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Lecture 4

Week 4 Lecture 1.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Communication Studies
Mark Hayward

th Week 4 Lecture 1 – October 5 2012 From Audiences to Users Final Exam: Thursday, December 6 , 2012 / 7pm Overview Explore the changing ways that media is thought about, by researchers, by the media industry and by the government: - What is an audience? - Audience studies and theories of attention - Changing media, nomadic audiences - Users, prosumers… Review We worked through trends in media convergence and the concentration of media audiences: - Cultural industries: between commodities and communities - Forms of convergence (technological, economic, social creative, global) o Mainly focused on first two o Technological, digital and coding become the way most media is communicated o Economic convergence linked to concentration of ownership - Concentration of ownership o Vertical and horizontal integration o Justification and dangers of allowing concentration What is an Audience? Audiences are not given, but are social constructs: - Roots of the term come from being within hearing, but modern audiences are rarely in the same place - Conceptions of audiences are often grounded in particular context (industry, government, scholarly research) - Mass media audiences are theoretical constructs as much empirical realities o Cannot see audiences, only imagine Audiences change with media, also different context pay attention to different ways that people use and consume media: - Government: audiences as citizens, members of the nation, bearers of collective and individual rights o Sees audience as groups of citizens, that have rights, need to be educated, need to be protected o Manifested by policies they create - Industry: audiences as receptive consumers, of media or other commodities o As a consumer - Research: audiences as a social formation, a way of describing how people behave in relation to media Audience studies and attention What effect do media have on audiences? Several ways to answer: o First, this is fundamentally a question about attention and individua
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