A2 (G325) Exam Section B

Section B of the A2 Media Studies exam – Critical Perspectives In Media – covers six broad themes. Each theme offers candidates a choice of two questions.

We will concentrate on Contemporary Media Regulation. You should answer one question.

Here are the questions from recent examinations:

June, 2016:

Assess the arguments against the regulation of media.


‘As society changes, the need for media regulation changes.’ Discuss.

June, 2015:

Assess the arguments for the regulation of media in 2015.


‘Some areas of contemporary media require stricter regulation than others.’ Discuss.

June, 2014:

“We get the media we deserve.” Discuss this statement and its implications for media regulation.


How well does contemporary media regulation protect the public?

June, 2013:

Some media regulatory practices are more effective than others.” Discuss.


How far do you accept the view that there is no need for media regulation to be any stricter now than in the past?

January, 2013:

Explore the arguments against stricter media regulation.


Consider the particular challenges to regulation posed by digital media.

June, 2012:

“We need stricter media regulation.” Discuss.


To what extent is it becoming more difficult to regulate media, and why?

January, 2012:

Explain which forms of media regulation are the most effective, which are not so, and your reasons for both.


“Media regulation becomes less important as society progresses.” Discuss.

June, 2011:

To what extent are contemporary media regulated adequately?


Why is the regulation of media so complex?

January, 2011:

Evaluate arguments for and against stronger regulation of the media.


To what extent can the media be regulated in the digital age?

June, 2010:

To what extent is contemporary media regulation more or less effective than in previous times?


Discuss the need for media regulation.

January, 2010:

How effectively can contemporary media be regulated?


How far do changes to the regulation of media reflect broader social changes?

Although the questions are phrased differently every year, they will always relate to one or more of the following prompts:

  • What is the nature of contemporary media regulation compared with previous practices?
  • What are the arguments for and against specific forms of contemporary media regulation?
  • How effective are regulatory practices?
  • What are the wider social issues relating to media regulation?

Here are some of the examiner’s comments following last summer’s exams:

  • Whichever question you answer, you must refer to examples from at least two media areas in your answer. You should include reference to historical, contemporary and future media.
  • Media examples and case-studies should be mainly from the five years preceding the examination.
  • Candidates must engage with a range of theoretical, academic and research perspectives.
  • Balance is important. All of the critical perspectives are chosen because there are ‘no right answers’ and generate polarised arguments.
  • Stronger answers are those which present a balanced argument with a clear structure, weighing up competing arguments, developing the case through the use of examples and working towards a conclusion.

There are 50 marks available for this question. The same mark scheme is used every year and applies to whichever question you choose to answer. Here is the description of a Level 4 answer:

  • Explanation/analysis/argument (16–20 marks)
    • Candidates adapt their learning to the specific requirements of the chosen question in excellent fashion and make connections in order to present a coherent argument. The answer offers a clear, fluent balance of media theories and knowledge of industries and texts and informed personal engagement with issues and debates.
  • Use of examples (16–20 marks)
    • Examples of theories, texts and industry knowledge are clearly connected together in the answer. History and the future are integrated into the discussion with conviction.
  • Use of terminology (8–10 marks)
    • Throughout the answer, material presented is informed by contemporary media theory and the command of the appropriate conceptual and theoretical language is excellent.
    • Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The examiner also offers the following warnings:

  • Where candidates refer to only one media area in their answer, marks should be restricted to Level 1.
  • Where candidates fail to imply historical references and/or future projections, marks should be restricted to Level 3.