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Concept of Active Audience

Concept of Active Audience



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Published by Lang Mensilang

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Published by: Lang Mensilang on Jul 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Definition of the Concept
Lot of theory that has been discussed earlier in this class focuses on passiveaudience that suggests that people are easily influenced by the media. While activeaudience concept can be viewed as a theory that focuses on assessing what people dowith media. This concept suggests that people make more active decisions about how touse the media (Littlejohn, 1999). For that reason, this concept can be referred to asaudience-centered rather than source dominated. Baran and Davis (2006) suggested thatthis concept should be looked under micro level perspective rather than macro level perspective. These ideas of audience are associated with various theories of mediaeffects. The powerful effects theories tend to be based on passive audience, whereas theminimal effect theories are based more on an active audience.
Development of the Concept
During the 1970s and 1980s, more researchers became increasingly focused onmedia audience. Most of them focus to gain more useful understanding of what people dowith the media in their daily lives. As this research develop, new and less pessimisticconceptualization of audience began to develop. Empirical researcher start to reexaminedlimited-effect assumption about audience and argued that people were not as passive asthese effects theory assumed (Baran & Davis, 2006). Their assumption were supported by
cultural studies researcher while conducting their owned audience research find out thatthe powers of elites to manipulate audiences were not as great as had been assumed byearlier theorist.The possibility of responsible audience activity was never totally ignored in earlymedia research, but much of it gave audience insufficient credit for selection,interpretation, and use of media content. The early development of the audience centeredtheories was hampered by confusion about the ideas of function and functionalism and bymethodological and theoretical disputes.
Main Concept
Media AudienceMedia audience is a group of people who participate in an experience or encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music or academics in any medium. Audiencemembers participate in different ways in different kinds of art; some events invite overtaudience participation and others allowing only modest clapping and criticism andreception. Media audiences are studied by academics in media audience studies.Audience theory also offers scholarly insight into audiences in general. Early researchinto media audiences was dominated by the debate about 'media effects', in particular thelink between screen violence and real-life aggression. Several moral panics fuelled theclaims, such as the incorrect presumptions that
had influenced Michael RobertRyan to commit the Hungerford massacre, and that
Child's Play 3
had motivated the
killers of James Bulger In the 1990s, David Gauntlett published critiques on media'effects', most notably the "Ten things wrong with the media effects model" articleActive audience CharacteristicFrank Biocca (as cited in Littlejohn, 1999) discussed five characteristic of theactive audience implied by the theorist in this genre. The first is selectivity. Activeaudiences are considered to be selective in the media they choose to use. The secondcharacteristic is utilitarianism. Active audience are said to use media to meet particular need and goals. The third is intentionality, which implies the purposeful use of mediacontent. The fourth characteristic is involvement, or effort. Here audiences are activelyattending, thinking about, and using the media. The last characteristic is impervious toinfluence, or not very easily persuaded by the media alone.
Active Audience Model
These models are based on a simple idea-that no text has one meaning. Themeaning has to be extracted (decoded) by the receiver. In other words the transmissionmodel of communication is rejected and is replaced with the idea that reality is sociallyconstructed. As receivers we are constantly trying to make sense of information wereceive-the media message does not have a monopoly on meaning. Texts are viewed as polysemic (have multiple meanings). A text may have a preferred reading – the meaningintended by the person producing it but that meaning can be undermined when decoded by the audience. The earliest attempt to try and account for an active audience is uses

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