An Active Audience The Hypodermic Needle Model was the first theory to attempt to explain audiences reactions to media, suggesting that audiences are passive, receiving the information transmitted via the media text without an attempt on there part to process or challenge this data. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this is not the case and that, in fact, media consumers and audiences are far more active.
An Active Audience In 1948 Lasswell suggested that media texts have the following functions for individuals and society as they we actively consume texts for different reasons and in different ways; Surveillance Correlation entertainment cultural transmission.
An Active Audience This idea was expanded by further researchers in the 1970’s as it was suggested that individuals might choose a specific text for a specific purpose, for example; As a diversion (to escape every day problems and routine) Personal relationships (in aim of substituting soap operas for every day life, using the media for emotional interaction) Personal identity (finding yourself and values reflected in texts) Surveillance(collecting information which could be useful for living e.g. Whether reports, financial news etc)
The Reception Theory This leads us to the Reception Theory, expanding the concept of an active audience further. A lot of work has been done in relation to this theory on the way in which audiences will receive and interpret texts and how a persons individual circumstances may influence their reading and interpretations, this could include their gender, class, age and ethnicity for example.
Stuart Hall We can relate to Stuart Hall’s encoding and decoding model here, looking at the relationship between text and audience. Hall suggests that text is encoded by the producer and then decoded by the reader and that their may be major differences between these two readings within the same code. For example, the audience may interpret an element of the film in a completely different way than the producer intended, or often portray further meanings that again, the producer had not aimed to achieve purposely.
The Reception Theory However, although this may be the case, by using recognisable codes and conventions and by drawing upon audience expectations by using recognisable aspects, such as the genre of the piece, the producers - as explained by Hall - can then position the audience, therefore allowing them to create a certain amount of agreement on what codes are there; this is known as preferred reading.
My Music Video Knowing this, I will aim to relate well to a certain genre of film, being one of an Indie genre for this particular piece. To do this, I intend for the video to have a somewhat boy/girl next door feel, wanting to deviate away from a typical performance style video. This will allow me to portray a certain amount of meaning to my audience but still allow them to access some of their own interpretations to the song. I will exaggerate this by making the video appealing and interesting but still a little unclear, allowing for the audience to piece elements of the meanings together themselves. I felt this will intrigue the listeners and also give them some credit in their ability to analyse data. However, do genre’s actually exist?