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AUDIENCE THEORISTS Emily Blyth.
David Gauntlett.
• David Gauntlett is a British sociologist and media theorist. He specializes in studying contemporary media audiences,
the every making and sharing of digital media, and the role of such media in self-identity and self-expression.
• Gauntlett published ‘Media Studies 2.0’ online in 2007, which argues that classic media studies fails to define when the
categories of ‘audiences’ and ‘producers’ unite, and that new, altered teaching methods are needed. He states that
because of web 2.0, we as audiences can become our own producers thanks to websites such as YouTube. Through this
we can create our own identity and even influence other peoples.
• Through this, gender identity for example, has become less constricted to previous representations. Web 2.0 allows us
to create our own unique identity that doesn’t necessarily follow traditional understandings of gender. The ability and
freedom that web 2.0’s allowed means it is now far more acceptable to be different and accepted for our individuality.
• A proposition to rework audience studies (ie. For media users to simultaneously be regarded as producers and
consumers) was put forward by Gauntlett in 2008. This argues that audiences change to become more so active than
passive towards media. These ideas are developed further in ‘Making is Connecting’.
• It’s almost impossible to tell how an audience is going to react to a particular media product. This may change how the
particular product is done. So a product might evolve into something more similar to a different media product that has
already had a great reaction from the audience viewing it.
• This is why advertising spent so much money into audience research. They need to make sure that the product they are
advertising attracts the appropriate audience that would be interested in what they are selling.
Blumler and Katz.
• Uses and Gratifications Theory is a popular approach to understanding mass communication. The theory places more
focus on the consumer, or audience, instead of the actual message itself by asking “what people do with media”
rather than “what media does to people” (Katz, 1959) . It assumes that members of the audience are not passive but
take an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives.
• The theory also holds that audiences are responsible for choosing media to meet their needs. The approach suggests
that people use the media to full fill specific gratifications. This theory would then simply that the media compete
against other information sources for viewers' gratification.
• The Uses and Gratifications Theory follows a basic model. It is an audience-centered approach. When an audience
actively seeks out media, they are typically seeking it in order to gratify a need. For example, in social situations,
people may feel more confident and knowledgeable when they have specific facts and stories from media to add to
conversation.
• By seeking out media, a person full fills a need to be informed. Social situations and psychological characteristics
motivate the need for media, which motivates certain expectations of that media. This expectation leads one to be
exposed to media that would seemingly fit expectations, leading to an ultimate gratification.
• The media dependency theory, has also been explored as an extension to the uses and gratifications approach to
media, though there is a subtle difference between the two theories. People's dependency on media proves audience
goals to be the origin of the dependency while the uses and gratifications approach focuses more on audience needs
(Grant et al., 1998). Still, both theories agree that media use can lead to media dependency(Rubin, 1982). The media
dependency theory states that the more dependent an individual is on the media for to full fill needs, the more
significant the media becomes to that person.

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Audience theorists

  • 2. David Gauntlett. • David Gauntlett is a British sociologist and media theorist. He specializes in studying contemporary media audiences, the every making and sharing of digital media, and the role of such media in self-identity and self-expression. • Gauntlett published ‘Media Studies 2.0’ online in 2007, which argues that classic media studies fails to define when the categories of ‘audiences’ and ‘producers’ unite, and that new, altered teaching methods are needed. He states that because of web 2.0, we as audiences can become our own producers thanks to websites such as YouTube. Through this we can create our own identity and even influence other peoples. • Through this, gender identity for example, has become less constricted to previous representations. Web 2.0 allows us to create our own unique identity that doesn’t necessarily follow traditional understandings of gender. The ability and freedom that web 2.0’s allowed means it is now far more acceptable to be different and accepted for our individuality. • A proposition to rework audience studies (ie. For media users to simultaneously be regarded as producers and consumers) was put forward by Gauntlett in 2008. This argues that audiences change to become more so active than passive towards media. These ideas are developed further in ‘Making is Connecting’. • It’s almost impossible to tell how an audience is going to react to a particular media product. This may change how the particular product is done. So a product might evolve into something more similar to a different media product that has already had a great reaction from the audience viewing it. • This is why advertising spent so much money into audience research. They need to make sure that the product they are advertising attracts the appropriate audience that would be interested in what they are selling.
  • 3. Blumler and Katz. • Uses and Gratifications Theory is a popular approach to understanding mass communication. The theory places more focus on the consumer, or audience, instead of the actual message itself by asking “what people do with media” rather than “what media does to people” (Katz, 1959) . It assumes that members of the audience are not passive but take an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives. • The theory also holds that audiences are responsible for choosing media to meet their needs. The approach suggests that people use the media to full fill specific gratifications. This theory would then simply that the media compete against other information sources for viewers' gratification. • The Uses and Gratifications Theory follows a basic model. It is an audience-centered approach. When an audience actively seeks out media, they are typically seeking it in order to gratify a need. For example, in social situations, people may feel more confident and knowledgeable when they have specific facts and stories from media to add to conversation. • By seeking out media, a person full fills a need to be informed. Social situations and psychological characteristics motivate the need for media, which motivates certain expectations of that media. This expectation leads one to be exposed to media that would seemingly fit expectations, leading to an ultimate gratification. • The media dependency theory, has also been explored as an extension to the uses and gratifications approach to media, though there is a subtle difference between the two theories. People's dependency on media proves audience goals to be the origin of the dependency while the uses and gratifications approach focuses more on audience needs (Grant et al., 1998). Still, both theories agree that media use can lead to media dependency(Rubin, 1982). The media dependency theory states that the more dependent an individual is on the media for to full fill needs, the more significant the media becomes to that person.