Mass comm 02


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Mass comm 02

  1. 1. Mass Communication & Media Literacy 02<br />
  2. 2. Media Meanings<br />
  3. 3. Looking at ‘text’ as a way of focusing and analysing the meaning of media output<br />Defining and using the tools of rhetorical analysis<br />Extending the analysis to newspaper articles, web pages, music recordings, magazine covers, films, computer games ... All media products<br />
  4. 4. What’s the difference between the artefactual, commodity and textual aspects of media outputs?<br />What are the rhetorical devices involved in producing and organising meaning in texts?<br />
  5. 5. Physical form as artefact<br />Economic value embodied in media output – commodity status – cost and price<br />Site for generating meaning – the ways we are affected psychologically, emotionally, culturally, physically, and intellectually by media output<br />
  6. 6. Think of 5 media products in your possession<br />For each think of its status as artefact, commodity and text<br />How useful are the categories for understanding the media products?<br />Is there any confusion between categories?<br />What are the advantages and disadvantages of thinking about thinking of media in this way?<br />
  7. 7. Making sense of textual meaning<br />Why text?<br />What is the work that has gone into preparing us for the meaning making with texts?<br />The work of the media producers<br />The ‘work’ of media consumers<br />Our socialisation with media – our ongoing encounter with media texts<br />Context<br />
  8. 8. Music<br />Music<br />Music<br />music<br />
  9. 9. How media make meaning leads to<br />Why media make meanings in the ways they do<br />To explore this we need a common technical language that avoids (where possible) subjective judgements<br />A ‘meta’ or framing language that makes sense of media across media forms<br />
  10. 10. Rhetoric<br /> Our personal involvement with media texts is a result of the mastery that media producers have over a series of production techniques called media rhetoric<br />Rhetoric = the construction and manipulation of language by the creator of a text for affective purposes<br />
  11. 11. Rhetoric asks<br />How are media texts put together as media texts?<br />How do they organise and present meaning?<br />Texts are constructed in order to position audiences in particular ways to elicit emotional, psychological or physical responses<br />TO PAY ATTENTION and so aid cognition<br />
  12. 12. Cognition<br />The way in which we, as individuals, acquire knowledge as well as apply it – the process through which we comprehend events and idea in order to come to understand the world<br />
  13. 13. Rhetorical analysis suggests that media is not mainly about information<br />Media is tied to the ways we learn about that information: it’s presentation and the particularities of the medium<br />‘the medium is the message’<br />We shape the tools which then shape us<br />
  14. 14. Rhetoric, language and meaning<br />Language<br />The building blocks from which meanings are made and communication created – words, phrases, images and sounds + rules create grammar and syntax<br />Rhetoric<br />The ways language is manipulated to a particular purpose (fear watching horror films: excitement playing video games)<br />Meaning<br />The interpretation of messages by readers of text<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Classical Origins<br />the art of speaking or writing effectively: the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times<br />Aristotle – The Art of Rhetoric<br />Rhetorical question? Empty rhetoric? Insincerity or exaggeration<br />It is possible to draw up a list of rhetorical devices that are used by practitioners for every medium<br />
  17. 17. Tools and techniques: verbal<br />Verbal Rhetoric<br />The word as written or spoken<br />Journalistic style<br />Alliteration<br />Paddy Pantsdown’s furtive fling<br />Rhyme and allusion<br />It’s bitsy, teeny weeny, Britney’s dream in her bikini<br />Euphemism<br />Wife takes knife to cheating hubby’s meat and two veg<br />Metaphor<br />Iraq is a pressure cooker ready to explode<br />Metonym<br />Face to Face<br />Ellipses<br />You terrorist b@*!$@%s<br />Cliche<br />High noon: EU sends ultimatum<br />
  18. 18. Tools and techniques: verbal<br />ToneThe reader is primarily interested in what you have to say. By the way in which you say it you may encourage him either to read on or to stop reading. If you want him to read on: Do not be stuffy. “To write a genuine, familiar or truly English style”, said Hazlitt, “is to write as anyone would speak in common conversation who had a thorough command or choice of words or who could discourse with ease, force and perspicuity setting aside all pedantic and oratorical flourishes.” In “How to Be a Better Reporter”, Arthur Brisbane put it like this: “Avoid fancy writing. The most powerful words are the simplest. ‘To be or not to be, that is the question,’ ‘In the beginning was the word,’ ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep,’ ‘Out, out, brief candle,’ ‘The rest is silence.’ Nothing fancy in those quotations. A natural style is the only style.” Use the language of everyday speech, not that of spokesmen, lawyers or bureaucrats (so prefer let to permit, people to persons, buy to purchase, colleague to peer, way out to exit, present to gift, rich to wealthy, break to violate). It would not have been difficult to rephrase these sentences from a British civil servant's report: “At a national level, the department engaged stakeholders positively from 23 February 2001. … Economist Style guide<br />
  19. 19. Tools and techniques: presentational<br />What happens to words once they are chosen and deployed in media texts?<br />Accent – The question of the BBC<br />Non-verbal devices – nod ... Over to you William at the scene of the disaster ...<br />Sound effects in radio<br />Choices of decor and location in audio-visual production<br />
  20. 20. Tools and techniques: presentational<br />Photographic devices<br />Composition<br />Re-touching<br />Cropping<br />Juxtaposition<br />Montage <br />
  21. 21. Tools and techniques: editorial<br />Organisation of the moving image (also relevant to audio media)<br />Storyboarding<br /><br />Techniques<br />Camera shots, cuts create a grammatical organisation for film<br />
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Conclusion<br />How does any attempt to analyse ‘affect’ and meaning relate to the kinds of likely responses in the majority of an audience?<br />Start with your own reading<br />Don’t stop at your own reading<br />What is the implied rhetorical positioning for the audience?<br />‘This does nothing for me’ or ‘how is this text asking me to respond?’<br />Careful about claiming intent on behalf of media producers<br />Careful about assuming an implied audience<br />
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