Mass media deliver messages to an audience. These messages are received by an audience, or by society, and this audience is changed or informed or influenced in some way by these messages.
Take the recent press regarding “swine flu”;interestingly reports suggest that the common flu takes more lives per year. Media texts have social significance.
Decisions of politicians are often made because of media coverage. Politicians rely upon public perception, and the representation of politicians is constructed by the media. Media text have political significance.
Every person is unique. And because each one of us is unique, we can respond to and read meaning from a media text on the basis of our uniqueness. We cannot know everything, nor can we experience everything, so our reading of any media text is limited by what are called our “filters”. These “filters” are things such as our age, our gender, our life experiences, our religious and culture beliefs to name only a few.
Filters influence the reading of any media text by an audience member. Audience members work out the meaning from a text on the basis of their understanding of the world and of the text itself; they “negotiate” the meaing. If a reader of a zombie movie does not understand the metaphorical implications of zombies representing the living dead and that when we fail to take action in our lives, we are the “living dead”, then the reader may fail to grasp the meaning intended by the creator, or the author of the media text. Knowledge of the codes and conventions on the part of the reader is necessary for the audience to read the message communicated by the creator.
The more you think about it, the more complex it can become.
This is the first epidsode in a series of podcasts that address the Eight Key Concepts of Media Studies.
Here it is! My first classroom blog *sigh*
The inspiration for this blog came to me, like many of my other ideas, while running. I arrived home rejuvenated and sat at my computer selecting this site, signing in, choosing a template, and creating Episode 1 of inawhiteroomRadio. Each episode will highlight one of the key concepts, or some other issue in the study of media.
Over the course of the semester, you will be invited to respond to the podcasts making online posts to this blog, comment of the observations of your peers, and you will create your own podcasts that will be broadcast via this classroom blog.
We’ll need to create a logo for inawhiteroomRadio so feel free to draw, paint, photograph images and submit them for consideration.
Until next time, remember, “the medium is the message”. (Marshall McLuhan)
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