Ever since I was introduced to Media Studies during my GCSEs, I’ve been in love with it. I went on to choose Media as one of my A Level options at College and now I’m starting my 3rd year at The University of The West of England, studying a BA Hons in Media Culture & Practice. But over the years I’ve had my fair share of people laugh when I tell them my area of study, as well as the inevitable remark that follows “but that’s not a real course!” Actually it is, Media degrees are offered in 87 out of the 91 Universities on offer in England and media savvy individuals are in demand by numerous industries worldwide.
I know there’s a stigma around Media students and how they just sit around and watch television all day; now don’t get me wrong you will often find me binge watching televisions series for days on end, what do you think I pay my Netflix subscription for!? But, I also work hard. Not only are we expected to write about media, we also have to create media – meaning hours of planning, endless risk assessments before we can even hire the equipment, the time and stress of shooting and then the editing process that will not only make your eyes square from staring at the computer screen, but it will also make you insane when the stupid software won’t render! Add to this the fact that if you were to lose the footage; game over, there’s no time to re-shoot.
Don’t get me wrong, I am under no illusion that my course is on par with a student studying for a PhD, a degree in Mathematics or Biology, but to those who have smirked, sniggered or disapproved of my subject over the years I say this; do you have a favourite film, song or book? Do you use the internet? Do you think the News is important? And what about newspapers? Because all of those plus countless more, wouldn’t be possible without the people who create them, research them and market them for you to consume.
So before you disregard Media as a viable subject of study or a career choice, think about how different your life would be without it. Why do you want that car? How did you decide what to wear today? And that Michael Kors on your wrist is nice! But only because the Media told you so.
By Talia Maguire