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Audience response


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Audience response

  1. 1. Critical approaches – Task 5 Audience response Patrick Gouldsbrough
  2. 2. Preferred reading Consumers respond to media texts in a number of ways. Culture theorist, Stuart Hall, stated that a consumer will respond to a media product with either a: preferred, negotiated or oppositional reading of the media text. A preferred reading involves a consumer understanding the media product and agreeing with what is been said in terms of content. A few examples would be: The smoking advert campaign on the top right hand side would be consumed by the audience, understood and then agreed with. Therefore they would be interpreting the signs and symbols as smoking is deadly, while taking the same stance and are in agreement with the statement been communicated through this advert. Smokers who are preferred readers and accept these messages will usually quit or try to stop smoking, due to the nature of the preferred reader. Below it, a news story about red meat, which conveys the message that Red meat is bad for you. A preferred reading to this media text would understand the messages generated by the media producer and agree with the view that Red meat is bad for you, this idea will then be in their ideology when consuming future media texts. The same as the last example applies to this one too, the preferred reader will cut their intake of red meat out totally because they accept and agree with the message been communicated.
  3. 3. Negotiated reading The consumer generally accepts the preferred reading, but occasionally alters it to reflect their own situation/experiences. A few examples of the negotiated reading are: A negotiated reader will understand and identify the preferred reason but may alter it to reflect their own experiences of life and consumption of media. This smoking campaign may be viewed by the negotiated audience, understood and accepted, but their experiences of smoking or people smoking may change their viewpoint. Someone who has been affected by smoking may change it so the message means more to them and use their own experience to view the advert as more deadly. Where as someone who hasn’t been affected, could take a relaxed approach and not see it as a problem, but at the same time, identifies the danger of smoking. This is therefore not taking a big stance against smoking, but not taking the stance of pro-smoking. A negotiated consumer who smokes may cut down their intake of cigarettes as a result. The Red meat article will be understood and the preferred reading identified by the negotiated consumer. However, the ideologies of those who are consuming this product will allow them to alter the message. The negotiated reader may view this article, accept it, understand it, but unlike a preferred reader, may not fully cut the product out of their life. Instead, a negotiated reader would cut their intake of meat down, but not stop it fully.
  4. 4. Oppositional reading The reader sill understands the preferred reading, but instead of agreeing or altering, the consumer will reject the messages conveyed, while having an alternative, oppositional view. A few examples of an oppositional reading are: Oppositional consumers will look at this media product, understand it, identify the preferred reading and then reject it completely. On this particular example, the consumer will see the harmful connotations of smoking communicated, but will write them off and if they smoke, carry on smoking, not cutting down or stopping. Much can be said for this example as well. Oppositional viewers will reject the content of this message and instead of reducing or stopping intake of red meat, an oppositional reader will carry on eating red meat in large quantities.
  5. 5. Participatory A Participatory act, in terms of media, is the audience interacting and participating in sharing their opinions on news stories and TV programmes, amongst other media products. Due to the rise of social networking, participatory media has made giant leaps in the past few years. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow consumers to participate in discussion about specific subjects, while blogger has enabled the consumer to interact with other people interested in the topic area they are generating content for. These types of media have helped media propel itself toward participatory media: •Blogs (written and video) •Social networking •Music/photo/video sharing •Podcasts People tweet while TV shows are on, this shows a sense of participation from the consumer of media products Blogger allows people to voice their views and opinions on specific subjects, which has a sense of direct interaction between audience and media product. Blogs •People write views and opinions on their interest area, which is a type of participation with media products. However, others then interact with the blog creator, that strengthens the interaction and therefore furthers the participation element of the media. Social networking •Similar to blogs, consumers of media products can post their thoughts and opinions on an interest of theirs. This is then discussed by others and various people participate in this discussion/debate. This can be any topic and one of the easiest ways to generate participatory media. Sky Sports allow you to participate in discussions to get the consumers reactions on certain stories.
  6. 6. Participatory Video/music/photo sharing •The sharing of this content allows people to communicate with each other regarding the products. The initial products can be classed as participatory media, but the audience communicating their views also contributes towards this type been a type of participatory media. Podcasts •Involves a producer of the podcast to share opinions and ideas on a certain area. This media form is small and also an unpopular form because people don’t stay completely anonymous with podcasts, unlike they are on the other participatory media forms. Sharing a certain product, especially the digital ones, contributes to the participatory media, due to the consumer interacting with others to bring you a video/photo or piece of music. Podcasts contain opinions and views of the presenter. Many podcasts involve reviewing products, which enables other consumers to voice their opinions compared to the presenters on the product.
  7. 7. Cultural competence Every media text requires us to have a certain level of cultural understanding to be able to consume and understand the product. A basic understanding may only require the audience to read and understand the language throughout the media product. However, a more complex media form requires the consumer to interpret signs and symbols within the product, while attaching meaning from their experience of media consumption. These understandings are simple in our own cultures, but if you were to try and interpret or even attach meaning to media products from different cultures, you would struggle to do so. On the other hand, some things mean the same worldwide, no matter where you are from. An example of worldwide cultural competence is a big corporation such as McDonalds, which can be understood globally. We have cultural competence/understanding toward this. We can connote things from this by reading the signs and symbols on the product. For example, we know what the red rose is, we know who the figure is, we understand the story behind it, due to past experience. From the media product, the producer of the text wants the consumer to have a preferred reading of the product, in which the consumer will understand and agree with the statements. This is big in terms of advertisement, where the media producer will hope to carry out these functions, which will lead to a larger quantity of sales. As mentioned previously, a preferred reading will understand and agree with the statement. A negotiated reading will still understand but may alter the statement to fit their own ideology/experience of media products. While an oppositional reading will understand but be completely against the statements communicated by the media producer. Something we don’t have any cultural competence on so we can’t even have basic understanding on this product, and products like it.
  8. 8. Fan culture Fan culture is, in effect, the audience taking an active role in the creation of a media product of their own. The sci-fi genre has become particularly influenced by fan culture in recent year. This involves these fans taking an active role to create stories, alternate endings or spin-offs of their favourite media products that hey have consumed. Henry Jenkins has been the main researcher in discovering how audiences interact with texts and with each other, which builds this fan culture. The idea of fan culture started a while back, but the establishment of new technology has meant advancement in fan culture. A direct example is Twitter, the social network giant makes it easier for fans of a certain topic/interest to communicate easier. Fan Fiction has also allowed fan culture to develop. With it enabling fans to publish their works on stories and media texts, it gives them a active part in the making of media. Works such as 50 shades of Grey started as fan fiction, and since has become a bestseller. Another example of where fan culture can be created is Redbubble. This site allows users to create T-shirt designs. These are normally generated from a TV quote, which is showing a certain fan quality, which, in turn, creates this fan culture. On Youtube, you can create videos from different interest categories, while enabling fans to communicate with one another about the topics. Fan fiction allows fans to create stories, alternate endings and different versioned stories, which generates this fan culture. The option to communicate, like Youtube also makes it easier to create ‘fan culture’.