Literacy in Media

As the table below illustrates, all aspects of literacy play a massive role in GCSE and A Level Media at Bodmin College. This is because the subject aims to prepare pupils for further education and for careers in the media industry – an industry all about communication - through following the OCR GCSE Media course (link to specification).

Writing Speaking/Discussion Reading
Developing practical skills that involve writing for: - TV News - Magazine covers, content pages and double page spreads. - Websites. - & TV drama scripting. Reading news reports to camera (BBC School Report – careers link). Acquire knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues through reading and analysing a range of media texts (print, audio, moving image and online) & theories.
In written work, pupils need to be able to demonstrate skills of; enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making, analysis and evaluation. Conducting interviews (for TV News, radio and articles).
In written work, pupils need to show understand and apply specialist subject-specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues Performing scripts for short films/TV Drama.
In written work, pupils need to appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding Radio broadcasts.
Critically discussing the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture and politics.

Key Terms

Learners are expected to know the following terms and how to comment on their use within the OCR GCSE (9 –1) in Media Studies:

Audio/Visual Key Terms



  • establishing shots
  • low angle, high angle, canted angle or aerial shots
  • elaborate camera movement such as tracks, steadicam or crane shots
  • hand-held camera
  • point-of-view shots
  • shallow focus and focus pulls.


  • shot/reverse shot
  • juxtaposition
  • non-continuity editing
  • crosscutting
  • fast-paced editing
  • less common transitions: dissolve, wipe, fade
  • post-production effects.


  • music
  • diegetic/non-diegetic sound
  • sound effects • sound bridge
  • voiceover.


  • lighting (especially low-key lighting)
  • location/set
  • costume and make up
  • props
  • casting and performance style
  • blocking (the composition of elements within the shot).

Print Key Terms



  • house style
  • symmetrical and asymmetrical
  • use of columns and boxes
  • ratio of copy, photography and space
  • headline
  • caption
  • strapline
  • standfirst.


  • serif and sans-serif typefaces
  • specialist typefaces
  • font size/italics/bold. Language
  • formal and informal register
  • direct mode of address
  • puns, colloquialisms, slang.


  • graphics
  • camerawork and mise-en-scène in photography
  • depth of field
  • digital manipulation
  • cropping.

Website Key Terms


  • house style
  • colour saturation
  • choice of colour. Online, Social and Participatory Layout
  • home page
  • navigation bar
  • tabs
  • house style. Functionality
  • roll-overs/pop ups
  • scrolling marquee
  • links/hyperlinks
  • embedded
  • video/animations
  • RSS feed
  • blog
  • interactivity.


  • branding
  • specialist typefaces
  • font size/italics/bold.


  • formal and informal register
  • direct mode of address.


  • graphics
  • camerawork and mise-en-scène in photography
  • depth of field
  • digital manipulation
  • cropping.


Reading List

Set Texts:

Cuffs, Series 1, Episode 1, BBC 1

The Avengers, Series 4, Episode 1, ITV

The Lego Movie

The Lego Video Game

The Lego Movie poster campaign Lego

UK TV trailer

Two Guardian/Observer Newspaper (print, online & social media)

Two contemporary front covers of The Observer and the front covers of:

The Observer 30 October 1966

The Observer 6 November 1966

The Observer 20 October 1968

One complete contemporary print edition of The Observer

Mojo Magazine (October 2017 edition & one of your choice)

The Live Lounge, BBC Radio 1

Two music videos (one pair from the following four options):

  • Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag Avril Lavigne – Sk8ter Boi
  • Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk Beyoncé – If I Were a Boy
  • The Vamps – Somebody To You ft. Demi Lovato Little Mix – Black Magic
  • Tinie Tempah, Jess Glynne – Not Letting Go Paloma Faith – Picking Up the Pieces

Additional Recommended Reading: