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Audience theories:

However Gerbner (1956) suggested that messages do not just flow from the text to the audience,
but instead there is another step in the process as audiences discuss the ideas they acquire from the
media with each other. They may even debate and challenge the values and ideologies that the
media conveys.

Consumption theories:

Both Blumler and Katz (1974) and McQuail (1997) suggest a Uses and Gratifications model for
summarising why audiences consume texts (more on p. 66 of A2 Media Studies book)

Shaun Moore (1998) argued that media texts often allow audiences to perceive themselves as part
of an imagined community, where the audience feel that they have something in common with
other imagined members of the audience.


The Global Economy

Many products and services fulfil basic human needs and wants (Maslow again) and there seems to
be no good reason why a fizzy drink that sells successfully in Manchester won't be equally successful
in Melbourne. This means that, within the context of a global marketplace, the company
manufacturing the drink in England could sell it in Australia. However, they need the resources
necessary for production and distribution, and they also need to inform their target market about
their product. Only very large and ambitious companies can do this (Coca-Cola, Pepsi) and they take
advantage of their ability to do so. It is only the successful, global companies that get their fizzy drink
into both fridges (and they probably taste slightly different, being manufactured at different bottling
plants). But is advertising that persuades the consumer to buy on both continents. Transnational
companies rely heavily on advertising to communicate a consistent message to their market.

Advertising's role in all this is complex. Advertising is the channel through which manufacturers
communicate with consumers, and this channel becomes doubly important when the manufacturer
is from one continent and culture and the consumer is from another. Advertising can on one hand,
be viewed as the evil agent of globalisation, steamrollering local values and ideals with meaningless
global brand identities. On the other hand, it can be seen as route through which products are made
relevant to regional markets, and through which global brands are given local identity and

And the Role of the Internet?

Until the advent of the Internet in the early 1990s, advertising did not have a truly global, non-time-
specific medium. The World Wide Web provides 24/7 access to promotional material for interested
audience, and as such, has given a new boost to advertising as an industry. The jury is still out on
web-based advertising - after all, a "click rate" of less than 1% on banner ads (when did you last click
on one?) suggests that the audience is not really getting the message. However, as Bill Gates
confidently predicted back in 1996, virtually all print ads you see nowadays contain a URL where
consumers can find out more. This seems to be the key role of the internet - as a provider of product
information. The problem is getting consumers to visit your site in the first place, and traditional
advertising is increasingly acting as a teaser for the website.

The Internet is seen by many as an evil tool of globalisation, particularly in its present form, where it
is more and more commercially driven, and more and more reliant on flash advertising. The internet
was originally the preserve of academics and enthusiasts, with the main purpose of sharing
information. What is it now?

Globalization forces companies to decide whether it is feasible to build a consistent, global brand, or
to develop different brand images for each country. A global brand can have synergy as customers
around the world interact with it. However, brands tailored to specific market interests can have
more success in distinct markets.

Globalisation in advertising is weakening the brand reputation ofCadbury and other great British
names, one of the leading figures in British adland claims.

Sir John Hegarty, best known for his influential campaigns forLevi Strauss, said the creativity of
modern advertising was being diminished because companies expected campaigns to be effective in
diverse markets.

“Globalisation has made it hard,” he said. “I have to create a piece of communication that works not
only in the UK but in Malaysia, in Germany...and all the vested interests are hard to convince.”

Due to Globalisation, western texts are dominating the world market. As a result, western
representations have more influence in the world.

Impact of internet on society:

The Internet is the decisive technology of the Information Age, and with the explosion of wireless
communication in the early twenty-first century, we can say that humankind is now almost entirely
connected, albeit with great levels of inequality in bandwidth, efficiency, and price.

People, companies, and institutions feel the depth of this technological change, but the speed and
scope of the transformation has triggered all manner of utopian and dystopian perceptions that,
when examined closely through methodologically rigorous empirical research, turn out not to be
accurate. For instance, media often report that intense use of the Internet increases the risk of
isolation, alienation, and withdrawal from society, but available evidence shows that the Internet
neither isolates people nor reduces their sociability; it actually increases sociability, civic
engagement, and the intensity of family and friendship relationships, in all cultures.

Our current “network society” is a product of the digital revolution and some major sociocultural
changes. One of these is the rise of the “Me-centered society,” marked by an increased focus on
individual growth and a decline in community understood in terms of space, work, family, and
ascription in general. But individuation does not mean isolation, or the end of community. Instead,
social relationships are being reconstructed on the basis of individual interests, values, and projects.
Community is formed through individuals’ quests for like-minded people in a process that combines
online interaction with offline interaction, cyberspace, and the local space.

The Internet and the Web constitute the technological infrastructure of the global network society,
and the understanding of their logic is a key field of research. It is only scholarly research that will
enable us to cut through the myths surrounding this digital communication technology that is
already a second skin for young people, yet continues to feed the fears and the fantasies of those
who are still in charge of a society that they barely understand.


Why Mr P changing the way we see things:

Their campaigns focus on the use of new and digital media

They encourage the audience to be active, which disregards the hypodermic needle theory

 consider how new/digital media affects the construction of media products (media analysis)
 consider the political and social implications of the new technologies and the methods of
their consumption (media theories)
 consider the effects so far, and possible effects in the future, on media institutions (media
 consider the role of the interactive audience (media audiences)
 consider narratives told by ads
 consider cross-cultural factors in, and the effects of globalisation on, the impact of new
technology as appropriate.


In the last twenty years there has been a digital revolution in the production and distribution of
media texts, which now rely on the digital codes used by computers and the internet.

New digital media includes the following: video and DVD, portable camcorders, home computer and
games consoles, cable, satellite and digital TV, mobile phones, the internet, e-mail, MP3, podcasts,
webcams, blogs, social networking spaces such as MySpace and Facebook.

Initially, audiences were quite passive when viewing the internet. Web-pages tended to offer static
information, which, due to dial-up speeds, were slow to access. However, new technologies have
created a second generation of web-based material, known as Web 2.0; emphasising: interactivity,
user participation, dynamic content (i.e. content that is continually changing) and freedom to
engage in new media texts.

There seem to be two ways to view this revolution, either as something utopian (creating a perfect
world) or dystopian (making things as bad as they can be).


 Cultural critic, Richard Dyer (1992) thought that the media made up for deficiencies of
modern life, offering ‘utopias’ such as: Community, Intensity, Abundance, Transparency,
 Del Sola Poole (1977) suggested that new media gives people the opportunity to create and
disseminate their own texts easily (Remember that he wrote this before the introduction of
the internet) and allows “a flowering of hundreds of different voices”.
 Noam Chomsky (2003) sees the internet as a form of global “interconnection”
 Haraway (1991) offers a utopian view of cyberspace, arguing that the ability to construct
identities unrestrained by the restrictions of our physical bodies. Very similar to virtual
 Liberal Pluralism and Liberal Pluralist ideas see the media in a democratic light – that the
media are made up of competing interests and views and that this reflects the diverse range
of opinions in society. This view may see the internet as a microcosm of society. However,
this view clearly has limitations.


 Lyotard (1984) argued that the postmodern era saw a decline in metanarratives (e.g.
religion, politics) leading to a greater instability in society.
 Jean Baudrillard (1983) argues that we live in a world of hyper-reality, where the media
world is more ‘real’ that reality itself. He also argued that material goods are now a
simulacrum – a copy, rather than an original product
 Jurgen Habermas (1991) argues that media texts should provide citizens to debate and
criticise government actions and form public opinion (the public sphere). However, he saw
a dystopian side of new digital media, it its ability to produce similar representations and its
focus on celebrity and trivia
 Noam Chomsky (2003) also sees the internet as a “time-waster”.


Some people look at the internet, with its ability to flout copyright law and some of its immoral and
degrading content (e.g. internet pornography) as a public concern. These moral panics over this
new medium are not new.

 1900s – concern over the sexual content of silent films

 1930s – anxiety about the radio and the influence of crooners on housewives
 1950s – anxiety about television’s influence on the family
 1980s – a moral panic over violent video nasties
 1990s – anxieties over violence in computer games
 1990s and 2000s – concerns about the internet being used by paedophiles to contact
Springhall (1998) suggests that people are fearful of new technologies, such as computer games,
because they challenge existing norms of powerful groups and government processes, especially
because they are often embraced by the youth. Also the seeming lack of censorship on the internet,
allows young people access to violent and sexual imagery, previously disallowed.

Castells (1999) argued a technologically determinist view of the world, in that technology influences
and dictates the nature of society. He also argued that modern audience is concerned with the flow
of information, unrestrained by space and time.