Media permeates into our everyday life like no other presence. Media studies is no different and allows you to examine up close the media trends and theories that we don’t fully process in our every day.  You will need to do both unit standards and achievements standards for NCEA Media Studies Level 3. Within this, there will be 6 achievement standards that are Internal while there will be 2 External exams to prep for. If your looking at getting some help with some Past Papers then check out this blog here. Perhaps you're needing some tips for navigating media studies in general? Or maybe you would like to go over a brief Study Guide. There's even support if you are doing Scholarship Media Studies this year.

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Unit Standards to get that all-important achieved tick mark!

For starters let’s go over the unit standards, to see what you need to pass in order to gain NCEA Media Studies credits. Unit standard 2714 is all about sub-editing news stories for a featured intended publication. So, what does this mean? Well, it means you need to put on your journalistic hat and start thinking about journalism from an introductory lens and apply this to the Unit Standard. You will get 3 credits for passing this paper. For two news stories, you will need to subedit, one being a feature. Requirements being the articles have to be at least 800 words. To do this you will need to be aware of some solid definitions, to complete your articles. A feature is a story that goes in-depth into a subject. It doesn’t necessarily have to be breaking news but it may offer a unique perspective on a significant event, community or person.

The next unit standard is 27616 and involves picking a good topic and researching a news story or news feature for broadcast radio. The level is purely introductory and not at a professional standard for this unit standard. To achieve a pass on this some perspectives to be aware of include ‘local angle on an international issue’. This involves an international refugee, for example, conservation work or similar topics. ‘News Features’ involve any story that is more involved and that offers a wider viewpoint on the issue mentioned. ‘Research’ involves the act of sorting through and gathering a whole bunch of relevant data so that you can get a good picture of the situation.  You must also make sure that the topic must have a high level of newsworthiness. These include but are not limited to timeliness, human interest, bizarre and conflict. What makes this particular topic or issue have an impact and how will people interact with the stance you’ve created? You will also need to get good at identifying as a skill, specifically identifying the newsworthiness of local people and local events. Within all this framework you must be mentioning your sources, as in whom you have spoken to and what quotes you’ve used. And as with the last Unit Standard, it must be balanced have a fair standpoint.

Make sure you pick a topic with great 'newsworthiness' for this Unit Standard! (NCEA Media Studies Level 3: A complete guide)

The last Unit Standard before we jump into Achievement Standards is 27617. This one is all about your ability to layout pages and format them. This includes how you compose your headlines and captions and how everything is placed on the page. Involved within this assessment you will need to provide the layout for two tabloid pages that are meant for publication in a newspaper, magazine or other publication. You’ll also need to include some graphics which includes anything from graphs, tables, photographs to illustrations. The layout presented should be easy to read, have an appropriate text size that suits, have graphics that assist the story or draw attention to the design and also an overall design that fits the target audience. The headlines and captions should also be appropriate.

Understand media readings

The first Achievement Standard we have AS91491 which seeks to demonstrate the understanding of the meaning of a media text with different readings. You will need to bring in to the mix your understanding of media theory to this assessment and analyse the effect that unique readings have on a media text. This could reveal ways that a reading can shift or change depending on the meaning of a media text (backed up by media theory). This will also show the significance the different readings will have on society. Some effects could include technological, cultural and social. You will be tasked with looking at 3 different readings that each show a unique interpretation on the meaning. These could include viewpoints like genre, stylistic, narrative, gendered, psychological and director.

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Dive deep into New Zealand culture

 Next up we have AS91492, which has you thinking about media representation, specifically looking at an aspect of New Zealand culture. You will need to explain how/why a specific aspect of New Zealand culture is represented. To unpack this you’ll need to talk about the impact which is social, cultural, political or technological.

When they mention media representations they are meaning the manor that an issue, event, group or place is represented in the media. This could be for example New Zealand’s drinking problem as an issue or Maori culture as a group of people etc.

Create your own media and get creative

We then have AS91494 where you flex your design muscles by meeting the requirements of a brief. To do this you will need to complete a fully realised concept, write a treatment and then reflect on your process at the end. The design must be captivating and engage an audience. The media product could be for a magazine or newspaper but could also be a website or documentary- it’s totally up to you. The brief is a set of instructions and guidelines that you must follow. Pre-production could include anything planning related like storyboards for your documentary or sketches for your illustration.

Bring your own media to life with clarity, creativity and planning! (NCEA Media Studies Level 3: A complete guide).

Then there is a similar one that is AS91495. This one is to produce a media product to the requirements of a brief. Here you must produce a media product that showcases production technology and media conventions. This involves specifically selecting media conventions to captivate an audience. The media product itself could be a website, documentary, magazine, layered narrative film or newspaper/magazine. Remember to follow the brief, use the appropriate format and demonstrate the purpose of the product.

Up next is AS91496 where you will need to demonstrate an understanding of significant developments in the media. You will need to unpack how or why this development occurred. As with the other internals make sure you reference the impact that this significant development has had. This can be social, cultural, political, technological, economic, historical or ideological. As always the goal is to be insightful and perceptive to achieve that all-important excellence mark. An example of a development in the media could be delivery, reception, audience, ownership or form- anything that shows a change in innovation.

Finally, we have AS91497 where you will write a media text to meet the requirements of a brief. To do this you will need to have a good grasp of media conventions. These are commonly used features specific to the genre. For example a format, product or audience. You will use these features to command the audience’s attention. Again, like the other achievement standards make sure you are following the brief set out for you. The brief will include your target audience, the purpose of the text format and any legal and ethical requirements. You can write the piece for the web, print, broadcast, moving image etc. For example, this could be a media release, a script or a review.

Let’s detail those pesky exams, what’s required?

The first External is AS91490, which is asking you to demonstrate an understanding of an aspect of the media industry. To do this you must identify an aspect of the media industry and explain why/how this particular aspect operates. To unpack further, the impact it has could be anything from economic, political, social, cultural, ideological or technological. To get higher marks you will need to showcase a sense of perceptiveness in your answer to truly evaluate the impact of an aspect within the media industry. To reveal more about the media industry, it’s basically anything along the lines of the newspaper industry, New Zealand’s tv industry, the global music industry or even Hollywood film. To unpack the aspect part, that includes things like regulation, technology, audience demand and organisation.

The Newspaper industry is one of the aspects you can begin to unpack in this assessment. (NCEA Media Studies Level 3: A complete guide).

We then have AS91493, where you have to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between a media genre and society. This will be done by talking about the impact of the genre/society. This can be political, social, cultural or ideological. To get that excellence your answer must be perceptive and insightful. A media genre relationship can include horror as a genre or how the war influenced cinema, whatever you can successfully justify in your answer.

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Still needing some clarifications or perhaps you are wanting to unpack and dissect these Achievements Standards on a deeper level? Try looking at Superprof! Superprof is an online tutoring company that connects tutors with hungry students who are ready to take their studies to the next level. Simply log on to Superprof and browse all the tutors we have to offer. Your first lesson is free so there really is a big incentive to give it a go and try a lesson to see if it fits for you! So log on today and kickstart your tutoring life, to get you ahead in classes and in your exams.

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