A fairly accurate quote from GNN Select, "From semiotics to soap operas, if it's communications scholarship, it's here" captures the essence of this site, subtitled "Constructivism At Work". Originating from the Department of Education at the University of Wales, it was developed by Daniel Chandler, a lecturer in media theory. Also touted as "one of the very best U.K. sites" for media studies and in existence since the spring of 1995, this comprehensive site does not necessarily focus on British interests but instead is global in its approach. The communications and media disciplines include issues of gender, class, and ethnicity; mass media issues including TV, radio, film, and information technology; and the history and theory of the disciplines.
Upper-level and graduate students as well as faculty in the fields of mass media, computer mediated communication, film and gender studies, cultural studies and advertising and marketing will find extensive links within 18 categories identified on the front page entitled the "Main Index". Other subject categories besides the ones mentioned above include media education, textual analysis, and visual image. Highlights in the Main Index are the essential specialized discussion groups which include listservs as well as newsgroups; the "Journals and Magazines" page which lists close to 100 links, all alphabetically arranged; and the "General Reference" page which gives a breakdown of associations, councils, interest groups and societies; indexes of resources on media and communication, scholars on the Web; and university departments, centers and courses with pointers to not only U.K. but also European, U.S., Asian and other international research centers.
Within the subject categories, there is a "Section Index" which further breaks down the topic, and all links are contained on one continuous page. For instance, the "Visual Image" page lists cartoons, comics; optical illusions; photography; visual literacy; and visual perception. Links on different pages include course modules, Alta Vista searches such as "The Gay Audience and the Media" and individual papers written by and about communication notaries such as Sherry Turkle, Marshall McLuhan, and John December. The U.K. focused resources can be found mainly under television, radio, and newspapers.
Although there is no cross-referencing between subject categories, the focused researcher will find navigation easy through the site. The currency of the site is monitored by the Web Robot at Net Mind, and at the end of each subject category there is an option to send your e-mail address when that page is updated. All in all, MCS is an essential first stop in beginning a review of the communications cyber literature.
William Paterson College
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