Mass Media
 
I Read The News Today...


Reviews and Links focused on various aspects of The Media
 About Face The basic rationale behind this American site is the promotion of "positive self-esteem in girls and women..." and the site contains a range of interesting information to this particular end. In terms of Media Sociology, however, the most-useful parts of the site are the galleries of adverts relating to the different ways female bodies are used positively and negatively in advertising. If you dig around on the site you'll also find some interesting research into areas like body image, the media and eating disorders that could be used to supplement / stimulate further discussion.
Ad flip "The world's largest archive of classic print ads" may not be your first port of call when you're teaching "The Media", but if you need graphics to illustrate changing forms of print advertising over the years then this site is probably your best bet. You can. of course, buy reprints of posters (or send e-cards) from the site (which is quite fun and can liven-up that dark corner in the classroom - the one with the suspicious stain on the wall - if you're so inclined).
Advertising Association  Any site that advertises itself as "Promoting and Protecting the Rights, Responsibilities and Role of Advertising" is probably not going to win any awards for objectivity, but once you appreciate this there's a reasonable amount of information available here on various aspects of advertising. In addition, there are links to "Member Sites" and the Food Advertising Unit (which, admittedly, doesn't sound too exciting but actually contains some reasonable articles / information). 
Artlab   Artlab "...explores new forms of research which engage participants on a creative, artistic and/or visual level". In other words, it features research projects based around the use of visual media as a means of gathering data - and very good it is too. It's well worth a visit for both the media content and and insight into a slightly-different type of research methodology. 
Anti-Mass Media  A whole bunch of interesting (and not-so-interesting) links to sites / info relating to subliminal messages / advertising.  
Bill Douglas Centre  An exhibit from the Bill Douglas Centre...Bill Douglas' site ("The History of Cinema and Popular Culture") is a virtual off-shoot of an actual Centre (situated in the School of English at Exeter University). The site features both a Tour and a number of "virtual exhibitions" (both permanent and temporary) which consist of neatly-designed (hyper) text and graphics.  
Bowling For Columbine  Download Teacher's Guide [1.2mb]Based around the Michael Moore film, the Teacher's Guide section of the site offers a range of materials on a variety of topics (family, education, media and so forth) related to the film.

A full Teacher's Guide can be downloaded from the site (or by clicking the picture on this page - don't thank me, it's just the Magic of the Internet).
 
Cultsock An interesting site devoted to communications, cultural and media studies resources. There is, however, a load of stuff here that's potentially useful for media sociology (effects models, media ownership and so forth). Aside from the resources (and a useful glossary), it's also a very nice-looking site, full (as in "no more room whatsoever") of JavaScript goodies (boxes, buttons, menus - you name it...). The site also has a chat room and message board ("Need some help with an essay? Place your cry for help at the message forum and call back later for all the answers") whose optimism seems somewhat at odds with the generally downbeat (as in "not taking itself too seriously") site style. If you're studying any of the above areas you could do worse than check-out this site for some clear, well-presented, information.
Dumbentia  This is a "media site" specialising in advertising parodies of every shape and description (check-out the "seven deadly motivational posters" - guaranteed to brighten even the most depressed of staffrooms...). Many of the materials can be downloaded in Adobe .pdf format and the site is an inspirational resource for media sociology teachers who want to liven-up their classes. 
Farenheit 9/11  More from Moore (as it were) can be found here (like the Columbine site, an extension of his Home Page). There are various goodies on offer to support the film - the main one being the free "Teacher's Guide" that includes information and exercises based around the issues raised in the film.

To get the most from the resources your students really need to have seen the film - but that's no real hardship (and a nice way to while away a wet Friday afternoon "teaching").
Global Transformations This Polity Press website, designed to support a range of globalisation texts, contains some useful notes on various aspects of globalisation (mainly useful for teachers who want to summarise them for A2 students). Some sample essays - again probably more useful for taking notes - are included as are a wide array of links to various sites (such as newspapers) that variously touch upon globalisation issues.
Good Logo   Not a site that's going to be much direct use to A-level students, but one that might serve teachers well as a source of ideas and references when talking about concepts like globalisation. 
 MCS  "The Media and Communications Studies" site, to give it its full title, is a fabulous media site packed with all kinds of useful materials, information and references. Although clearly aimed at an undergraduate audience, there's a great deal here that will be useful for both Media Sociology teachers and students. An essential first port-of-call for anyone interested in, or studying, the mass media... 
 Media Smarts The Media Awareness Network has now evolved into this site - a fabulous (Canadian) media resource for teachers and students that contains far too much information to describe or do justice to in a few words. The site has loads of resources, lesson plans and information about media issues (stereotyping, ethnicity, class, gender and so forth) amongst many other things - it's probably easier if you just see for yourself... 
Media Guardian  Another in the long line of (really quite good) Guardian spin-off sites. If you're familiar with either The Guardian web site or the print version of Media Guardian you'll know what to expect from this site - all the latest media related stories mixed in with a variety of special reports (and just a little bit of gossip from the wild 'n' wacky world of the meeja). As you would expect, the site has an extensive search capability (including an archive section), making it relatively easy to find articles. 
Media History Project  The general rationale here is to "promote the study of media history" and while much of the information, links and resources focuses on North American media history there's a useful Timeline of media developments available for those who want to locate the development of "the media" in its historical context. There's nothing here that's going to blow your socks off, but it's definitely worthy, a labour of some love and helpful in slightly-nerdy sort of way... 
Mediaknowall  Although aimed at Media Studies students, there's enough good stuff here to satisfy Sociology students (and their teachers). You'll find notes on a range of general (Postmodernism, Representation) and specific (Ideology, Institution, etc.) topics which are both snappy and informative. Each set of notes is liberally sprinkled with hyperlinked references that have been well-integrated into the text - guiding the student to explore new areas in ways that build on the presented information. Well worth a visit. 
Media Matters  Media Matters is a company that specialises in both designing curriculum materials and in-service courses for teachers. However, their site includes a range of useful sections related to media teaching and resources (links to media institutions and media education sites in particular). It also provides a range of on-line activities and resources for teachers and students. 
Moving History  "The Moving History web site is a research guide to the United Kingdom’s twelve public sector film archives and provides a showcase for their collections. Moving History's role is to show, describe and provide links to these key collections located around the UK". In other words, a massive library of films to browse and view online dealing with various aspects of UK social history. 
museum of hoaxes Ex-President Bush reading a book upside down - unfortunately it's a hoax.The manipulation of photographs (for fun, profit and ideology) is not something that's confined to the Photoshop generation - individuals and organisations have been doing it for years (since the birth of photography in fact).

This sprawling site offers a range of ideas and resources relating to media manipulations and hoaxes that provides plenty of interesting material (including simple on-line quizzes) on which to draw.
Study Tour of Communication Although this series of on-line tutorials (better-known as a bit of text and some graphics on a web page) covers "communication" in all its guises, this does of course include the mass media - and the Mass Communication tutorial contains a range of helpful notes on key media theories and concepts.
TV Cream  If all else fails "Ask Aspel" (very ancient "joke" - ask your (grand)parents)This is one great site to browse, whether you're looking for evidence of some long-forgotten "TV Gem" (just to prove you really were alive in 1965) or you want to engage in some (semi-) serious Media Sociology archive research. In basic terms, a site that reviews just about every TV programme there may ever have been (and probably some that were made up - you'd have to, wouldn't you?). Also includes Newspaper resumes (acerbic) and some (mainly teen) magazines. A labour of luv (as they used to write) that probably serves no useful purpose at all (Discuss). 
TheoryHead  Another part of David Gauntlett's burgeoning empire, this particular site supports his "bestselling book" Media, Gender and Identity and contains a fair bit of useful stuff offered as "bonus features" to complement the text. This, in the main, consists of various articles, interviews and discussion-pieces on the general theme of gender and the media (it probably won't surprise you to learn). There's not a great deal here, but what there is should prove useful to both students (especially those doing coursework in this general area) and teachers wanting to keep abreast of the latest developments. 
Theory.org  Subtitled "The Media Theory site", this is a seriously attractive site designed by a seriously ironic guy (David Gauntlett). If you don't like the sound of axes being sharpened, my advice is to steer well clear. If you do ("Hello"), then you'll find a range of "theory, gender and media resources" aimed, primarily, at undergraduates. However, any serious A-level Media Sociology student or teacher will find some interesting material here (and on it's companion site "New Media Studies" which deals more-specifically with cultural theory). There's not a massive amount of material on-line at present, but check-out the "Random Communication Studies Module Generator" (so painfully true it ought to be banned) and the article "Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’ (which should be required reading for Media and Communications teachers...). There's also a few interesting articles on the concept of Role Models and Masculinity that repay repeated viewing. 
Young Media Australia  There's some interesting material in the "Information About Media and Children" section of the site (mainly from a psychological / child development perspective) on general media effects (violence and advertising, for example) as they relate to children. The general tone of the site is "Advice for Parents" about how to bring up children, but if you can get past this the material (while not likely to make you gasp in surprise) could form the background to debates about how and why the media affects behaviour.