Creating new ideas / new ways of thinking about media audiences.
Audience research used to test out audience theories.
Uses and gratifications.
Spectrum of behaviourism Direct Effects theory Theories of Active Audiences Media stimulus is followed by straightforward audience response Audiences use media to satisfy particular needs and to enable the flow of communications from person to person “ Effects debate” very much alive – mass media and social panics See Lasswell and the effectiveness of propaganda
The common sense argument is based on the need to protect children.
Difficult to question as within our society children are regarded as vulnerable, ignorant and irrational
BUT Buckingham (1996) observes that children become extremely sophisticated in reading media texts from an early age. Many children are frightened by horror but this is also true of the news. The ability to develop coping strategies for fiction but not for factual programmes shows the sophistication of children in reading texts.
“ It is now perhaps more interesting not to ask what the effects of television are, but rather why there is so much concern about the question” (Gauntlett)
Moral Panic – “a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges as a threat to societal values and interests: its nature is presented in a stylised and stereotypical fashion by the mass media: the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to.” (Cohen 1972, p.9)
Extensive content analysis to show that “Through their routine structuring of social and political reality, the news media influence the agenda of public issues around which political campaigns and voter decisions are organized”
Salience given to certain news item by journalists
Stories selected in accordance with certain news values
Katz and Lazarsfeld compare the role of opinion leaders to the role of media in influencing individuals’ decision-making processes.
Opinion leaders from all occupational groups, all socio-economic backgrounds
Ideas can flow from the media source
To opinion leaders
And from them to the less active sections of the population
Very relevant today with new and social media!
Joseph Kappler’s Phenomenistic approach (same line as 2 step flow)
Focuses on how audiences respond to media messages in a wider context
Looks at how media generates a stimulus to which audiences might respond BUT asserts that mass media cannot be seen in isolation from all other influences that cause human behaviour to change, or their attitudes or actions
An individual’s predisposed opinions and how these tend to mean they use media in selective ways
The group to which the individual belongs and how the predispositions of the group impact on the individual’s opinions
Interpersonal dissemination of media content (ie like-minded people)
Opinion leadership (similar to 2 step flow): OL use media messages to reinforce their predisposed opinions rather than simply relay what these messages have to say
Role of mass media in a free enterprise society (prerequisite to please both advertisers and audiences institutions tend to produce content based on successful formulas rather than try out more innovative content and run risk of displeasing stakeholders)
Vested interests in appropriating blame at the doorstep of the media
Most frequent concern is new media/cultural behaviour and practices
All media content is not the same or even for everyone
Simplistic cause and effect claims are problematic
Spectrum of behaviourism Direct Effects theory Theories of Active Audiences Media stimulus is followed by straightforward audience response Audiences use media to satisfy particular needs and to enable the flow of communications from person to person See Lasswell and the effectiveness of propaganda Can you fit in all the theories we have seen along that spectrum?
Conduct your research using the relevant slides and finding more sources (which you will list), including at least 1 or 2 videos from YouTube or Vimeo or… Find at least one real example from the media to apply your theory to.
Prepare to PRESENT and TEACH your findings to the rest of the group (PPT or Prezi) – aim for 5 to 10 minutes.