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Carleton University
Communication Studies
COMM 1101

th Sep 10 Media – method to communicate facts, opinions, and ideas to masses - controlled way of keeping people informed about local and word wide news - medium of communication - used to send a message (and receive, and use and engage with) - MASS - How we perceive everything around us, what’s give to us, what’s presented, who’s presenting it, or interpretations of it - “Technology determines and changes what we do to communicate” - Raymond Williams 1921-1988 - major contributor to study of media and communications - “Keywords” in slides - “The medium is the message” – Marshall McLuhan - whatever the message is, the medium will change to what they want you to see - the producer has a specific message - Consider who, why, where, intentions plus what we see. th Sep 17 Representation > Meaning > signification Represent reality - representation – the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us - the brain develops relationship between word, meaning, and image - we construct the meaning of things through the process of representing them - Context: - time – place – biography – history - Conventions: technological conventions (conventions of the medium), Aesthetic conventions (light, colour, style, framing), social conventions (education) - Semiotics – the study of signs - Charles Sanders Peirce - Ferdinand de Saussure - Roland Barthes - Sign = signifier + signified [Ferdinand de Saussure] - Polysemy – poly = many – semy = sign - Denotation/connotation [Roland Barthes] - Denotation: literal, obvious meaning - Connotation: Social, cultural meaning - Ideology – the broad but indispensable shared sets of values and beliefs through which individuals live out their complex relations in a range of social networks - not based on facts - Key Terms on slides - What is Media? – include representation into media – we live in a world of communication th Sep 24 Marshall McLuhan on media: - How can we understand it, when we are surrounded by it? We don’t have an anti-environment in which we can observe it. How does > 1. The “text” itself 2. Rules (codes) and conventions – we need to decode in order to understand the image 3. Context - we have Agency – we are agents of the meanings we make - 3 ways of being Active Audiences - 3 collective action – we can go out and protest media, monitor media - disagree with media - Passive audience? - uploading homemade video - updating Facebook - sending a photo of a protest to a newspaper - tweeting a message via twitter - Text a friend - Passive audience – does not exist Different explanations of Media effects a) Hypodermic needle model > - Payne fund studies 1930’s – Herbert Blumer “children must be saved from movies” – moral undertones – censorship – debunked b) Limited effects model > - people likely to panic when law education –people communicated with each other before leaving homes – the media has some effect but its limited c) Uses and gratification model > Not “what effects does it has on us” But “why do we use the media” – people are not used by the media: they use media to gratify various desires. d) Agenda Setting> - when jaws came out – more shark attacks on news - The media may not tell us what to think, but they do tell us what to think about. e) Cultivation effect > “The mean – world syndrome” Thin King about active audiences Audiences make multiple meanings = polysemy Producers meaning – intended or “preferred” meaning Viewers meaning “preferred/dominant” vs. “negotiated” vs. “oppositional” reading Encoding/decoding 1. dominant reading 2. negotiated reading 3. oppositional reading Oct 1 st th 19 century - audience spoken to through articles as consumers - Hope to not offend anyone. No political news, mentioned no favourable side. - it became harder to distinguish between the reporter and advertisers Present – ad’s still everywhere - do advertisers don’t care about poor people - poor consumers don’t buy advertising products - we have so much more choice, you can choose where you go - Narrowcasting – sending signals to a specialized or fragmented audience - Not about selling your products, providing media services. It’s about selling you to advertisers. - product placement > branded entertainment - What happens to active audience? - movie about product placement with money from product placements th Consumer culture Oct 15 Vocab lists on slides  advertisers are dominant source of revenue  self censorship by journalists  Agenda setting  a lot of news geared towards audiences advertisers like  readers as consumers – spoken to more as a consumer than reader Target article:  they give code to consumer, follow purchases, they can get numerous amounts of information to profile you on - consuming and analyzing information on consumers - consumer society - capitalist society – exchange of goods – producing more goods then needed for survival - Choice- do we need so many different products of the same thing? – supposed to define personal interest – choices are made by you - planned obsolesce: products designed to fail – built temporarily - Construction of identity – identity through consumption Consumer society - capitalist society - choice - planned obsolescence - identity through consumption th The culture of Journalism: Making the News Oct 29 Key themes of assignment: - What is journalism? – What is news? - the work that professional journalists do for media - the application of professional standards to communicating information - gathering and communicating stories of public interest Journalism -CBC nightly news - You film a robbery on your phone and send it in to a news station – crowdsourcing? - Students in Egypt post information on Facebook about Public demonstrations in Cairo - “Journalism cannot be defined by the technologies used to produce or distribute it, who produces it, or the techniques used to produce it; rather, journalism is defined by the function that news plays in people’s lives.” “The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing.” • Kovach and Rosenstiel 2007 (see Journalism reading p. 242) - What would happen if we had no news? - No awareness of what’s going on in society - not as much advertising - no sense of community - no conversation - Lack of trust? - Lack of controversy/perspective - Democracy? The function of news – news is about telling stories - it creates things in common - mythmaking – no sense of falsehood - sense of identity – CBC creating who we are as Canadian – huge role Key function of journalism – journalism is to provide citizens with the info they need to be free and self- governing Journalism’s democratic function: The ideal vs. everyday life - Autonomy – freedom independent - Public service - Objectivity - Verification – we should believe what we read- verifying information - Gatekeeping – establishment – metaphorical gate – filters news you receive –journalists have skill – filters news of greater importance to go through the reality? – these news outlets are questioned - Can news outlets that depend on advertising and broad circulation for profit sustain the objective of democratic participation? - Can these news outlets ad equality represent diversity in society so that all citizens have a voice? Belarus and press freedom - state monopoly on domestic broadcast media - smaller media outlets are tightly restricted - government denies accreditation - government can close media outlets for coverage that “threatens the interests of the state” - political intimidation - Government monitors citizens Internet usage. The rise of digital journalism - Online news sites don’t have enough ads - struggling to make money - no classifieds - there is a lot of online competition - Huffington Post – largest online Canadian news site - writers for Huffington post – not professional journalists – not paid - people who are in some form connected to articles - advertising on Huffington post - links to other sites Online News a) The “link economy” – links provide more value – different perspective b) Reader comments – add to value of story – provides another perspective – active audience? c) Crowdsourcing – brings a perspective that reporters don’t – know information that reporters don’t –they get footage from you – but write story d) Blogging – own information under organization - Where is the money? - figurative wall – paid subscriptions - basic services – free - premium service – pay - Paywall – content freemium service – pay what you want – content Search engine optimization (SEO) - best results - point – may be best site – site they want you to see - If we aren’t committed to free democratic press – we lose some things in the process Misrepresentation – Underrepresentation - diversity – gender diversity - stereotypes - only represented when it had to do with them (women in home) - Calendar journalism – ethic group holidays – mentioned only when close to their holidays th Who owns the Media? Nov 5 Key questions - Who is the media for? - Who owns the media? - How are media industries structured? - Why does it matter? Media is supposed to serve - media owners -advertisers -audiences -media employees -share holders - Forms of media ownership – private – commercial ownership Public ownership - to the public interest, ultimate goal was to serve the public, mass media used for social goals - It’s about making money, to make money satisfies the shareholders, and lower operating costs for a higher revenue. Not priority – satisfying public interest. - the illusion of choice – media has never been more consolida
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