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SOC309H5 (17)
Lecture

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC309H5
Professor
Ivanka Knezevic
Semester
Fall

Description
September 13, 2012 Mass Media • Traditional definition: platforms for engaging in identical, one-way comm w/ a mass audience o The message received by users is identical o Communication goes in one-way, there is very little or no communication back o Audience’s only choice is to receive the info or not, nothing else  Content, organization, etc o The fact that the audience is so large and is unknown to the producer is a problem for the producer o Comm by traditional forms of mass media was one-way; feedback was limited b/c it was difficult • Updated def’n: comm conveyances used by mass users o Doesn’t necessarily be broadcasting one-way comm to an unknown audience o Two-way comm (sender  receiver) • New info and comm techs (ICTs) lower the cost of feedback (eg. Email vs letter) o Not cost in terms of money  Cost in terms of effort and time  ICTs make it very easy and quick to provide feedback • What effects does this have? o Producer has more info about audience’s interests  more commercial success o Org has given up a bit of control to the audience  Away for mass media comm companies to make more money • Interactivity tools were introduced to keep audience interested enough to sit through commercials • Elements of mass media comm: o Production  content  reception o (Sender  message  receiver)  Production • Everything that happens in an org to prepare the content  Content • The message itself  Reception • What happens when you receive the content • Do you agree/disagree, emotional, etc? • Will you continue to buy the same newspaper, etc? • Mass Media and Society o This relationship is reciprocal o Mass media affect society: frame social phenomena, inform, alter values, create consensus  The mass media you’re exposed to influence you  Moral panic • Cannot create moral panic w/o mass media  To frame a phenomenon: to pick some of the characteristics and say those are the most imp and forget about the rest  Create consensus • There is consensus among all Canadians on certain values that we all agree on o Ex. Democracy, multiculturalism o Social factors affect production, content, and reception/interpretation  Society is a frame for mass media  Production: legal requirements to start a newspaper, etc in CDA • Also affects ownership of mass media comm (privately owned, publicly owned)  Content: mass media are very concerned to support the values and opinions we already have, because they want us to buy  Reception/interpretation: diff audiences receive/interpret media differently • Models of Communication o Sociology of mass media comm fosters theoretical and methodological pluralism o Diff models emphasize diff elements of comm o Because of this, research has gone in several diff directions o Various models are more heuristically useful for various types of comm/situations o How models differ  Diff ideas of what is happening to the sender and receiver o Transmission Model  Harold Laswell  The function of communication is instrumental: transmission of info  Sender: transfer of meaning • Sender has a particular message that they want to transfer  Receiver: cognitive processing • Everybody in the audience is trying to understand the info • The one correct way to understand the info in the way sender intends it • Looks at how much info we take from the [article], not how we interpret it  Who (producer) says what (content) in what channel (tv, radio, etc) to whom (audience) with what effect? (Degree of understanding)  Channel is important b/c people understand to differing degrees depending on what channel they use to receive the information  Research: content and effects, propaganda o Ritual Model  James Carey  The function of comm is rep’ing and maintaining common beliefs/values • No matter what content we’re receiving/watching, the purpose of that comm is to rep and reinforce common beliefs of our society  Sender: performance  Receiver: participation, sharing  More concerned w/ audience effect than with production or content  Research: art, religion, public ceremonies o Publicity Model  The function of comm is to catch and hold the public’s attention in order to gain revenue  Doesn’t care about the content at all, it’s all about publicity  Sender: competitive display  Receiver: spectatorship  Research: advertising, agenda setting o Reception Model  Stuart Hall  Function of comm may be significantly influenced by the receiver  Sender: preferential encoding • There are as many diff encodings as there are people in the audience • Symbolic interactionism o Construction of meaning (understanding) • Doesn’t matter what the sender wants to do, b/c whatever they produce will be influenced by the receiver, who all interpret it differently o No matter what way the sender gives the message, you will understand it in your own way  Receiver: differential decoding/construction of meaning  Meaning is constructed by the reader, not the sender  ‘Uses and Gratifications’approach: the receiver uses mass media content to satisfy needs, which may or may not be successfully gratified • you only watch or read certain media because it is of use to you  Research: interpretation, media effects  Hall’s later work: moral panic theory September 20, 2012 • Media Ownership and Control o Much sociology of mass media concentrates on effects on an audience o Content is assumed to influence media effects directly. The influence of production is indirect. o “Production of Culture” perspective  Content is determined by the production process  Political Economy Perspective: mass media organizations – and the content they produce – are guided by the profit motive  Organization Perspective: content is influenced by the structure of the mass media organization and its relationship with other organizations • Six Facet Model of the Production Nexus: o Technology o Law and regulation  ‘How much sex/violence are we going to have in the movie?’ o Industry structure (number, size, relationships of organizations)  Ex. How many companies competing to make the same product, etc o Organizational structure o Occupational career o Market  These two perspectives are not opposites, they can be used together as well o The nature of the message: is the content the message, or is the medium the message?  “The Medium is the Message” • Most research assumes that content is the most powerful influence o reception • McLuhan argued that the medium is the message • The dom media in a society have a profound effect on human consciousness • Their properties create habits of thought (perceptions of time and space, habit of logical thinking…) o Being used to getting all your info and pleasure from reading teaches you to think in a certain way, as opposed to being used to getting it from TV, which teaches you to think in a diff way • Print vs. visual media o Text teaches you that you have to concentrate to get the info o Visual media don’t teach logical thinking b/c they speak to you in images o Content and Other MediaAttributes  Eveland (2003): under McLuhan’s influence  Mass media effects are caused by content and other characteristics of a medium  All media (old and new) can be analyzed for: • Interactivity (responsiveness to user’s previous choices) • Structure (linear or non-linear) • Channel (visual, acoustic, both, or other…) • Textuality (prevalence of textual info) o Some channels may be more textual than others (news channels, etc) • Content (info, persuasion, violence, sex) • Short Paper Assignment o Deregulation refers to deregulation of ownership o Summary and then reaction (is he right or wrong?)  First discuss advantages and good points  Then summarize another a good point (he’s also right in saying that for these reasons)  After positives, turn to disadvantages/weaknesses and do the same • He writes that… I think he’s wrong b/c … • Media Ownership o Acentral topic in research on media production a. Changes in media ownership and their consequences for media content i. Monopolization and oligopolization: 1. Decrease quality and higher prices – monopoly rent b. Regulation of media ownership • Forms of Ownership Concentration o Horizontal Concentration (eg. Canadian Press until 2000; Clear Channel) o Vertical Integration (eg. Sony, Disney) o Cross-Media Ownership (consolidation, synergy) (traditionallyAmerican media, increasingly CDN media); o Serious effects if holdings are in the same local markets o Conglomerates (own media and non-media holdings) (eg Disney, Rogers communications) • The largest cross-media companies o Time Warner (US) o Walt Disney Company (US) o News Corporation (US) o Vivendi (France) o Sony (Japan) o Bertelsmann (Germany) o Also: Clear Channel, Viacom, Sun-West Media • The largest media companies in Canada: o Postmedia Network o Rogers o CTV Globemedia o Shaw Media September 27, 2012 • Media and Politics: The News o Effects of Ownership Concentration on Production and Content  Direct editorial influence of owners  Influence of advertisers • Steinem • “Revenue split” – revenue from advertising: newspapers 80%, magazines 50%, broadcast television 100%, cable television 40%, internet 25%  Conflict between business criteria and journalistic ethics • How to get an exclusive talk-show guest? • Payment to news sources is considered unethical  Decreased investment in reporting (use of press services and freelancers; decrease in use of correspondents and staff reporters; “special correspondents”) • Freelancers jump from topic to topic to survive; they don’t know the area like staff reporters do • Beat is a topical area that a journalist specializes in and mostly reports in that area o Media Regulation • Effects of Changes in Production on Content o Decreased Quality  Proportion of political news inAmerican TV news broadcast has been falling in the last 10 years  All major TV networks have closed heir foreign bureaus in the last 15 years o Lack of local news  Example: Canadian newspapers in the last 20 years  If the same company owns a lot of local papers, they will decrease investment in local reporters or they will have a central newsroom from which all the newspapers will get their news o Homogenization of non-local content • Ideologies of Mass Media o Ideology – systems of values and beliefs o Influence of regulation of ownership  Libertarian: government shouldn’t interfere with free exchange of ideas  Excludes public/state ownership of the media  American tradition  They believe this can only happen if the media is privatized o Public-Service: information in the media is a public good. Governmental duty to regulate media in the public interest  British tradition o Canada combines the two models  Eg. Content regulations favour Canadian content in broadcasting • Regulation of media ownership in the US o Telecommunications Act (1996) removed barriers to cross-media ownership within local markets and to monopolization within a medium o Rationale: free competition would lead to better content o Outcome: elimination of local news and other local content o Allowed inc concentration of cross-media ownership in a local market  Before this, a company was allowed to own one of each media  After this, the number of stations the same company can own increased o Allowed the same company to own larger and larger number of the same outlets across the US (more tv, more radio or more newspaper outlets) o Amendments in 2003:  Further increase in a number of TV stations a company could own (up to 45% of households in the USA);  Further cross-ownership (up to 1 daily newspaper, 3 TV stations, 8 radio stations and a cable system in a local market) o Unpublished FCC report leaked by senator Barbara Boxer in 2006: local ownership of TV station increases the length of news broadcasts and the length of local news • Regulation of Media Content in the US o Libertarian model is applied to the press, only pa
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