• To understand the relationship between
the audience and the media text
• To understand the position that the
audience will take dependent on certain
• To understand how audience are
constructed by media producers
• All media text have a series of encoded
signs and messages
• The audience decode these messages
• Different audiences will decode them
• Media texts and the industries are acutely
aware of their audiences
• The relationship between media and
audience is fluent and changing
• Audiences are not a mass and their
responses are complex and sophisticated
• Audiences are made up of individuals
• Either PASSIVE OR ACTIVE
• This audience responds to and interprets
the media text in different ways and
actively engages with the messages.
• This is an audience that does not engage
actively with the text. They do not question
the text and therefore accept the preferred
reading without challenge. They therefore
might be more affected by the messages
contained within the text.
• A close up and/or music can help the
audience feel sympathy towards a
Mode of Address
Audience Role Example
Objective Formal (but
Learner TV News
Familiar Friendly Friend Game Show/
i.e. Who wants
Factor / Strictly
• What is the Mode of Address for the
• ENCODERS (Producers) create texts with a
PREFERRED READING (the meaning they WANT
the audience to take from it) which the audience then
• However audiences may not take the preferred
reading, they may however take an
OPPOSITIONAL or NEGOTIATED
Stuart Hall – Reception Theory
Suggests texts are encoded by the producers of the
text and decoded differently by different audiences.
Audiences accept or challenge the messages
encoded within a text. Stuart Hall accepted that
audiences were active, not passive and may
respond in the following:
• Preferred reading
• Negotiated Reading
PREFERRED READING: When
the audience accepts the dominant
reading of the text. This is usually if the
texts reflects the ideas and beliefs of
Daily Mail readers will broadly
agree on the papers stance on
topics such as asylum seekers
and young people or they would
not read the paper. There is,
therefore, little for the audience
• OPPOSITIONAL READING: the audience does not
agree with the ideology of the text or its content.
This may be related to culture, age, gender or other
factors affecting audience response.
TOWIE/Made in Chelsea – I take an oppositional reading because
its morally devoid, superficial, not informative, serves no
purpose, its not reality or fiction – so what is it? It creates a bad
representation of young people and has too much influence on
our society and young people that want to get rich quick by
slapping loads of make up on and not doing much at all.
• Audience accepts some of the text and disagrees
with others therefore negotiating over their
acceptance of what is presented to them.
• An audience may buy cosmopolitan magazine for
the fashion articles and interviews but may not
accept the sexual content of the text.
• Or an audience agrees with the press that
something must be done to stop the rioters (Aug
2011) but does not agree that only young people
were to blame.
Looting and Rioting in the
UK Online Survey; August
2011 (Daily Star Sunday)
Wrote an article for The Sun
during the riots pleading for it to
stop, but did not agree on the
whole that just young people
were to blame.
Ill Manors song:
Look at the following media texts and who
would take the
You are going to produce a new television
Decide on your TARGET audience?
How are you going to attract your TARGET audience?
What Channel would your programme be broadcast on and why?
Who might take an oppositional reading to your programme?
Put together a short presentation with pictures answering the