post production. This involves piecing parts of a production together to create a complete product, and making sure all factors of the production turn out correctly and appear smooth. It is the art of processing something created and piecing it together to be whole and finalising it to it’s original intention. For example, if a movie required a scene to show a flying superhero, the editor would edit in the background and visually remove the wires. Some examples of editorial roles are film editors, music editors, advert editors, photography editors, and press editors. Editorial roles interconnect with creative roles as creative roles may require certain effects that only the editor can recreate. They may interconnect with technical roles as technicals may have to set certain things up in order for editorial people to edit, such as green screens. Marketers may interconnect with editorials as marketers may research and find out what editorial effects the market may like, such as CGI, and relay their ideas to the editors. Lastly, the financial people interconnect with the editorial people as the financial people can work out how much money can be spent on editorial effects, such as green screen backgrounds or CGI.

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Marketing

Marketing in the media industry is research and planning that goes beforehand to designing and making a product. It is calculating what factors should go into the product in order for it to be most successful, and promoting your product well so that it makes good profit. Its the branding side of media and the business of profit and advertising. Without marketing, the chances of profit are smaller as there as far less potential recognition and less knowledge of what the public want. Creative people interconnect with marketers as marketers can relay want factors are best business wise to include, and the creatives can then go and work with this. Technical people interconnect with marketers because marketers can research what lighting and other technical effects people may like, and marketers can interconnect with editorial people to work out what editing techniques are the most relevant to use on the market. Finally, marketers interconnect with financial people as they both go hand in hand with what is best to produce and how much cost wise.

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Financial

Financial roles in the media are roles within the media that deal with issues concerning money and profit. They take care of budgets and how much each media project will cost, and how much each part of the project will cost, for example how much actors will cost, lighting, props, etc. They will work out how much can be afforded to spend on the project, help with loans, and find the best prices for good quality value for each part of the project to help reduce the overall cost. Essentially, they deal with making the most out of the project money wise, and help calculate the profit and how to increase it. The financial people interconnect with the all the other roles to figure out how much each role can spend. For example, how much a creative person could spend on the set, or the costume. How much a technical person could spend on lighting or cameras. How much an editorial person could spend on an elaborate CGI effect. How much the marketer could spend on their research. The financial person is key to getting the most out of the project.

Professional Career Development

Training on the job

Training on the job is the most used and commonly known form of job training. This is where a person who already has the necessary skills shows the new person how to perform those skills through demonstrating to them how it is done. They will go from job to job showing the new person how each of them works, and then let them try it too to see if they’ve taken it in. It is simplistic because there is no complex test or pressure, which is effective as it means that it is not too difficult to absorb making it easier to learn. The issue with this form of training in the media industry is that the media is constantly changing, updating and creating new paths and technology. This means that new skills are always needed as things change in the industry so fast. New products require new knowledge, and things go by so fast that it can be hard to catch up and attain all the new key skills. Even already successful people may struggle to keep up if they have such a busy schedule.

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Self-training

Self training is quite self explanatory – it is teaching yourself skills and taking responsibility for what you know and learn. You take the liberty of informing yourself on how to perform something and how to adapt it to the skills you already have. For example, many people self teach how to play instruments through online tutorials and practise rather than going to taught lessons. However in the media industry this can be hard to keep up with because the skills you learn may quickly become outdated, especially if the skills you are teaching yourself are to do with technology. This also requires spare time and the energy to do it, which a lot of people in the media may not have if they have busy days and not a lot of spare time.

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Professional Behaviour 

Reliability

Reliability is where you are dependable and efficient. This means you can be counted on and trusted to get the job done, and to get the job done well. This is key in the work place as each employee needs to be able to chip in and complete the tasks asked of them. Without reliability, it would be significantly more difficult to achieve results and get jobs done because nobody would be willing to put the effort in. In the media, this would mean things such as turning up to set prepared and able to effectively conduct your jobs, such as producing a well written script. So the more reliable you are, the more likely to be favoured for a job you are. An example of how I have been reliable through college is completing my work to deadlines on time.

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Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and punctuality are a key asset to the work place and making a good impression. Attendance means being present to an event, rather than being elsewhere. This is key because showing up means you are available and ready to take on what is asked of you. If you turn up much less than you’re supposed to, this makes you unfavourable as if you aren’t there you cannot be called upon meaning there may as well be a more available employee in your place. Similarly, punctuality means turning up to the job on time, rather than late. This is key because turning up on time shows effort and means you’re available for the full duration of your shift. In the media, attendance and punctuality is key as it is a busy industry than constantly requires staff to help produce products and projects. For example at college turning up to lesson on time is key to getting the most out of the education available.

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Commitment

Commitment in the work place means being dedicated to your job. It shows loyalty and that you care about your work place in particular, which makes you are more trust worthy and respected employee. It also shows to your work place that you are a good worker and highlights your ability. In addition to this, being committed means you are more likely to be favoured so you may get more hours meaning greater pay. In the media industry, commitment is key, especially for some companies such as the BBC who value loyalty. An example of being committed at college is getting work done on time to a good standard.

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Self-Presentation

Self presentation in the workplace is making sure that you are well presented when you go to work. Appearing neat and organised is a good asset to have as it shows effort into making good impressions and playing the part well. If people turn up to work appearing scruffy and unprepared it can show a lack of effort so it is good to make sure you look neat and organised. The media can be a very visual industry so it is important to look neat, as a lot of media is broadcast and looked upon. For example, a news presenter would want to look smart as it shows that they put in effort and shows enthusiasm for their job because it shows commitment. An example of good self presentation at college is when presenting a presentation for a module.

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Communication Skills

Communication skills in the work place is the ability to communicate and share ideas well with your colleagues and team. It is a key skill to have to be able to converse well because sharing ideas and debates means that more options are presented and plans are more likely to go smoothly if everyone is correctly informed about what is going on. If there is not enough communication this can lead to confusion and the task may not go as smoothly as planned. In the media, this is key if people are working together on a project. Voicing ideas leads to an even better end result, for example the more ideas shared for say a movie then the better because this shows what people feel is a good idea, which leads to a more elaborate result.  In my college course communication is key, for example when we shared ideas on what would be a successful advert.

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Teamwork

Team work is an essential asset to have when working in a group of people. It is working together efficiently and cooperating with each other effectively, to get the job done. It is important because team work involves making sure everybody gets along and is happy with what they are doing. In the media, it is essential to be able to work well with each other as the media is a very team based industry. In college we had to use team work well when working on our advert as this was a group project.

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Time Management

Time management in the work place means being well organised and following through with plans time effectively. It is planning out the tasks you have well enough to be able to complete them within the time you have. It is important to do this because if you don’t make sure you have enough time to effectively complete your tasks you will either completely run out of time and not finish the jobs, or will be rushed and not finish them to the best standard you could have. In the media industry, it is incredibly fast paced and everything is constantly on the move. For example, the press industry have to work very fast to get stories out in time whilst they are still relevant. Breaking news is immediate and time needs to be managed well in order to broadcast when the time calls for it. At college, time has to be managed well in order to be able to submit work in time.

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Section 3 – Regulation of the Media Sector

Introduction

In the UK, the media is a heavily regulated sector. In the media, regulation is where the government and other legal organisations control the media and the content posted. They guide it to make sure it is all conducted through legal methods and content, and enforce that the media is up to appropriate and suitable standard. Without media regulation, the media would be all over the place. Nothing would be protected, there would be no limits, and anyone could see anything regardless. So it’s a good thing media regulation is in place!

BBFC

One example of a media regulator is the BBFC. The BBFC stands for British Board of Film Classification. This regulator regulates the film and cinema side of media. What the BBFC do is regulate the ratings of films before release in cinema and on DVD. They decide on whether a film is Universal (suitable for all audiences), PG (can be seen by younger viewers but requires parental guidance/presence), 12A (parents can take a child younger than 12 to see the film in cinema if they deem it suitable for their child), 12 (can only be viewed and/or purchased by someone 12 or over), 15 (can only be viewed or purchased by someone 15 or over), 18 (can only be viewed or purchased by someone 18 or over), and R18 (‘To be shown only in specially licensed cinemas, or supplied only in licensed sex shops, and to adults only’).

The BBFC is effective and a necessary organisation. This is because without the BBFC, anyone could watch anything and be unaware of how impactful it could potentially be. It is effective because without the BBFC, a 12 year old could watch an 18 and be harmed mentally or emotionally from what they have witnessed.

An example of a regulatory decision the BBFC made was with The Human Centipede 2. The company that made The Human Centipede 2 took their film to the BBFC and the BBFC rejected it on ethical and legal grounds, saying it was far too graphic and emotionally distressing to be certified on any rating level. Ethically it was too much, it showed extreme violence and other distressing scenes that could ethically distress and potentially influence the audience. Legally it surpassed the borderline on acceptable grounds for film. When the company got rejected, they consulted the BBFC again and asked them to evaluate what must be removed in order to be approved. The BBFC told them to remove a few scenes from the film and from this they were able to publish it. The reason the BBFC and the company came to a compromise was for commercial reasons – it allows for more money and also provides both companies with profit.

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PEGI

Another example of a media regulator is PEGI, who regulate video games. PEGI stands for Pan European Game Information, and they regulate the ratings on video games. They decide on it’s level of appropriateness and what age category it should fall in, in the same way that the BBFC regulate films. It can fall into the category of Ok (suitable for everyone), 3 (suitable for those 3 years old and over), 7 (suitable for those 7 and over), 12 (suitable for those 12 and over), 16 (suitable for those 16 and over), and 18 (suitable for those only 18 or over). What they also do is analyse the game to see what kind of significant and/or explicit content each game contains. They will include symbols on each game signifying what it features:

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PEGI is a necessary company to the gaming industry, and is highly effective. It ensures that a gamer is aware of the kind of content they have invested in and are prepared for it – otherwise a gamer could purchase any random game and have no idea about the kind of content it features and how it will affect them. For example, a seven year old could invest themselves in Grand Theft Auto and have no idea about the violence it contains, which could then further cause them distress and influence their mentality.

An example of when PEGI have intervened and made a significant regulatory decision was with Manhunt 2 in 2007. They refused it classification of any sort due to the extensive amount of violence it involved and the attitude in the game which advocated the violence. The nature of the game was both a legal and ethical matter. Legally it pushed the boundaries of what was allowed in terms of graphic content in European law, and ethically it was far too distressing both mentally and emotionally to be an acceptable game to publish. After being rejected, Rockstar (the company who produced Manhunt 2) went away and censored and removed what they deemed was the worst parts of the game, such as the visual brutality and the score system of violence in the game. They re-appealed to PEGI who rejected them once again. After this Rockstar created another appeal and on commercial grounds it was finally approved with an 18 certificate. They gave in to this on commercial grounds, and the need and want for more profit.

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PCC

The PCC are the regulator for the press and publishing industry. PCC stands for Press Complaints Commission, and their job is to make sure the press do not publish anything inappropriate or harmful to anyone, and that the right actions are taken if this happens. They protect the rights of featured individuals and the public, and uphold ethical and legal standards. These rights are protected through the PCC’s Editor’s Code of Practise, which is a document stating all of the rules and conditions of what the press can and cannot conduct and release. If the rules on this document are breached in a publication and/or a someone claims that a publication has caused them harm, the PCC will sue or charge offence against the publisher.

Without the PCC the press could release anything and conduct their research in any way they like without it being deemed offensive or harmful. Unfair publications and methods would go untreated and nobody would have the right to claim privacy or that they have been negatively affected by the press. This could cause major harm and issues which emphasises why the PCC are a necessary authority and highlights how highly effective they are.

An example of when the PCC have made a regulatory decision was with Danni Minogue. The papers had published and shared information without consent about her pregnancy, and released details even before her 12 week scan. She gave complaint about this and the PCC upheld the issue and charged the papers for releasing sensitive material without consent. The issue was ethical and legal – ethically it was wrong of the papers to publish information without consent, and legally it breached the Editor’s Code of Conduct.

In recent years, the press complaints regulator has been replaced by a new regulator known as IPSO. IPSO stands for Independent Press Standards Organisation. They replaced the PCC because the PCC recieved extensive amounts of complaints and slander after a scandal in 2011. The scandal was a large phone hacking frenzy, involving companies such as News of the World and News Corporation hacking famous figures phones and accessing private information and publishing it. The PCC did very little to resolve the situation which caused a new system to be issued by Prime Minister David Cameron, and this new system was IPSO.

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ASA

The ASA are the Advertisement Standards Authority, and they are in charge of making regulatory decisions based on the appropriateness of advertisements. They decide on whether or not an advert is appropriate, and where and when it should be aired. For example, if a company tried to air their advert before watershed and it featured explicit content, the ASA would step in and ban the advert, or set it to be aired after watershed if this was deemed still appropriate. The public can also appeal to the ASA if they feel offended by an advert and ask for it to be removed. If there is enough public agreement and a justified reason to support this, then the ASA has the power to step in and ban or alter the advert.

For example, a few years ago the food company Rustler’s created an advert for their burger featuring a sexualised woman, comparing the two together to show the appeal of the burger in comparison. This was brought to the ASA’s attention because it breached their codes and in addition to this the advert was shown before watershed, in an advert break between a kids film. Ethically it was an issue as it presented women in a degrading light, and legally it breached the codes so it had to be altered. The ASA made the commercial decision to move the advert to after watershed, that way the company could still benefit from the advertisement.

If I applied the ASA to my own media texts, they would have to regulate my advert if I published it. Currently, as it is not in the public domain, I have used a song from another artist without permission. If I were to put this on TV in the public domain, the ASA would need to address my advert for copyright purposes. In addition to this, if my advert included spooky scenes such as if I included the wolf from Red Riding Hood (and the wolf was visually graphic or too menacing) the ASA would be likely to revise my advert to after watershed if I tried to publicly publish it.

The ASA is highly effective and necessary to the advertisement industry. If there was no regulator for advertisement, any advert could be shown at any time with any content. This could potentially cause a lot of mental and emotional harm, especially if the advert was distressing. The public do not choose what adverts they see they only choose the programme or movie, so for sensitive adverts to go unregulated could mean serious harm to different audiences if they are not prepared for that advert. The ASA ensure that all adverts are suitable for the particular audience and platform they broadcast on.

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OFCOM

OFCOM are a regulator who are the Office of Communications. They regulate ‘the TV, radio and video-on-demand sectors, fixed-line telecoms, mobiles and postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate.’ They are a government body who look over the widespread media and have large control on how the media operate.

One sector they regulate are the video sector, which includes music videos. A regulatory decision that OFCOM have been a part of was the music video for Smack My ***** Up by The Prodigy. In the music video, which was broadcast on MTV, there were several explicit pieces of content that were highly inappropriate. OFCOM upheld this and told the band that the video was inappropriate, and they were made to cut some pieces out in order to be suitable for airing once again. This issue was both legal ethical. Legally it breached the law of what could be published publicly, and it was unethical to show some of the content it featured.

Without OFCOM the media would be heavily unregulated and there would be immense disorder, anyone could broadcast or publish anything leaving the media a potentially harmful place to be invested in. OFCOM makes sure that all media communications in the UK are as safe as possible and that it is a suitable environment for everyone.

Section 2 – Ethical and Legal Constraints

Introduction

In the creative media industry, producers of media are not as free to make what they like as it may seem. There are constraints on what is allowed to be produced, and laws put in place to ensure all content is politically correct. This can fall into two categories, legal and ethical.

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Ethics are the moral principles that we all have that govern us on how we behave or conduct an activity. For example, an ethic may be ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’. This ethic implies that when we communicate with others we give them the amount of respect we wish for in return. This is an ethic because it tells us how to behave morally.

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Legal constraints are where a company, group or person considers what laws could potentially affect them and whether or not they are breaking these laws. For example, a person may consider speeding on a road but then decide against it because it is illegal and it would be a breakage of the law.

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Ethical Considerations

When a company produces material, there are several ethical considerations they have to consider before deciding if they can include or produce it. If they don’t they can get into a huge amount of trouble with the government and also the public, which looks very bad on your company.

Plagiarism

One ethical consideration a media company has to consider is plagiarism. Plagiarism is when a person, group or company takes the work or ideas of somebody else knowingly, produces it and then makes the content out to be their own. One example of this is when a Russian screenwriter claimed that the award winning film The Martian was plagiarised from his original idea. He claimed 50 million in damages over the issue. This was bad because if the screenwriter didn’t call the company out, he would have lost his idea to them and no credibility would have gone to him, even though it was that writer who came up with the story. So if you’re a media company coming up with a story – make sure its all yours!

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Bias

Another ethical consideration that a media company must consider is bias. Bias is when a company is very one sided with a particular view or stance. They will be prejudiced and lack an open minded perspective and don’t show stories in all due light. This leads to an unfair story and famous figures being unhappy with their representation. By extension, this can lead to a famous person suing the company for unfair representation and the company loses value and profit, and also if the company is biased the public may deem them as unreliable leading to less value and audience figures. One example of bias is Fox News- this channel is particularly biased towards politics. They are very right wing and favour Donald Trump, but they were biased against the left wing when Barack Obama was in power. An example of when they have been biased was with a news web report that encouraged the idea that Obama was un-American and un-Christian because he didn’t release an Easter proclamation that year, despite having mentioned resurrection in a public speaking previously. This lead to this channel gaining a negative reputation and most people do not rely on this channel anymore for politically correct information, and in general the company is looked down upon. So, if you want your company to flourish and have good value, keep your stories fair and show all necessary sides!

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Guidelines (BBC)

In addition to this, another ethical consideration a company needs to take into account is company guidelines. In particular, the BBC have a strict set of guidelines of which they must follow. There are certain things they can and cannot broadcast, and they must not mislead their audience. The reason why this company in particular are so strict is because they are a public service broadcaster, meaning the public pays for the content and it must be up to a good, fair, and ethical standard. If they are caught misleading their audience however, they can get into serious trouble. One reason instance of this was in their widely appreciated show Planet Earth in which they show the wonders of nature. In one episode where an iguana is being chased by a snake, claims have been made to say that the BBC shot two different iguanas and showed it to look like the iguana got away from the snake, even though it apparently did not. This caused upset as it was deemed as unethical and it was also a breakage of their guideline to not mislead their audience. So, if you’re going to create a company – follow your guidelines!

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Legal Considerations

When a company produces material, they must take several legal considerations into account before producing and releasing it. If they do not, serious consequences could follow and a company could get in trouble with the law which is extremely bad on your company.

Defamation Act 2013

One legal consideration to make is the Defamation Act 2013. Defamation is when someone is accused falsely and this accusation causes that person harm. In the context of media, this is when the media slanders a person, usually a celebrity, and makes accusations or assumptions that harm that celebrity. If the defamation is spoken, it is slander defamation, and if it is a picture or words, it is libel defamation. The Defamation Act 2013 was a legal law put in place to reform media expression with the aim of protecting the rights of celebrities and making sure that content spread is fair and not derogatory. A case where this has gone wrong is with the Sun newspaper in 2013. The newspaper made libel accusations against Russell Brand and accused him of cheating on his girlfriend with a model, which he proved he did not. The comedian won the case and claimed a large sum of money in damages. The Sun suffered from this because this showed their company in a negative and unreliable light. So, when writing a story, keep all facts true!

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Copyright

Another legal consideration to consider is copyright. Copyright is similar to plagiarism, but falls into the legal side of regulations instead of ethical, and is also related to the ownership of a product rather than the ethical issue of stealing it. Copyright is a right that is exclusive to the original owner of a product that protects them from having their hard work stolen and claimed by someone else. It lasts for a fixed number of years which is dependent on what sort of media it is – the amount of years a movie gets is different to the amount of years a book gets under the protection of copyright. If a piece of work breaches copyright and is stolen from another, the person, group or company can face serious consequences in court. One issue in the past of copyright was with Vanilla Ice and David Bowie and Queen. The song Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice featured the exact same tune throughout as the tune from Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen. The issue here was that Vanilla Ice used it in his own material and did not ask David Bowie and Queen for permission to use it, so the work was stolen and Vanilla Ice got into massive trouble with the original artists. He ended up making zero legal profit on the song as the main chunk of content was not his. So – if you want to produce something, firstly make sure the content is all yours and not stolen, secondly if you want to sample other work ask for permission, and lastly make sure your work is protected by copyright!

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Privacy Law

In addition to these, another legal consideration a company must consider before producing content is privacy law. Privacy law is a legal protection for individuals that protects their privacy and manages what and how a company, government or organisation collects information and what they use it for. This is so that individuals are safe from exposure and have the right to only say and share what they feel comfortable with. Otherwise without these laws, any company could ask any person what they like and use whatever information they find without the permission of the person which could lead to harm to that person. A case of where the privacy law came in was with a young singer named Charlotte Church. The newspaper company News of the World sought after her voice mails, private messages, and even medical history through hacking which was the cause of 33 articles in the newspaper. They also coerced her into giving an in depth interview regarding her mental health, which she felt forced to agree on and the company seemed to have no regard for her privacy. Because of this, the singer felt severely invaded and she and her family took the case to court. The company were made to apologise for the severe act of privacy invasion which was further published and £600, 000 was fined for the damage done by the company. So make sure to know your boundaries as a company!

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Obscene Publications Act 1959

The last legal consideration a company must consider is the Obscene Publications Act 1959. An obscene publication is a publication in the media that is deemed obscene and inappropriate. This refers to content that is graphic, such as violence, gore, sexualised content, or any other form of upsetting content. The Obscene Publications Act 1959 is a British law put in place to restrict obscenity and create a fish net for obscene publications, so that anything deemed outrageously offensive cannot be distributed in the UK. An example of a case where this law was breached was in the 80s, where there was an epidemic of what was known as ‘the video nasties’. The video nasties where a large assortment of video cassettes that were unregulated, uncertified and obscene that were released widely to the public without restriction. They were vastly distasteful and largely inappropriate for children, but they were uncertified or regulated so everyone had access to this distressful content. A campaign broke out led by Mary Whitehouse to identify and ban these films, and a total of 72 were brought to the attention of the British Board of Film Classification. These films were prosecuted and a new act came in to reinforce these rules which was the Video Recordings Act 1984. So when producing content, make sure to restrict it to where it fits – and don’t go too wild with the fake blood!

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Ethics and Legality in My Own Work

In my own work, if it were to be published it may possibly face some potential ethical and legal issues. Because my work is at student level and is not public, there are no real issues. However, if it were to be publicly published, I would have to consult some professionals for rights and permissions. One ethical issue in my work is plagiarism. For my advertisement unit, I used the theme of Red Riding Hood in my unit. Fortunately the character and story of Red Riding Hood is in public domain so it does no longer belong to a person or company, but if it were not I would need the rights and permissions from the owner to use it. A legal issue that could potentially affect my work is copyright. In my advert, I use the song  Half the World Away by Aurora. If I wanted to publicly use my advert (it is set to private mode on YouTube so copyright isn’t an issue), I would have to gain the rights and permissions from the artist in order to use it.

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Charlotte Church Phone Hacking

What happened in this case?

In this case, a news company known as News Group Newspapers invaded the personal privacy of a singer named Charlotte Church at the age of 16 for the newspaper News of the World in 2002. Private investigators and detectives sought after voice mails, private messages, and even medical history through hacking which was the cause of 33 articles in the newspaper. They also coerced her into giving an in depth interview regarding her mental health, which she felt forced to agree on and the company seemed to have no regard for her privacy.

In court, the company apologised for severe act of privacy invasion which was further published, but Charlotte and her family felt it was insincere and that they weren’t actually sorry, that they were only sorry that they had been caught. £600, 000 was fined for the damage done by the company.

Who hacked the phone?

What was the outcome?

Section 1 – Structure and Ownership

Introduction

In this booklet, I will be explaining the creative media industry. I will explain key terms and go into depth about certain factors and features of the creative media industry, in order to provide an understanding how the media as an industry works and flows.

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Section 1 – Structure and Ownership

A sector, in terms of media, is an area within the industry. There are a range of different media sectors based in the UK, these are:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Interactive Media (social media, etc.)
  • Video Games
  • Films
  • Advertising

The Video Gaming Sector

The video gaming sector is just one of the media sectors. It is a constantly growing and exciting sector in the media industry, and provides great examples of how the media industry functions. The market for gaming is constantly increasing.

In the UK, the gaming sector employs around 20,000 people (2015), including developing. In September 2014, there were 1,902 video game companies in the UK. The UK has the sixth largest market in the world for the video gaming industry. Worldwide, the gaming industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, and China alone accounts for one quarter of all global game revenues.

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Typical Jobs in the Gaming Industry

Here is a few typical roles in the video games industry, and what they are in charge of:

  • Animator – responsible for moving visuals and the animated portrayal of figures and features in the game, such as characters and the scene. They are the people who give life to the features of the game and are in charge of behaviour and movement.
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The Evolution of Lara Croft

  • Audio Engineer – responsible for creating the soundtrack and audio for the game, including music, sound effects to support the game action (such as gunshots or explosions), character voices and other expressions, spoken instructions, and ambient effects, such as crowd noise, vehicles or rain. They edit and mix it, and this can be as little as one or two people working long hours or a larger department.

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  • Game Programmer – these are the people that are responsible for coding and fixing bugs, and develop customised tools for the game. Programming for a game takes a whole team of people, sometimes for just one part of the game.

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  • Games Artist – these are the people that design the visual art for a game and are in charge of visual concepts, and storyboards for games. They design characters, scenery, buildings, and so on. They are different from animators because animators are in charge giving life and movement to the features of the game, whereas the games artist designs the actual original concepts.

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  • Product Manager – responsible for the marketing side of gaming, their role is to maximise the amount of profit that could be made and are in charge of advertisement and campaigns for the games.

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What challenges does the video gaming industry face?

The video gaming industry is very popular and it’s relevance is constantly on the rise, so what challenges does it face?

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One of the major challenges facing the gaming industry is demand. The demand for both new and engaging games are high, with over 30 million gamers based in the UK alone. Consumers of the gaming industry are always looking for new and exciting games to play so the gaming industry is constantly on the rise in terms of demand. Players also want games that are original and easy enough to play but also complex enough to not be boring so the gaming market is in high demand and the market is specific and can be quite niche.

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Another challenge facing the industry is the split between big gaming companies and smaller ones. The games developing industry is split into two halves – the big major companies, and the smaller indie developing companies. The major companies overtake the smaller ones because of their large popularity so its harder for smaller developers to be heard and gain anything from the games they produce. For example, it would be easier for a consumer to know about the release of a new Halo game than it would be for them to know about a smaller game such as Battleblock Theatre. The Apple App store is constantly on the wait for bigger companies to release games, so they focus on promoting them rather than the smaller indie games. This is a challenge because it means that some games are harder to find for consumers and so therefore the profit made is significantly smaller.

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Another challenge is production, development and marketing costs. Although creative game software is more easily accessible nowadays, the cost for making and selling games is increasing which is a challenge for budgeting and smaller companies with big ideas. Game technicalities such as CGI and animation with lots of tools is expensive so finding the money to fund these games is a challenge, so gaming companies need to market well in order to gain revenue to make more games.

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What are the prospects for this sector in the future?

The prospects for the future of the gaming sector is estimated to be good. With more and more advancement in technology and relevance in gaming, the revenue and market for gaming should continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. Figures show that globally, the revenue for the gaming industry is said to grow by 4.8% between 2015 and 2020. The global revenue should increase during this time from $71.3 billion in 2015 to $90.1 billion in 2020. With more and more advancement in technology, the prospects for gaming possibilities should grow and more mind-blowing features should become available as the world of technology continues to flourish.

Video gaming is an exciting industry that brings vivid creativity and imagination to life, so the future of the industry is looking good for the enthusiastic audience of gamers.

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Private and Public Owned Media

The media industry is a vastly huge part of everyday life, from your local newspaper to big branded, unmissable films. This all costs a huge amount of money – so where does it all come from? Surely a single DVD purchase cannot fund an entire franchise, or TV show?Well, there are two ways that the media industry funds it’s content – Public funding, and private funding.

Public funding is where the funding for a media product or service is provided by the public. The money comes from a tax or subscription which allows the consumer to gain access to the service and also funds it. Examples of publicly funded media services are the BBC, Sky, and streaming services such as Netflix. These services are funded by the public so there is no need for advertisement to gain funding, although Sky does use advertisement in addition to fund the service.

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Private funding is different to public funding, as it is funded through advertisement only and not the public. Companies pay a service to place an advert between an advert break, or for product placement, or sponsorship. Adverts can be placed throughout a range of media products – for example, in a TV show break, a radio advert break, as a pop up on websites or games, or on social media. Product placement can mean the featuring of a product in a media product, such as a bottle of Coca Cola in a film, TV show, or game. an example of product placement was Lucozade in Tomb Raider. A media product can also be sponsored, for example the 2012 London Olympics were sponsored by companies such as P&G so the Olympics had enough money to be funded and filmed but the company also gained revenue and recognition. Services such as ITV and Channel 4 are privately funded because they include and are funded by these adverts.

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Product placement for Coca Cola in Breaking Bad

The Big Companies

The media as a whole is a huge industry, with bigger and smaller companies. There are large companies that own and operate a massive amount of content throughout the media, and what and how a company owns content can be categorised into sections. So, what are these sections?

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One of the types of company that owns a large amount of media is a conglomerate company. Conglomerates are large companies that consist of smaller companies – they are a parent company to multiple smaller ones and operate what goes on in the smaller companies that they own. An example of a conglomerate company is Time Warner – this company is very powerful and rich – they own a huge amount of smaller companies so the overall worth and impact of Time Warner is very high. Time Warner is the parent company to a multitude of smaller famous companies: HBO, Turner Broadcasting System (which owns yet more companies such as Cartoon Network, CNN and NASCAR racing), Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc, (which owns Warner Bros. Picture Group (which owns more smaller film companies such as New Line Cinema), Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, Warner Bros. Record Company, DC Comics, and more) and Time. These are just examples of some of the famous brands Time Warner as a conglomerate own – they own more, but these are just a few outstanding examples.

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Another type of company is a multinational. This is fairly self explanatory – a multinational corporation is a company that operates their service in one or more country other than the home country. These tend be very powerful companies as they have impact in more than one big area – for example, a very well known multinational media company is Google, which are an American search engine company that is multinational.giphy

Another company type is a merger and a takeover. Both of these types are where two companies combine together to create a newer, bigger company. The goal of this is to increase profit and value. The difference, however, between a merger and a takeover is that a merger is formed with two equally large companies whereas a takeover consists of a larger and a smaller company. For example, a well known media merger is AOL and Time Warner – these are both equally huge companies so they are known as a merger once combined. However, an example of a takeover in terms of media would be Disney Pixar as Pixar was a smaller company than Disney. Now that they are combined, the new company holds more value, it cuts costs, and increases profit.

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The last type of big company is cross media ownership. Cross media ownership is when a company owns or is the sister company to media products/services in more than one media sector. This includes film, TV, radio, interactive media, publishing, gaming, and other online entities. An example of a cross media owning company is News Corp, who own media in multiple different sectors such as 20th Century Fox, Classic FM, Harper Collins, The Daily Telegraph, National Geographic and Sky. One example of a cross media ownership case is when the largely successful brand Sky tried to buy the company ITV. Because both of these companies are so big and dominant, the UK government did not allow Sky to buy ITV. This is because if a company becomes too big and owns too much, they will become too powerful and could potentially use this power negatively such as being biased or promoting propaganda. With too much power a big company could easily influence the public and cause harm.

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The Rules and the Regulations

In the UK, the government has a strict policy regarding media, specifically about cross-media ownership. There are rules enforced by the government that say that there is a limit to the amount of media a media company may own. Why?

The reason for this is that if a big media company owns too much smaller media, they become too powerful and hold too much influence over the public. The government cannot allow this so rules must be put in place. However, companies are allowed to show bias – for example Fox News are allowed to be biased but if they owned too much they wouldn’t be because that means too much power for that one company.

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Independent Media

Despite the media industry being depicted as a big, powerful, money eating monster (which it unfortunately is in most cases), there is a fresher, and less industrial side to the media – the independent media.

Independent media is media that is created outside of the control of major corporations such as Time Warner. It is media that is made by smaller, lower budget companies that are not as well known as the larger corporations. Independent media is part of all media sectors, from TV and Film to gaming to radio stations.

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What is the independent film industry?

Independent films are films that are created by smaller, independent film companies with a smaller budget for production and promotion, and are distributed by independent film agencies. They are often also a limited release, which means they wont be shown in every cinema, as opposed to a non independent film which would have a wide release and be shown in almost every cinema. Despite indie films not being big budgeted or portrayed as an unmissable blockbuster at the immediate time of their release, they can turn out to be very successful – for example, films such as Pulp Fiction, The Terminator and Donnie Darko were all very successful indie films amongst many others.

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New low budget digital technology has changed the world of independent film making for the better. This is because with the invention of new digital tech such as new cameras and film making equipment that are lower budget, smaller companies and new film makers can create and produce their own films without having to invest in large amounts of money (which they may not even have). It makes production far more affordable for new and upcoming film makers, so for example a camera such as the Bolex H16 (which even Steven Speilberg used for some of his early work) is perfect for affordable and non expensive film making.

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The Bolex H16

The BBC

The BBC is the British Broadcasting Corporation which is a British television, radio and online media service that is centered in the UK but is globally well known.

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Who’s behind the BBC?

It was founded by a man named John Reith and is currently owned by the British government. The main headquarters for the BBC are located in the city of London, and the BBC employs around 35,000 people. It employs higher brow people with good qualifications to fit the standard of the service. The typical people working for the BBC will gain a high salary and they need highly qualified employees to fit their job. Typical roles in the BBC work place are directors, chiefs, editors, executives, advisers, deputy’s, and assistants.

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So what are the BBC about? What are their values and how do they achieve them?

Because the BBC is a highly looked upon and valued British service, they pride themselves highly on reflecting their morality and ethics in their company. For this, they have a mission statement and a set of values which they try to attain across their service. This mission statement is, ‘To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.’ This links in with that they are a Public Broadcasting Service – because the service is paid for by the public, they must show programmes with diversity for different target audiences across the spectrum. In every programme they must provide both entertainment and education so that there is an equal balance available for the public. The type of shows they air reflect this mission statement, such as Planet Earth being more educational than entertaining, and shows such as Doctor Who being more entertainment based than educational. However, both these types of programmes show both these factors but may focus on one more than the other. They also reflect their values and visions through their programme structure – they set it out so the programmes aired are diverse in order and place each programme accordingly.

What notable events happened for the BBC over the past 20 years?

Over the past 20 years, the BBC has had many notable events. It has made many steps forward because of the recent advancement in technology development.

Firstly, their iconic dance programme Strictly Come Dancing which ran from 1949 to 1998 made a return to TV screens in May 2004. This was a huge deal for the BBC because of how popular the show was and how even more popular it became. In addition to this, Doctor Who made a return in early 2005 after being discontinued in 1989.

Then, in July of 2007, BBC iPlayer was launched. This was a huge step for the BBC as it greatly increased their consumer number and allowed so much more access to their service for the public. It allowed people to stream their content across all sectors when they wanted without having to be attentive at the original time of airing, which granted so much more ease and accessibility.

In September of 2007, the BBC opened in Scotland the Pacific Quay which is an all digital centre building which broadcasts all of Scotland’s national output such as Reporting Scotland and Sportscene. This was a huge event for the broadcasting of Scottish BBC content.

Then in March 2008, the BBC launched BBC Arabic and BBC Persian which meant that their service stretched over to the Arab and Persian part of the world, which granted them access to the BBC and for the BBC their shortwave radio numbers increased.

In November of 2008, the BBC Red Button feature was launched. The feature allowed for other accesses such as videos on demand, quizzes, weather reports, and more. This allowed for even more interactivity for the public.

Next, in July 2011, marking the 125th anniversary of Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the men and women’s coverage of the single finals was available in 3D which was available to watch on BBC HD for anyone who had a 3D TV set.

After this, the London Olympics in 2012 allowed the BBC to conduct it’s most successful online event ever, which gained a whopping 55m global browsers to BBC Sport online. This was the first ever properly digital Olympic games.

In October of 2012, BBC iPlayer Radio was launched. This was exactly like the original BBC iPlayer, except this time it gave allowance for the streaming of all BBC radio stations across all digital platforms, and granted portable access anytime to on-demand content, clips, videos and downloads.

In December of 2012, Connected Red Button was launched which granted even more content and is available to anyone with a cable TV. It brought all services from the BBC to one place available on TV, including TV programmes, radio, and online. The connection from all their main services made BBC fair easier to access and conduct which was a huge event for the BBC.

What services do the BBC provide across which sectors? Which ones are the most favoured?

The BBC provides services across several sectors of the media industry – they provide services across the television, online and radio sectors.

In the television sector they provide these services:

– Free to air in the UK:

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three (originally TV broadcast, now gone online exclusively)
  • BBC Four
  • BBC News
  • BBC Parliament
  • CBBC
  • CBeebies

– International:

  • BBC World News

-BBC Worldwide

  • BBC America
  • BBC Arabic TV
  • BBC Canada
  • BBC HD
  • BBC HD Nordics
  • BBC Kids
  • BBC Entertainment
  • BBc Lifestyle
  • BBC Knowledge
  • BBC UKTV
  • BBC Brit
  • BBC Earth
  • BBC First
  • UKTV
  • BBC Persian

In the online sector they provide these services:

– BBC Online

  • BBC Nations – which has separate pages for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • BBC iPlayer, radio and TV
  • BBC News Online
  • BBC Sport Online
  • BBC Weather
  • BBC 3 – now exclusively online due to the appeal for the younger generation
  • BBC Bitesize

In the radio sector they provide these services:

  • BBC Radio 1
  • BBC Radio 1 Xtra
  • BBC Radio 2
  • BBC Radio 3how
  • BBC Radio 4
  • BBC Xtra
  • BBC Radio 5 Live
  • BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
  • BBC Music
  • Local radio
  • BBC Asian Network
  • BBC World Service
  • BBC Radio Scotland
  • BBC Radio Wales
  • BBC Radio Cymru

Their most popular of these services are BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC News, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 1 and CBBC and CBeebies.

How does the BBC have a global reach? What services are streamed outside the UK?

Despite the BBC being a British service paid for by the British public, the BBC provide their service on an international scale. They do this through providing services in other countries so that everyone has access to the BBC on a global scale. Some of the services they provide are BBC America, BBC Canada, BBC Arabic TV, BBC Persian, BBC HD Nordics, BBC Earth, BBC Worldwide, BBC World Service, BBC World News, and BBC Asian Network.

What challenges does the BBC face? 

One major challenge the BBC faces today is the argument over the BBC license fee. The BBC license fee is a tax which every British citizen pays annually, and it is for the access to the BBC services. Regardless of whether or not the citizen uses any BBC services, they still have to pay this fee as a form of tax. The money that comes from this fee goes toward producing and maintaining all BBC services across the spectrum. This includes pre-production, production, maintenance, promotion and all other work that goes into the functions of the BBC. Because the service is paid for by the public, there is no adverts.

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This fee has become a challenge prospect because a lot of people are unhappy with that it is an obligatory tax whether or not the person uses it. Some people argue that they would rather not pay it and that the BBC used advertisement as a means of income instead. This raises further issues because as technology develops our generation are finding new ways to avoid adverts, for example on demand streaming and applications such as adblocker. This means that advertisement has become less effective as it is not as viewed which could mean that bringing this newer system in for the BBC would have no effect, because advertisers would not pay for promotion because hardly anyone will see the advert. So, how does the BBC keep itself going? Does it succumb to the method of advertisement and take away an important part of British culture, or does it keep the license fee regardless of dislike?

Lastly – how has the BBC adapted to the new digital world?

The BBC has adapted to the new digital world in a few ways over the last decade or so. For instance, as technology grows so has the services they provide, for example moving online (BBC 3, BBC iPlayer, etc.) has granted them more accessibility so therefore a larger audience. They have also provided educational resources for kids, such as BBC Bitesize, which is favourable as it has helped many many kids through school. They have also upgraded their technology such as equipment – the picture quality improvement for shows such as Planet Earth has been astounding as a comparison from the old to the new. Throughout the years, they have launched many features and invested in many upgrades in order to be adaptable and relevant for the new age of technology.

Conclusion – so hopefully now, the structure of the media industry and how it works makes more sense than before. We’ve covered all sorts – sectors, video gaming, private and public services, the big companies, indie companies and the world known BBC. The media is a key part to the way society functions and without it the world would be far less vast than it is today.

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Structure and Ownership Research Sheet

What are the main Media Sectors?

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Interactive Media
  • Computer Games
  • Films
  • Advertising

What is private ownership?

In media terms, private ownership is when the media sector is funded by advertising. This can include commercial breaks and also product placement in a show, for example a bottle of Coca Cola in Eastenders. An example of a channel that uses this is ITV. Companies will pay to have their adverts or products placements shown and that money goes towards funding for a media service such as a TV show.

What is public service?

Public service in media terms means that the public pay for the service through a fee. They are known as PSB’s (Public Service Broadcasting), for example the BBC. Every household that owns a television will pay an annual fee which goes towards funding PSB shows, and because it is paid for by the public there are no advert breaks.

What are multinationals?

Multinationals are companies/organisations/brands that operate in more than one country – for example, Disney is a worldwide company.

What are conglomerates?

Conglomerates are companies that are parent companies that own other smaller ones. They own more than one brand, for example 20th Century Fox, which owns small companies such as National Geographic.

What is Cross Media Ownership?

Cross Media Ownership is when a media company owns other media companies across more than one media sector. This company could own companies that are related to broadcast and cable television, film, radio, newspaper, magazine, book publishing, music, video games, and various online entities. For example, Time Warner are a cross media owning company.

What media is owned by Time Warner?

Time Warner is the world’s third largest entertainment industry, after Comcast and Walt Disney Studios. It is a cross media owning conglomerate, that owns media such as:

  • Warner Bros. music group
  • New Line Cinema
  • HBO
  • CNN
  • TIME magazine
  • DC Comics
  • CW Television Network
  • Warner Books
  • Warner Cable

Research a Media Sector

Gaming Sector

How many people are employed by this sector in the UK?

Around 20,000 people are employed in the video gaming industry in the UK.

Describe TWO or THREE of the more ‘typical’ jobs available in this industry

  • Animator – responsible for visuals and the animated portrayal of figures and features in the game, such as characters and the scene. They are the people who give life to the features of the game and are in charge of behaviour and movement.
  • Audio Engineer – responsible for creating the soundtrack and audio for the game, including music, sound effects to support the game action (such as gunshots or explosions), character voices and other expressions, spoken instructions, and ambient effects, such as crowd noise, vehicles or rain. They edit and mix it, and this can be as little as one or two people working long hours or a larger department.
  • Game Programmer – these are the people that are responsible for coding and fixing bugs, and develop customised tools for the game. Programming for a game takes a whole team of people, sometimes for just one part of the game.

Who are the ‘major companies’ in this sector in the UK?

In the UK, there are little to no major gaming companies founded, however there are gaming companies based in the UK, such as Ubisoft and Activision.

What do you think are the major challenges facing this sector today

I think one of the major challenges facing the gaming industry is demand. The demand for both new and engaging games are high, with over 30 million gamers based in the UK alone. Consumers of the gaming industry are always looking for new and exciting games to play so the gaming industry is constantly on the rise in terms of demand. Players also want games that are original and easy enough to play but also complex enough to not be boring so the gaming market is in high demand and the market is specific.

Another challenge facing the industry is the split between big gaming companies and smaller ones. The games developing industry is split into two halves – the big major companies, and the smaller indie developing companies. The major companies overtake the smaller ones because of their large popularity so its harder for smaller developers to be heard and gain anything from the games they produce. The Apple App store is constantly on the wait for bigger companies to release games, so they focus on promoting them rather than the smaller indie games. This is a challenge because it means that some games are harder to find for consumers.

Another challenge is production, development and marketing costs. Although creative game software is more easily accessible nowadays, the cost for making and selling games is increasing which is a challenge for budgeting and smaller companies with big ideas. Game technicalities such as CGI and animation with lots of tools is expensive so finding the money to fund these games is a challenge, so gaming companies need to market well in order to gain revenue to make more games.

What do you think are the prospects for this sector in the future?

The prospects for the future of the gaming sector is good. With more and more advancement in technology and relevance in gaming, the revenue and market for gaming should continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. Figures show that globally, the revenue for the gaming industry is said to grow by 4.8% between 2015 and 2020. The global revenue should increase during this time from $71.3 billion in 2015 to $90.1 billion in 2020. With more and more advancement in technology the prospects for gaming possibilities should grow and more features should become available.