Below is an example of the questions on the Media Studies exam

paper. These questions are from a past paper, and although the
exact wording or content of the questions may be different on your
exam, what the question is asking you to do will be the same.
Answer all three questions using examples from the extract
1. Explain two ways in which the extract fits the genre of lifestyle
2. Give one example of each of the following and explain how it is
used in the extract to create effect:
- Layout
- Typography
- Use of language
- Use of images
3. Discuss how people and/or masculinity are represented in the
----//---Answer the following question using Television and/or Radio
Comedy programmes you have studied.
4. Pick two TV or Radio comedies you have studied.
(a) Discuss why they were scheduled:
- On the channels that chose them
- On the days and times they were transmitted.
(b) Show how these two programmes offer their audiences
different pleasures.

[Total Marks = 80]

For questions 1, 2 and 3 you will be provided with an extract from
a lifestyle magazine(cover, contents page, double page article). It
could be from any genre and may not be a magazine you have
studied in class.
Your answers for questions 1, 2 and 3 should refer in detail to the
extract you have been provided with, giving examples from the
extract to back up your point.
This revision guide will work through the questions in order and
refer to an example magazine cover. This magazine will probably
not be the one you will receive in the exam, so you should take the
points made in this guide and adapt and apply them to other
magazines while revising.

T.V. Comedy
Answer the following question using Television and/or Radio
Comedy programmes you have studied.
4. Pick two TV or Radio comedies you have studied.
(a) Discuss why they were scheduled:
- On the channels that chose them
- On the days and times they were transmitted.
(b) Show how these two programmes offer their audiences
different pleasures.

- BBC1 is a mass audience channel that aims to attract the full
range of the British audience.
- The BBC is not funded by advertising, but by a licence fee.
- It is a Public Service Broadcaster (PSB).
- It has a duty to educate, inform and entertain the whole British
- This means BBC1 programmes have to be popular, but also be
very well made, having educational value or representing all the
different parts of Britain.

- E4 is a niche audience channel that aims to appeal to the young
audience that is attractive to advertisers, as they are harder to
- E4 is owned by Channel 4, which is a PSB, however, E4 is a
commercial channel (non-PSB).
- This means E4 can show any programmes that it thinks will
attract an audience.

- PSB channels have to show a large percentage of original
material (programmes they made).

- PSB channels have to have a mixed schedule, with different
genres of programmes

- Commercial channels like E4 can import lots of foreign
programmes, that are cheaper than making their own.
- E4 can show the same programme more than once on the same
day, in a "stripped schedule"
- E4 is competing with lots of different digital channels, so it needs
a schedule that is easy for the casual viewer to understand (strips
programmes across the week).

Public Service Broadcasting
- American programmes can be imported at a fraction of the cost of
making your own programmes.
- Many commercial channels are full of American programmes but
BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and FIVE are dominated by British
- PSB channels do not aim to make a profit.
- Examples of PSB rules:· Must make quality programmes
· Must have a high proportion of British-made programmes
· Must reflect diversity of Britain
· Proportion of programmes must be made outside London
· Mix of genres of programmes
· No stripped schedules

- Any comedy programme made in Britain and that reflects the
diversity of British culture, or says something about Britain today,
fits in with Public Service Broadcasting.
- Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crispsis set in Runcorn; a
town not often represented on television and so fits the BBC's PSB
- Goodness Gracious Me reflects the experience of British Indians,
again not often represented in British television, so again fits in
with the BBC's obligations.
- Friends is neither British or about Britishness, so it can be
repeated in blocks in a stripped schedule on E4, a non-PSB
channel, but not on Channel 4.

Case Study

- Have I Got News For You currently has the following scheduling:


- Have I Got News For You proved popular on BBC2 (niche,
upmarket audience, knowledge building programmes, comedy,
drama & arts), so was moved to BBC1 (mass audience, popular

- It is an entertaining programme for a fairly wide audience.
- It aims to entertain and inform as it is a comedy programme, but
about current affairs.

- BBT is currently scheduled using a "stripped" schedule. It shows
two consecutive episodes at three times during the day:

2.00pm & 2.30pm
6.00pm & 6.30pm
8.00pm and/or
8.30pm and/or

E4 is a young channel that like channel 4, aims to be more daring
and exciting than its competitors.
- BBT fits that channel's image by being popular, entertaining but a
little quirky, not too mainstream.
- BBT attracts the right target audience and is fresh and different
enough to fit E4's brand image.

- 9.00pm is BBC1's premier slot on weekdays, featuring other
popular shows such as The Apprentice (Wednesday).
- The slots before HIGNFY from 8.00pm to 9.00pm are filled with
mainstream shows, such as Eastenders. The slot after HIGNFYis
also a comedy (currently Live at the Apollo), making 9.00pm to
10.00pm a regular comedy slot.
- This suggests that HIGNFY is being aimed at a large,
mainstream audience that likes to wind down their evening with
some comedy.
- HIGNFY is scheduled just after the "watershed". This means it is
allowed to feature adult content, which is important for a topical
news show.

- The midday slot is part of the rolling programme of repeats that
E4 fills its daytime schedules with.
- The double showing of BBT at 6.00pm kicks off the evening
schedule. It is followed by the first showing of Hollyoaks (shown on

Channel 4 the next day), which is the channel’s biggest show in
terms of ratings.
- This slot is hotly contested with teenage viewers, up against The
Simpsons andHollyoaks on Channel 4, and Home & Awayon FIVE.
- BBT is scheduled before the watershed so must be suitable for
children. Although it may contain some sexual content, it is not
sexually explicit or violent and does not contain excessive bad
language. It is, however, a slick and reasonably adult comedy that
would appeal to a teenage audience.
- The average audience for Big Bang Theoryis probably younger
than the average audience for HIGNFY.
- HIGNFY is aimed at people who are interested in the news, as it
has current affairs and political content, so addresses people who
may be more likely to read newspapers.
- HIGNFY's panelists are older than the main characters in Big
Bang Theory.
- Big Bang Theory is aimed at a younger adult audience. It has a
fast pace, young adult main characters, often incorporates rock,
pop and indie music and has a similar visual style to other sitcoms
aimed at young audiences, such as Everybody Hates Chris.
Audience Pleasures
Reasons the viewer might choose to watch the programme:· Narrative resolution (episode or series)
· Relating to the characters
· Entertainment / comedic effect
· Gratification (making you feel good)
· Content / themes
Have I Got News For You
- Comedy panel game.
- Panelists play themselves.

- Unscripted (although edited).
- Panelists answer questions in different rounds in order to win
points, although this is far less important than the comedy
- The humour comes from attacking the stupidity of people &
events in the news.
Big Bang Theory
- Big Bang Theory is a situation comedy.
- Actors play characters.
- It is scripted.
- BBT has a narrative that is resolved at the end of the episode.
- The humour comes from everyday situations.