Self control

4th December 1998 at 00:00
MEDIA FOCUS SERIES.Radio. Film. Television.Newspapers. By David Self. Heinemann. Pounds 10.50 each. Best suited to GCSE and GNVQ intermediate media studies, each of these books takes a brief but informed and often witty look at radio, TV, film and newspapers. Just two facing pages for a single aspect of each medium is scarcely comprehensive, but David Self's writing is so precise and his examples so up to date that this hardly seems to matter.

Take Radio. First, a short tour of a typical radio studio, then a quick look, with tips and examples, at interviewing, BBC and independent radio, drama, breakfast radio and the franchise system. Technical terms, printed in bold, are explained at the back of the book, opposite a list of key dates and events. There is little here that isn't acute, amusing and apposite. All of which is true of the companion texts.

Throughout, the language is simple but allusive, a technique nowhere better shown than in Newspapers, where explanations of such potentially difficult topics as predatory pricing are perfectly suited to younger readers.

There are no exercises or suggestions for assignments; Self concentrates on explanation to make this a quality quartet.

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