The media generation

May 24, 1996

Media studies has proved enormously popular, but Ian Christie believes it has not lived up to its early promise and student Mireilli Fowler (box) explains why she was initially disillusioned with her course

Media studies is an exciting new degree that offers great opportunities for entering the world of the media. Or at least that was the impression I had as a 17-year-old. Media studies was the one for me. I visited a few universities, (eventually choosing Sussex) and was enthused by the display of impressive production equipment I saw.

I was soon disillusioned. My aspirations to become a great film producer were almost immediately quashed by the lack of production within the course and the lack of emphasis given to that production.The motivation for my interest in media studies had been shunted on to the back burner in place of vast amounts of theory.

The emphasis on theory initially annoyed and bored me. Another dispiriting factor was the importance attached to already published theories about the media, and the lack of interest in the development of my own, original ideas. I began to wonder where this degree could lead.

I soon worked out that this degree would be neither my ticket to the BBC nor my passport to Hollywood. Within such a tight-knit industry, who rather than what you know plays a huge part in career progression. Nonetheless, now completing my second year, I am beginning to realise that my degree has benefits. A strong theoretical basis confers an educated overview of the media. I am still determined to become a good film producer. But it is up to me to start the camera rolling.

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