Theories on Media and Audience

Complete 8 pages APA formatted article: Media Ethnography. There are many factors the content producers take into consideration while producing their text. They are audience engagement, audience expectations, audience fore-knowledge, audience identification, audience placement, and audience research. Though there are various methods adopted for media research, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the use of ethnography as it is claimed by many that in order to understand a group, it is very important to live with them and to ‘become one among them’.

Theories on Media and Audience

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According to the Frankfurt School (Cited in Hanes, 2000), media is like a hypodermic syringe. and this ‘Effects’ model envisions that media injects its contents into the thoughts of the audience, and the audience accepts the thoughts, opinions, attitudes, and beliefs expressed by the media without questions.

Evidently, this model has its birth based on the German fascist use of media for propaganda which was later followed by the American capitalist society. However, theorists were sure that the media does not have such a direct influence on the minds of people. According to some, media only has a weaker influence on people. Other more prominent influences will be factors like religion and personal contacts. As Gunter (2000, pp. 10-11) opines, the ‘Effects’ model failed mainly because it did not take audiences as individuals with their own beliefs, opinions, and attitudes.

Another new approach to the relation between media and audience was the ‘Uses and Gratification’ model. This model does not look into how media affects the audience, but how the audience uses the media. According to the new concept, audiences have various needs, and for the fulfillment of these needs, they turn to media for the consumption of information. This model acknowledges that the audience has a choice of texts to choose from. The Uses and Gratification model assumes that the audiences’ wish for satisfaction results in the media providing output to fulfill their desires. So, this is against the Effects model that claims that audiences are made to enjoy whatever is produced by the media.

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