Which media product
Who is the audience? How did you choose them?
What expectations might audiences have of your text and products similar to yours?
How have you tried to meet these expectations?
What you found to be your audiences’ motivates for accessing texts similar to
Below and on the following slide are some clear consideration you might want to
think about when applying varying audience theories. Again like before, not be
shocked by different theories appearing to make the dame point albeit maybe a
How I sustain my audience’s full attention
What moments of the familiar (mixed at times with the unfamiliar) did you provide
but yet consider your media product to be successful?
How you/group tried to meet industry demands but yet create something which
you hoped your audience would find different and fresh.
Why and to what extent did you deliberately subvert, experiment or challenge
typical codes and conventions of media products similar to your own?
Every media product has to have an audience, otherwise in both
a business sense and probably an artistic sense too it would be
judged a failure.
In your projects, you will undoubtedly have been looking at the
idea of a target audience- who you are aiming it at and why; you
should also have taken feedback from a real audience in some
way at the end of the project for your digital evaluation, which
involves finding out how the audience really ‘read’ what you had
You were also asked at AS to consider how your product
addressed your audience- what was it about it that particularly
worked to ‘speak’ to them? All this is effectively linked to
audience theory which you then need to reference and apply.
Here are some links to some starting points for theories:
A minimalist summary of what to cover...
Paragraph 1 Intro: which of your projects are you going to write about?
Briefly describe it
Paragraph 2: what are some of the key features of the concept you are
being asked to apply? maybe outline two of the theories/ideas of
particular writers briefly
Paragraph 3: start to apply the concept, making close reference to your
production to show how the concept is evident in it
Paragraph 4: try to show ways in which ideas work in relation to your
production and also ways in which those ideas might not apply/could be
Paragraph 5: conclusion
Again remember you only have 30 minutes and that you really need to
analyse the finished production, rather than tell the marker how you made
Dating from the 1920s, this theory was the first attempt to explain how
mass audiences might react to mass media. It is a crude model (see
picture!) and suggests that audiences passively receive the information
transmitted via a media text, without any attempt on their part to process
or challenge the data.
Don't forget that this theory was developed in an age when the mass media
were still fairly new - radio and cinema were less than two decades old.
Governments had just discovered the power of advertising to communicate
a message, and produced propaganda to try and sway populaces to their
way of thinking.
Basic principles of the hypodermic/bullet theory!
Media like syringe- injects ideas, attitudes and beliefs into audience scenes
of violence- one single text can have an immediate impact on the audience
This idea of how the media works was heavily influenced by the results of
Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment - children who observed an adult acting
aggressively acted more aggressively compared to children who acted less
aggressively after observing a non-aggressive adult model
Bandura and his colleagues believed that the experiment demonstrates how
specific behaviors can be learned through observation and imitation.
Although it is important to know reasons why the hypodermic
syringe theory could never apply to everyone equally e.g.…...
however, thinking about your own media product, what specific
production decisions did you take to try and encourage your
audiences to interpret and respond in a desired way and, how
successful do you think you were in achieving it? (Remember to
give examples taken from your product)
Extension: Reflecting on the content of your audience feedback,
to what extent was your audience’s interpretation of your text far
Users & Gratification Theory: Denis McQuail 1987 conducted a study in the U & G tradition and
found the following common reasons for media use:
finding out about relevant events and conditions in immediate surroundings, society and
seeking advice on practical matters or opinion and decision choices
satisfying curiosity and general interest
gaining a sense of security through knowledge
finding reinforcement for personal values
finding models of behaviour
identifying with valued other (in the media)
gaining insight into one's self
Integration and Social Interaction
gaining insight into circumstances of others; social empathy
identifying with others and gaining a sense of belonging
finding a basis for conversation and social interaction
having a substitute for real-life companionship
helping to carry out social roles
enabling one to connect with family, friends and society
escaping, or being diverted, from problems
getting intrinsic cultural or aesthetic enjoyment
During the 1960s, as the first generation to grow up with television became grown ups, it
became increasingly apparent to media theorists that audiences made choices about what
they did when consuming texts. Researchers Blulmer and Katz expanded this theory and
published their own in 1974, Blulmer and Katz stated that individuals might choose and use a
text for the following purposes (ie uses and gratifications):
Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine.
Personal Relationships - using the media for emotional and other interaction, eg) substituting
soap operas for family life
Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from
Surveillance - Information which could be useful for living eg) weather reports, financial
news, holiday bargains
Zillmann has shown the influence of mood on media choice: boredom encourages the choice
of exciting content and stress encourages a choice of relaxing content. The same TV
programme may gratify different needs for different individuals. Different needs are
associated with individual personalities, stages of maturation, backgrounds and social roles.
However, McQuail suggests that the dominant stance of recent researchers in this tradition is
now that personal social circumstances and psychological dispositions together influence
shape specific acts of media choice and consumption.’ Since then, the list of Uses and
Gratifications has been extended, particularly as new media forms have come along (eg video
games, the internet)
Now reflect on the use and gratification of your
own music video or opening sequence.
Write down which categories apply-( extended
writing- however, to what extent would you say
your audiences had total freedom in making up
their own minds as to how to read and/or react
to your desired creation of meanings?
Extension +: and to what extent was this
dependent on the demographics of your
audience i.e. Gender, age, cultural group etc.
Media information does not flow directly from the text into the minds of
its audience unmediated but is filtered through
"opinion leaders" who then communicate it to their less active
associates, over whom they
have influence. The audience then mediate the information received
directly from the media with the ideas and thoughts expressed by the
opinion leaders, thus being influenced not by a direct process, but by a
two step flow
Think about this honestly – to what extent could it be argued
that the success/take up of media products similar to yours, is
heavily influenced by the opinion of others- give your reasons
Extension + and to what extent did you use the opinions of others to
help sell your text/increase it’s popularity? (think viral
marketing/advertising to reach your audiences) using pre existing social
networks and other technologies to achieve distribution- it can be delivered by word
of mouth or distributed through the use of new media technologies.
We all create individual meaning from a
text. We decode meaning according to
upbringing, gender, social status etc
David Morley- Nationwide survey
Stuart Hall- encoding/decoding
Preferred/ dominant reading- how the media
producer wants you to consume the product
Oppositional reading- rejection- alternative
Negotiated reading- acknowledge and modify
What would be the dominant reading that
you want the audience to accept?
What is the oppositional reading?
What would be the negotiated meaning?
(extended writing- to what extent do your
believe the success of your media product is
largely dependent on the social group
More refined version (less immediate)- suggest media
effects are not immediate but build up over a period
of time and that audiences become desensitised to
violence or that repeated exposure to media violence
audiences erodes inbuilt inhibitions against acting in
certain ways- However, thinking about your own
media product, to what do you think your audiences
exposure to similar products like your own, improved
the chances of yours being successful?
Extension: and to what did you deliberately expose
your audience to the unfamiliar, in order to appeal to
Do we consume media in isolation?
We can never consider one example of the media on its own – we are
always choosing from many different alternatives and more confusingly our
understanding of one text may be
affected by our knowledge of another.
It is very rare for us to concentrate fully on any media text – we may
skim read through a magazine or glance at various different channels
while using the remote. Once again,
quantitative research cannot cope with this – it simply counts the number
of texts encountered but doesn’t consider whether the audience have
taken them in.
The media can become an important part of the routines of our lives –
you may want to watch Neighbours when you get in from school or listen
to the Chart Show every Sunday when you do your homework. It is very rare
for us to be completely alone when we encounter a media text.
To what extent can Morey’s theory be applied to audiences’ consumption
of your chosen text
Which combined processes of signification were used to encourage
audiences to interpret and react in a desired way. Media processes
of signification include film techniques learnt in Yr12 – sound, mise en
scene, editing and camera movement, framing and angles.
What do you consider to be your audience’s motivates for accessing
texts similar to your own?
At a push, what aspects of your media text might some consider to
be potentially harmful and/or negative?
To what extent did you use viral marketing to reach your audiences
( viral marketing, viral advertising, use pre existing social networks and
other technologies to achieve distribution- it can be delivered by
word of mouth or distributed through the use of new media
technologies. How did you use media technologies at any stage of
production to reach your audience?