British Studies Web Pages




What is a multiplex? What do you keep in a set-top box? Should you consider having broadband installed? Due to recent rapid technological development, the world of the mass-media has changed so much that the potential user may feel totally frustrated by how much they have missed out on it all. This edition of the British Studies Webpages helps you explore the realm of mass-media, including its state-of-the-art areas, such as digital, satellite, or cable TV, digital radio and the Internet, along with the good old newspapers, whose once-anticipated disappearance has never come true.


Here are the results of a British Council survey Through Other Eyes on Polish attitudes towards the British media:


Members of the successor generation evidently have a reasonably high regard for the British media. More than half (55%) believe that the British media tells the truth, with 24% agreeing strongly. Just seven per cent think that the British media are not truthful. This is reinforced when compared with the media in Poland. Almost half (47%) believe that the British media is more honest than that in Poland, compared to three per cent who feel that it is less so. Men (53%) are more likely than women (41%) to believe that the British media is more honest than Poland's.


This was in 1999 – do you think it is changing? For some more considered individual opinions on the British and Polish media, go to our Media Surveys in Articles, which present the views of British and Polish Media Users and Media Providers.


If you don’t have any strong views of your own on the topic yet, perhaps our other materials will help you find out more and make up your mind. We do hope that you will find this edition not only informative but also useful for your learning or teaching career. Here's what we have to offer.

The Background Information section offers our electronic A-Z guide to the mass-media and an informative selection of articles under the collective name of Media in the United Kingdom - Introduction, which provide general and factual information on issues, such as broadcasting regulations, the television, the radio and the press, advertising and sponsorship or programme standards and obligations.


The academically-minded should see the Academic Angle which offers an in-depth analysis of media-related issues in articles Lifestyling Britain: the 8-9 slot on television  by Charlotte Brunsdon, Divorce in the British Press of the 1990s by Agnieszka Turek, A Study of the British Press Presentation of the Labour Party and Tony Blair in the Election Campaign of 1997 by Anna Kosz and Representations of domestic violence in the British press by Monika B¹k.


In How to ..., you will find How to work with newspapers which looks at how the vast array of material available through the media can be incorporated into foreign language teaching.


The Book Review section is a brief presentation of:


David Crystal's Language and the Internet in which the author tries to answer such crucial questions as: What effect is the Internet having on our language? How radical are the changes it brings to the way that we address each other. He also argues that 'netspeak' is a radically new linguistic medium. Like it or loathe it, we cannot ignore it.


The Language Corner features another edition of our regular Mrs A's Diary, a swiftly-narrated story virtually stuffed with media-related idioms, complete with a consolidation quiz and a full list of idioms from the text. Do you know the origin of Of Mice and Men, do you know what kind of pun Oxford Blues is, and what kinds of wordplay are involved in Oil’s swell for whales? Reading between the (Head)lines will give you the answers to these and many more.

The Quiz Corner is your chance to see how good you are at decrypting the language of modern media as it offers 3 interactive media jargon-busting quizzes: Press Jargon Buster, TV Jargon Buster and Web and Radio Jargon Buster, plus Who was/is who?, What's it called? and  How long ago? How recently?  - quizzes for use in the classroom or self-study.

The Website Review this time features three websites in two reviews:

Media UK is a website dedicated to providing information and links to as many UK media websites as possible (over 1500 so far!) – magazines/ newspapers/ radio/ TV. Great for finding out about the media itself but also …


As a route for finding up-to-date attitudes and issues connected with a topic it is invaluable and therefore good for projects - or for private interest. Some examples: Motorcycle News/ Scouting Magazine/ Cosmo Girl/ Cube Solutions/ Good Food/ Teletubbies etc etc etc

The Guardian and The Times archives – both these newspapers keep very extensive archives online so you can find out about almost anything about anything that is happening at the moment. Try the review and see how they compare e.g. through the Archive ‘test drive’ where a search was made for Polanski and The Pianist.


To finish it off, we suggest our Media homepage Links and Bibliographies section, where you will find a compilation of useful Media links to websites connected with all aspects the mass-media.


Also a special Newspaper links section with accompanying explanation of the different kinds of British newspapers e.g. Sunday, local, Scottish, ethnic etc as well as links to Polish papers for intercultural comparisons. The ELT media bibliography shows you what is available on the UK media in Poland and the Media Studies and bibliography is for those of you interested in more serious study. Did you know Media studies is a popular A-Level subject in Britain for 16-19 year olds in school - click on this link to find out ore about it?

For some lively popular articles on the media try the following from the World of English

On the internet:

  • Tracking down the hackers
  • E-lit novel networking
  • The paperless classroom

On radio:

  • Wind up, Turn on, Tune in

On TV:

  • Sitcom philosophy

On the press:

  • The British tabloid

On mobile phones :

  • You are now entering the phone zone


We hope you will enjoy reading our articles and using our materials in the classroom.

We welcome your comments on this issue, and your ideas and contributions for the future ones.

Produced in Poland by British Council © 2003. The United Kingdom's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.