‘Text’ is one of the key pieces of technical terminology in media studies. Of course, the word is in general usage, but in our field the learners use it to refer to the output of media in terms of their meanings. The shift in audience studies away from questions of effects to questions of culture is paralleled in a set of wider questions about media and our society. These are some of the most fundamental, and philosophical, issues with which the learners have to grapple in media studies, and they are often connected to some of the most abstract of media theories. Nonetheless, with a systematic approach, a sense of chronology, and attention to aesthetic, technological, political-economic and social approaches to history, the learners can begin to appreciate both the continuities and the disruptions of a whole variety of media forms.