English literature: dumb

I have always maintained that Media Studies does not represent a “dumbing down”. Usually people will say something like, “Media Studies is growing and English isn’t, and all Media Studies is is watching films, so that must be dumbing down.” But if it is the case that all Media Studies is is watching films, then all English is is reading books!

Here’s another news story about it.

Professor of education at Buckingham University, Alan Smithers believes schools are choosing to do media studies because it is “probably a soft option”.

No they’re not. They’re choosing to do media studies because it’s actually relevant to the 21st century.

When I did English all I ever did was read archaic plays about banal subjects, or read terrible pretentious novels where it takes the author three paragraphs to describe how a character takes a sip of water. Or an alkie poet saying “fuck”.

When I took Media Studies, we spent half of the year unravelling an episode of Panorama about the Omagh bomb. Very dumb!

Author Philip Pullman also believes media studies is a valuable subject.

He told the Times Educational Supplement: “Media studies is easily sneered at by those who think it entirely consists of watching Eastenders and Coronation Street.

“How TV news and information reaches us through the media is of profound importance.”

1 comment

  1. Well I do both English Literature and Media, and agree with your point. Of course one of the parts of media is ‘watching films’ and analysing them. But a larger part of my course this year has been spent researching and constructing professional looking pages of a local newspaper, and an individual research project which I chose to base on politics and the media. It is a very English-based subject, and as you say a modern addition to English.
    However, I disagree with your views about English Literature, but I guess its horses for courses.