Comm 1101 – 24 Sep Lecture th
It is difficult to understand media – we might just need to get away from it in order to
understand it (Marshall McLuhan fish metaphor)
How does representation (media) create meaning about the world around us?
1) The text itself – we critically read and analyze the text
2) Rules (codes) & conventions – type of aesthetics, wording, medium used etc.
3) Context in which the media is made, whether it’s social, historical etc.
4) Audience – media doesn’t matter unless there is an audience to view it
Type of audience – occupation, ethnicity, sex, age.
We are active audiences who construct meaning from the media – we have agency
(see below). We aren’t passive; we are intelligent and autonomous.
We have the power to:
• Upload a homemade video
• Update Facebook and twitter statuses and messages
• Protest media
• Text and discuss it with others
Types of media effects:
1) Hypodermic needle model/magic bullet theory (debunked):
• Emerged somewhere between the 1930’s & 40’s
• Compares media to a needle which is injected directly into our bloodstream
• Audience is assumed to be passive
• Payne Fund Studies (1930s)
• Moral undertones
• Censorship was important
• Even now, some people believe in it
2) Hadley Cantril & the Limited Effects Model: • Refer to “The War of the Worlds” book by H.G. Wells (October 1938)
• Fake Radio “War” (31 October, 1938)
• After listening to upcoming news of an invasion from Mars, not all people
were scared immediately –