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Mr Smith

G325

Audience – G325

Question 1b G325

Name - Nat Clarke

Question 1b

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Audience – OCR G325 Question 1b
In covering this topic you need to be aware of a broad shift from a perception of a ‘mass
audience’ to one which recognises that, whatever the size of audience, it is made up of
individuals. Along with this altered view is a shift in emphasis from what the media do to
the audience to an acceptance that audiences bring many different approaches to the media
with which they engage.
In its earliest form audience theory believed that an audience was a mass, Blumer set out 4
stages
First, its membership may come from all walks of life, and from all distinguishable social
strata; it may include people of different class position, of different vocation, of different
cultural attainment, and of different wealth. .....
Secondly, the mass is an anonymous group, or more exactly is composed of anonymous
individuals [Blumer means anonymous in the sense that unlike the citizens of earlier
communities, the people who are members of the mass audience for the media do not know
each other].
Third, there exists little interaction or change of experience between members of the mass.
They are usually physically separated from one another, and, being anonymous, do not have
the opportunity to mill as do members of the crowd.
Fourth, the mass is very loosely organised and is not able to act with the unity of a crowd.
Task 1
1. Do you think the audiences for most media texts do come “from all walks of life” or
do different kinds of people watch very different kinds of programme? Are there any
examples of media texts that you can think of that do seem to have audiences of all
kinds of people?
I believe that there are different audience types for each type of media, and therefore that is
why there are a diverse range on mediums with in the media, to cater for all kinds of people.
A particular taste in a type of media could be influenced by opinion, cultural and fashion
factors.
In my opinion I believe there are no examples of text that can accommodate all types of
audience.
2. How much of your media experience occurs when you are on your own and how
much when you are with others?
Media influence occurs in many different ways on different mediums. For example, my own
personal experiences of media whether TV, film or music are streamed over the internet.
This however could be consumed by the audience via TV or Radio.

3. Think back to your genre work, how is your media experienced?
The genre of my video is consumed by the audience on different mediums.
YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
If it was to become famous as a professional video this then may be on TV channels.

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

4. Are there any ways in which you share your experiences of the media with other
people who weren’t around when you experienced the text? List as many ways as you
share experiences (e.g. msn etc)
- YouTube
- Instagram
- Internet Streaming
- Social Media

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

The effects/hypodermic model
The original model for audience was the effects/hypodermic model which stressed
the effects of the mass media on their audiences. This model owes much to the
supposed power of the mass media - in particular film - to inject their audiences with
ideas and meanings. Such was the thinking behind much of the Nazi propaganda
that was evident in Triumph of the Will and similar films. It is worth noting that
totalitarian states and dictatorships are similar in their desire to have complete
control over the media, usually in the belief that strict regulation of the media will help
in controlling entire populations. The effects model has several variants and despite
the fact that it is an outdated model it continues to exert influence in present debates
about censorship and control in the media.
Task 2
Can you think of any examples where the media have been seen to influence
public behaviour or have been blamed for an individual’s behaviour?
WWI – Encouraging people to enrol in the army and the navy
Donation adverts
Charity released singles – for example the winners single on X Factor give
proportions of the profit to charity
Is this influence always negative?
Not always negative, however these organisations tend to use the media to their
advantage to scam as much money from the consumer as they can.

What effect do you hope that your text has on an audience?
A positive effect with regards to them being able to connect with the narrative the
video exhibits.

What would be the incorrect effect and why might this happen with your text?
The incorrect effect would be for the video to create a misinterpretation of the
narrative. For example, the 50 Shades Of Grey film has been criticised for giving off
the impression that violence and mistreating people is acceptable.

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

The Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School developed concerns about the power which modern mass media had
to propagandise on behalf of fascism. This has evolved over time to become similar to the
effects model albeit a less theoretical variant. This has developed in response to the violent
content of certain TV programmes, so far from controlling people the media is bringing about
societies moral downfall. Some of the moral watchdogs, or the 'moral majority' as they styled
themselves, took issue with TV output that was deemed to be explicitly sexual, too violent or
in other ways offensive. Their concerns were for those vulnerable members of the population
who could be corrupted as a result of such material. Perhaps the best known of these
groups in the UK was the National Viewers and Listeners Association (Mary Whitehouse)
which argued that TV was a direct cause of deviant behaviour, especially among the young.
The problems with the effects model, in whatever form, have to do with its roots in
behaviourist psychology. The behaviourist explanation of human behaviour (Skinner and
Pavlov) looks increasingly hard to justify as we have come to develop a fuller understanding
of the complexities of human behaviour, which is not predictable nor is it controllable. There
are also the difficulties of linking cause and effect in terms of how we engage with media
texts. The large number of studies that have been done do not prove the case conclusively
either way. These range from the Walters and Bandura experiments to studies that count
incidents of violence on TV. Other criticisms of this model centre on the stress that it places
on the audience as passive, whereas newer models suggest that the audience is much
more active than was initially supposed. This model, it seems, is something of an outdated
view of audiences but it is constantly revived by politicians and social commentators when
moral panics are generated around issues such as 'video nasties' and their influence on
children (e.g. the Bulger case) or computer games allegedly damaging literacy skills or
contributing to violent behaviour (e.g. the Grand Theft Auto or Man Hunt computer games).
Such concerns often try to scapegoat parts of media output as if these were the sole
relevant factor in anti-social behaviour. This approach ignores the other factors that work as
a mix to influence behaviour i.e. home, school, peers and social interaction.
Task 3
You have two weeks to prepare a presentation on ‘The Frankfurt School/Hypodermic
Model’ in relation to a media text of your choice.
You must select a text which has featured in the media as a source for wrong and
provide us with examples.
You must find examples from print and moving image which relate to this and how it
has influenced public behaviour.
You must find arguments for an against this model from the press.
You must include your own opinion

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Uses and gratifications
A more recent model of audience is that of uses and gratifications, which suggests that there
is a highly active audience making use of the media for a range of purposes designed to
satisfy needs such as entertainment, information and identification. In this model the
individual has the power and they select the media texts that best suit their needs and their
attempts to satisfy those needs. The psychological basis for this model is the hierarchy of
needs identified by Maslow. Among the chief exponents of this model are McQuail and
Katz.
The main areas that are identified in this model are:
a) the need for information about our geographical and social world news and dra
b) the need for identity, by using characters and personalities to define our sense of self
and social behaviour film celeb
c) the need for social interaction through experiencing the relationships and interaction of
others soap sitcom
d) the need for diversion by using the media for purposes of play and entertainment. game
show and q

Task 4
Place the following genres into their correct category.
The News, EastEnders, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Friends, Horizon, Cribs, Qi, The
Bill, Holyoaks, Life On Mars, I’m A Celebrity..., House, Escape To The Country, X Factor,
Coronation Street,

Information

Identity

Social Interaction

Diversion

The News
Escape To The
Country

TOWIE
Made in Chelsea

Hollyoaks
Coronation Street
Friends
Horizon
Cribs
Qi
Life on Mars

I’m a Celebrity
X Factor
Who Wants To Be A
Millionaire

Which of the above programmes might be guilty of employing the ‘Hypodermic
Model’ and which therefore might also reflect Blumer’s views on audience?

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

The active audience
More recent developments still suggest that there is a decoding process going on among the
active audience who are not simply using the media for gratification purposes. Morley's view
of dominant, negotiated and oppositional readings of texts is a semiological approach
because it recognises the importance of the analysis of signs, particularly visual signs, that
shape so much of modern media output. In this model, at its simplest level, the audience
accept or agree with the encoded meanings, they accept and refine parts of the text's
meanings or they are aware of the dominant meaning of the text but reject it for cultural,
political or ideological reasons.
Preferred/dominant reading
The preferred reading is the reading media producers hope will take from the text. For
example, an advertisement for a McDonald’s Big Mac is intended to encourage feelings of
hunger and a desire to buy a McDonald’s. Assuming the majority of the audience share this
reaction then this is also the dominant reading.
Oppositional reading
Audience members from outside the target audience may reject the preferred reading,
receiving their own alternative message. The health-conscious, anti-globalisation
campaigners and vegetarians will most likely respond to the McDonald’s advert with
frustration and annoyance.
Negotiated reading
The ‘third way’ is one in which audiences acknowledge the preferred reading, but modify it to
suit their own values and opinions. A negotiated response to the McDonald’s advert might be
“I love Big Macs – but one a month is enough as they aren’t good for me.”

Task 5
Look at this image below and identify the preferred/dominant reading, oppositional reading
and negotiated reading. It may be easier to assume what you, your siblings and your parents
might think of it.
Preferred

Oppositional

Gives a girl a
desire for their
body

“It’s too
revealing”

Inspires girls to
have the same
hair style and /
or colour

“They are a bad
influence on
society”
Negotiated
“They look
good in those
clothes but I
wouldn’t wear
them”

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Mode of address
Still in line with the active audience idea is the concept of mode of address. This refers to the
way that a text speaks to us in a style that encourages us to identify with the text because it
is 'our' kind of text. For example Friends is intended for a young audience because of the
way it uses music and the opening credits to develop a sense of fun, energy and enthusiasm
that the perceived audience can identify with. This does not mean that other groups are
excluded, merely that the dominant mode of address is targeted at the young. Mode of
address can even be applied to entire outputs, as in the case of Channel Four which works
hard to form a style of address aimed at an audience which is informed, articulate and in
some ways a specialised one. Newspapers, too, often construct their presentation to reflect
what they imagine is the identity of their typical readers.
Task 6
Select two magazines, one from column A and one from column B and compare the mode of
address they have. Print off a front cover for each and annotate them, stick them beneath
this table and annotate them highlight all their ‘signs’.
A
Nuts
FHM
Stuff
Esquire
Time
NME

Text A

B
Cosmopolitan
Heat
Hello
Good Housekeeping
Elle
Grazia

Text B

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Task 7
Now take stills/front covers from your own text. Identify the modes of address that they have
and how this might appeal to an audience Try and select as many as possible. You should
include preferred, dominant reading etc. Think back to genre work and see what generic
signs you have used.

The NME Magazine addresses the main
article of Two Door Cinema club as “The
Biggest New Band On The Planet” which
draws attention of the consumer to the
product.

The mode of address on this magazine
cover focuses on women due to the colour
and image. The bright pink bold writing
highlights a main topic which would be
classified as ‘gossip’ which associated with
women.

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Ethnographic model
The latest research into audience has resulted in an ethnographic model, which
means that the researcher enters into the culture of the group and uses questions
and interviews to try to understand media engagement from the perspective of the
group. What seems to be emerging from this work is
a) the focus on the domestic context of reception of media texts
b) the element of cultural competence, and finally
c) technologies.
The first of these stresses the fact that engagement with the media is often
structured by the domestic environment because of the domestication of
entertainment and leisure. It appears that the home is not a free space and there
are issues about finance for purchase of media goods, control of the remote, the
gendered nature of watching TV and the 'flow' of TV that fits alongside or within a set
of domestic relationships. So TV viewing may not be the concentrated, analytical
business that some theorists suggest.
The second area is best understood in terms of texts that can be identified as
belonging to a genre that has gender appeal. For example, soaps are usually seen
to have a strong female bias in viewing audience. There is a selection of
competencies that are brought to such texts so knowing about cliff-hangers; the role
of the matriarch or the fluid nature of character relationships simply adds to the
pleasures associated with the text. Think about the texts that you enjoy and even
though you know how a text will be shaped or how it will end these are not barriers to
your enjoyment of that text. Competencies even include the very expectations that
you have for the text. The male preference for news and more factual forms can be
seen as a feature of cultural competence because men occupy more public space
than domestic space and therefore feel the need to be aware of the public worlds
reflected in such texts.
The third area identified relates to the way we engage with the hardware in order to
enjoy the output of the media. There seems to be a strong gender divide here with
computers and complex technology fitting into the category of 'boys’ toys'. If present
trends in technology continue then there is a real danger that just as our society is
dividing along lines of information-rich and information-poor then there will be a
further demarcation along gender lines. This explains why schools and TV
programmes need to present positive gender representations and good practice that
supports females and technological expertise. You will note that many of the lifestyle
programmes that are on TV use females in less traditional roles as a way of
redressing the balance (think Suzie Perry on the ‘Gadget Show’).
Overall the shift in the models for audience has gone from mass audience to
individual viewer with stress on the active audience rather than the passive model.
The level of activity in the implied audience is related to the uses, pleasures, cultural
competence, situation and available technology for the particular audience.

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Task 8.
Using the ethnographic model (try and separate it into the three areas highlighted)
evaluate your own text. Have you inadvertently prevented certain ‘audiences’ from
accessing your text? Write your response in the space provided below.
With regards to the domestication of media and the environment, in terms of my product it is
limited. By this, my product has only been marketed to the consumer via YouTube. This
means that it limits the audience and creates a more niche market, as younger generations
will be the ones to view it.
My product would be more influenced towards a female consumerism. This would be due to
the concept of contemporary dance which I incorporated which would decrease the
audience. As well as this, the focus and appreciation of aesthetic is more orientated around
females, and therefore will decrease the male viewership. This links with the narrative, and
how a love hate relationship between couple’s will appeal more to a teen feminine audience.
There is a part within my video which gives the audience the perception that the male in the
video becomes violent towards the female through the art of dance. This means that it gives
the audience a negative perception of the character which therefore means that it’s not
equal. However it could be argued that this act through dance demonstrates that women can
defend themselves and therefore she isn’t in any way of less superiority than the male figure
which represents equality.

Mr Smith

G325

Question 1b

Test on Audience – Simple fact retention.
1 Another name for the effects model? 2
2 What were the concerns of the Frankfurt School in a) Europe and later in b)
America? 10
3 What are moral watchdogs? 4
4 What does NVLA stand for? 4
5 What kind of psychology is the effects model based on? 10
6 What is the basic problem with the effects model as a way of explaining anti- social
or deviant behaviour? 12
7 Who still makes use of the effects model? 4
8 What recent cases have cited this model? 12
9 What kind of general perceptions are attributed to the effects model? 6
10 What kind of psychology is the uses and gratifications model based on? 8
11 What four areas are identified in this model? 16
12 What does Morley have to say about the way we read texts? 12
13 Explain 'mode of address' with examples. 15
14 What is meant by the ethnographic study of audience? 6
15 What do we mean by the 'domestic context of reception of media texts'? 8
16 How can we describe some texts as female and others as male? Refer to soaps
and news. 8
17 Is technological expertise a relevant factor in our consideration of the way we
understand audiences in relation to certain texts? 8
18 What is the main shift in emphasis from the effects model to more modern views
of audience? 5
Total marks 150