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MEST3 Examination, Tuesday 10th June – Final Reminders for Section B

Representations and The Impact of New and Digital Media

1 hour 48 marks (60%)

Section B will require you to choose one essay question from a choice of four.

Pleas take 10 minutes to plan your answer to include a range of  points, examples (cross-platform), theories, issues, debates and contexts.

Be careful to answer the specific question with appropriate points, examples and theories, and make sure you avoid simply writing about everything in your case study – be selective and specific!

Mark Scheme Criteria (Level 4)

A sophisticated and comprehensive essay, showing very good critical autonomy.Sophisticated and detailed understanding of representation.A sharp focus on the question throughout.

Sophisticated application of a wide range of media debates, issues and theories and wider contexts.

A comprehensive individual case study, with a wide range of detailed examples.

Well structured, articulate and engaged


 Media issues and Debates might include –

• Representation and stereotyping

• Media effects

• Reality TV

• News Values

• Moral Panics

• Post 9/11 and the media

• Ownership and control

• Regulation and censorship

• Media technology and the digital revolution – the changing technologies in the 21st century

 The details of a range of Media Issues and Debates have been included in the the booklets handed out last week.


Please refer to the various exemplar essays handed out, especially the 45 and 48 mark Rossett student essays, to see how these ideas should be incorporated in your writing.

MEST3 Examination, Tuesday 10th June – Final Reminders for Section A

 1 hour (incl 15m viewing time) 32 marks (40%)

You will be shown 2 unseen texts and you must answer all three compulsory questions.

15 minutes viewing/note-taking time will leave you with 45 minutes to answer the questions and, as Q2 and Q3 have 50% more marks than Q1, you need to differentiate your time accordingly. So, broadly speaking, the timing should be as follows –

Q1 12 minutes, Q2 18 minutes, Q3 18 minutes

Please adhere to these timings as closely as possible to ensure you allow time for full answers to all three questions


Q1 –  Media concepts (8 marks, 12 minutes)

Use the unseen products to answer a question on forms, representations, institutions, audiences or values. Previous questions have focused on

representations, mise-en-scene, narrative, brand values and ideology, but any concept could be used in this question.

Your answer must make specific references to both texts, and do not include additional texts at this point.


Mark Scheme Criteria (Level 4)

A sophisticated analysis and evaluation, showing very good critical autonomy.

Sophisticated understanding of media concepts, within both media products, with particular focus on the named key concept.

Supported by detailed references to both media products.

Articulate and engaged.


Q2 – Media Issues and Debates (12 marks, 18 minutes)

Use the unseen products to answer a question on media issues and debates, and the question will tell you that you may refer to other media products to support your answer. This is mis-leading, as you must refer to a range of other media products to secure even a Level 2 grade. This does not involve detailed analysis of other products, but you must show awareness of other products and explain why they are significant in relation to the question – please refer to the exemplar materials handed out in order to see how this should be included in your writing.

For this question, you must also refer to a range of media theories, issues and debates.


Mark Scheme Criteria (Level 4)

A sophisticated evaluation, showing very good critical autonomy.

Detailed and sophisticated application of a wide range of media debates/issues/theories.

Supports answer with a wide range of examples.

Articulate and engaged.


Q3 – Wider Contexts (12 marks, 18 minutes)

Use the unseen products to answer a question on wider contexts.

You should move beyond the texts, referring to other media products to support your answer, otherwise you will only be able to gain a Level 2 grade!


Mark Scheme Criteria (Level 4)

A sophisticated and detailed evaluation, showing very good critical autonomy.

Sophisticated and detailed application of a wide range of wider contexts.

Supports answer with a wide range of examples from other media.

Articulate and engaged.


For Q2 and Q3, please remember that appropriate examples can be from other genres and cross-platform in nature.

As you will have noticed, one of the key skills tested by these questions is the ability to express your own opinions, linked to media concepts and textual examples, ion order to demonstrate ‘critical autonomy.’ These are synoptic questions, so you can use the unseen products, examples from your MEST3 portfolios or MEST4 Critical Investigation, texts that we have studied in class or any other texts that you have studied that might be relevant to answering the questions.

Where it is relevant to the question, try to show a sense of debate by including both sides of the argument. For example, a debate on a audience issue linked to moral panics might refer to the Hypodermic Syringe Theory and Uses and Gratifications to demonstrate awareness of opposing points of view.









MEST3 – Media Theories, Issues and Debates

The information contained within this booklet is intended to consolidate and extend the focuses of the last revision session. Please use this booklet for revising ideas relevant to Sections A and B,  but it is particularly useful in providing information for approaching Section A,  Q2 and Q3.

MEST3 – Key Theories, Issues and Debates

MEST3 Revision – Previous Question Papers, Media Texts, Mark Schemes and Examiners’ Reports

June 2013






January 2013


AQA-MEST3-QP-Jan13 (1)




June 2012






January 2012






June 2011






January 2011




(apologies – unable to locate links to source texts for this exam series)


June 2010







MEST3 Section B – The Impact of Digital Media on Institutions, Government and Power (class study)

Overview of the Impact of New and Digital Media on Institutions, Government and Power

An interesting blog entry on social media and social activism, with links to several other useful articles in the ‘points of interest’ section –

BBC News Magazine article on Kony 2012 and the rise of online campaigning –

Huffington Post article on how Kony 2012 and social media have re-invigorated media audiences –



Blog article on Wiki-Leaks in the context of global corporations –

The Wiki-Leaks documentary –

A short promotional film for Wiki-Leaks –

A brief report on the safety of whistle-blowers in the digital age –

Blog article on Wiki-Leaks and the fourth estate –

Wiki-Leaks’ website for the release of footage of the 2010 Apache attack, with two versions of the footage and eyewitness testament –


Social Media and The Arab Spring

Guardian interactive timeline of The Arab Spring protests, commencing in 2010 –

Nextwork discussion of the role of new technology in facilitating The Arab Spring –

BBC Documentary on The Arab Spring, How Facebook Changed The World (4 parts) –

A brief activist-produced report on social media and The Arab Spring –


Kony 2012

Guardian blog article that evaluates the success of Kony 2012 as a digital media campaign –

Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign official 30 minute documentary –

Invisible Children’s official website –

Inside Story documentary on Kony 2012 and the future of political activism –

Brief report on how social media changes political activism –

A Guardian article that criticises Kony 2012’s social activism as entertainment –

A video blog response to Kony 2012, highly critical of Invisible Children’s selective representations –

Kony 2012 as mass audience propoganda –

Invisible Children’s follow-up video report, Kony 2012 Part 2; Beyond Famous  –

Guardian article evaluating criticisms of the Kony 2012 campaign –


 X Factor vs Rage Against The Machine

BBC News report on the battle for the Christmas Number One single –

A sceptical New Musical Express blog article criticising the anti -X Factor campaign as pointless –

Second BBC News report as the campaign intensified –

Guardian article on the success of the anti-X Factor campaign –

Independent article as above –








MEST1 Section A and B – AQA grade A exemplar

The following student gained 55 marks out of 80 overall in the June 2012 examination, with only 30/48 marks on Section A, but an impressive 25/32 marks on the Section B Cross-Media Study question. In section A, the response to question 1 (Media Forms) is highly competent and focuses well on the text, but the other answers are less tightly focused and question 4 (Media Audiences) in particular loses focus on the question and ends up bogged down with regurgitating theories without linking to the text or question.

However, despite the focus on only two films and barely including all three platforms with a brief mention of print, Section B is much stronger and makes better use of the theories, issues and debates.

Exemplar Summer 2012 55 A (MEST1)

MEST1 Section A and B Rossett School exemplars

The following exemplars for Section A Q1-4 and Section B Cross-Media Study were created by previous students during their MEST1 examinations.

MEST1 Rossett Student Exemplars