British Studies Web Pages


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Website of the Month - February 2003

Media UK    

Value for ELT: projects/ teacher-learner background/ original language

Producer of site (and intended audience)

This site was created in 1994 as a way of keeping tabs with the few media outlets contactable via the internet. Now, eight years later, Media UK lists 1,680 different media brands available on the internet, and is updated by our users to make it a truly collaborative effort. But who owns the site and how is it run? They take advertising but media companies do not pay to be listed.

Description of site

Four sections - newspapers (503 entries)/ TV (230)/ magazines (481) and radio (466). There are brief descriptions of each organisation giving ownership details and a link to the website - if available and working. It also has some basic articles on the media which are useful introductions for non-UK natives. It has forums and presumably it is from its members the reviews are written - it is not too clear. You can listen to live UK radio it seems while browsing!

Accessibility *****

Very easily accessed - and full lists by name and location can be found by clicking on the search Directory. Also a direct link to the Google search engine.

Range of themes covered *****

Via its links e.g. to subject-specific magazines, local newspapers and national newspapers with archives, the range is considerable - though the site in itself is limited. The big TV sites, especially the BBC, have a huge quantity and variety of information.

Language level

Native - but brief and well-organised. The level of the media sites accessed is inevitably much more demanding.

Value for students

Age: 13+ * 16+ *** 19+ **** Lang. level: pre-int/ int ** upper-int/ adv ****

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 (they may not all have home websites). Such sites can give an immediate sense of reality to a topic but with some dangers of interpretation. Critical and intercultural awareness and skills would need to be developed by the teacher, and taught to the learners, to judge the value of the information found.

Value for teachers ***

Background, and a source of original texts via its links. Learners would need support to use it effectively, and the teacher would need to get a feel for the different kinds of sites to be able to advise.

Overall value ****

In itself of little value but as a portal to reach more specific media sites (or information via newspaper archives) it is very useful. The ownership information usefully shows how the UK media are controlled by a small number of companies and are often very much corporate products. However there is no clear information on Media UK itself, and neither are there links to sites which can give a critical perspective on the media itself.

Similar sites:

The Newspaper Society

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.