Mass Medium



Personal Relationships – using the media for emotional and other interaction, e. g. Supporting your football team. Personal Identity – finding yourself mused within texts, copying behaviour and values from texts like spitting casually because your footballer hero does it. Surveillance – Information which could be useful such as weather forecasts, ticket/plane prices to for a coming fixture. Since then, the list of Uses and Gratifications has been extended, due to new media forms existing such as video games, digital television and the internet.

Extending the concept of an active audience even further, during the 1980s and 1990s, an approach into the way individuals received and interpreted a text, and how their individual attributes such as gender, class, age and ethnicity affected their reading. This work was based on Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding model of the relationship between text and audience. This approach to textual analysis focuses on the scope for negotiation and opposition on part of the audience. This means that the audience does not simply passively accept a text and that an element of activity becomes involved.

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The person negotiates the meaning of the text and the meaning may hinge on the cultural background of that individual. Brunt, R (1992) writes of Stuart Hall’s development, “whereby media codes were analysed, not in terms of complete ideological closure, but according to ‘preferred’ or ‘dominate’ meanings which could be decoded by views from within similar frameworks or, along lines suggested by the sociologist Frank Parkins’s (1972) scheme of ‘value systems,’ ‘negotiated’ or ‘opposed’ in various ways.

“. One more theorist that should be noted is Roland Barthes. In 1957, Roland Barthes published a book called ‘Mythologies’. According to Bignell. J (2002) Barthes used semiotics as the predominate means of analysing aspects of everyday culture. Barthes declares ‘Myth is a type of speech’ and way of thinking which closely resembles ideology. The notion of myth explained a particular process through which historically determined circumstances were presented in some ‘natural’ manner.

Having probed into the works of various theorists within media, let’s examine the different types of media: ‘Old Media’ comprising of magazines, newspapers and televisions and ‘New Media’: Internet and interactive television. Magazines generally offer more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of a subject than newspapers. They are usually aimed at particular groups, genders and age brackets using specialised communication. We can differentiate the type of magazine by the encoding on the front medium and decoding the signs, ideologies, messages conveyed.

Newspapers comprises of news and Bignell, J(2002, p. 81) suggests that ‘news is not just facts, but representations produced in language and other signs like photographs. ‘ There are different types of newspapers. Tabloids use lots of pictures, have short news items and write in short sentences. They focus on celebrity gossip and give lots of space to scandal and sport. Tabloid newspapers often adopt a written style which is casual and chatty and are aimed at a younger audience. They usually illustrate their stories with eye-catching headlines, pictures, and captions.

They are may use slang, alliteration and puns in their writing. Broadsheets use more text than pictures. Their stories tend to be more in depth reportage. Broadsheets tend to treat their subjects more seriously, and they present their information in a style which uses more complex language and longer sentences. Broadsheet newspapers generally aim to be more factual and objective in the way they cover the news. They tend to pay more attention to politics, government, and international affairs – rather than to scandal and showbiz news.

Looking at three different newspapers published on May 23rd 2008, two tabloids : The Daily Mail[2008] and The Daily Star[2008] plus one from a broadsheets The Guardian[2008] it is evident of the different messages and signs published. The Daily Mail headlines reads ‘Sir Alex’s champagne cavaliers even put class of ’68 in shade’ and shows three different pictures of Manchester United players exhilarated and celebrating their cup success. The other tabloid is quite the opposite in contrast and reads ‘Terry’s tearful miss’ with one picture of John Terry after he slipped crying emotionally.

The Guardian reads ‘Ferguson driven on by the drug of domination’ and shows a picture of Sir Alex Ferguson smiling holding the cup. Each article denoted different signifiers from the same event which in turn produced different connotations. After studying all three, the one that sticks in my head was the one of John Terry in agony. I could ‘hear’ his cries from just observing the text. A Manchester United fan as opposed to me (Tottenham Hotspur fan) may see the same message and be grinning or laughing. Bignell. J (2002, p.

96) states that Barthes proposes six procedures through which connotations are generated, they are trick affects – this is when the photograph has been altered specifically to produce a particular mythic meaning, ‘the pose’, objects, ‘aestheticism’ – where photographs borrow the coding system of another art form and finally ‘syntax’ which is a connotation procedure relating to the placing of one photograph next to another like placing of words next to each other according to the syntax of language. As opposed to newspapers TV news can be updated timely and frequently whereas the newspaper publication date is fixed.

The TV media is more vivid than the newspaper and not only have the colorful moving pictures but also contain real audio. Television media (unless recorded or watching repeats) is usually watched once in one place whereas newspapers are easy to carry and can be stored in a bag and be read repeatedly. As for digital television, an abstract from The Times found by Boyle, R. et al (2004, p. 138) sums it up best “If you’ve wondered about the point of digital television, this season’s screening of the Champions League is one answer. Never mind one or two matches live on the same night, the whole lot will be shown this season. ”

Let’s now take interactivity even further than the previous types of media and explore the depths of the internet. The internet can fulfill all the expectations of previous media, even play the part of the newspaper which can be stored in the bag, all it takes is a laptop and an internet connection. It is also becoming a massive online database with efficient search tools which make it possible for everyone to find the kind of entertainment they are looking for and to figure out which bits are popular. We have entered a ‘new cultural state’ Redhead. S (2004) which began gathering its ‘creative modernity’ since the mid 1990’s.

Redhead argues that there is “something new in the ‘knowledge economy’ which radically differentiates it from previous economic eras, the state and culture are involving, themselves in modernity in new formations and that this process deserves taking seriously, theoretically and politically”. Since the booming of the internet, culture is changing; we can now download movies and soundtracks illegally free and obtain whatever knowledge, data, sport, news, texts, blogs we search for, It is even possible to watch any Champions League match free over Peer to Peer networks (could be a problem for old media and TV rights in the future).

A theorist from the ‘new media’ age : Charles Leadbetter explores the new phenomenon of mass creativity exemplified by web sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia and MySpace. His website which is a ongoing version is open to public opinions, criticisms and revisions, argues that participation, rather than consumption or production, will be the key organizing idea of the future society. Already, many web users, just putting their blogs, thoughts, ‘out there’ for anyone to decode and getting some momentum may possible create their own community or culture .

Some find that new media projects take on a life of their own, and the content creator becomes stewards, librarian, editors and captain of their own new media ship, without the qualifications of being a journalist or a newsreader. People can read your blog, and get in touch with you. It may take time, but you could create a brand new community of like-minded readers, the future is blurry and frightening as the ‘new cultural state’ picks up momentum within this ‘new media’ era. words 3,036.

Bibiliography Media and Communications Studies Website : http://www. aber. ac. uk/media/Barthes, R. (1973) Mythologies. St Albans, Paladin. P109-158 Bignell, J. (2002) Media Semiotics. An Introduction. Manchester, Manchester University Press Boyd-Barret, O & Braham. P (1987) Media, Knowledge and Power. Kent, Open University Boyle, R. & Haynes, R. Football in the new Media Age. New York, Routledge Brunt. R (1992) Cultural Studies, New York, Routledge Leadbeater. C [available at] http://we-think. net Fiske, J. (1990) Introduction to Communication Studies. London, Routledge Hall, S. (1997) (ed) Representation. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices.

London, Sage. Horne, J. Tomlinson, A. & Whannel, G (1999) Understanding Sport. An introudcutin to the sociological and cultural analysis of Sport. London, E. F. Spon Independent[2008] available at : http://www. independent. co. uk/sport/general/tvs-great-viewing-mirage-768839. html Nicholson, M (2007) Sport and the Media. Butterworth-Heinemann Redhead, S. (2004) Creative Modernity: The New Cultural State: Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, Volume 2004, Number 112, Rowe, D. (2004) Sport, Culture and the Media: The Unruly Trinity. Open University Press.

Telegraph[2008] available at : http://www. telegraph. co. uk/sport/football/european/championsleague/2965816/English-clubs-will-dominate-Champions-League-predicts-Karl-Heinz-Rummenigge. html The Guardian[2008] available at : http://www. guardian. co. uk/football/2008/may/23/manchesterunited The Daily Mail[2008] available at : http://www. dailymail. co. uk/sport/football/article-1021334/Sir-Alexs-champagne-cavaliers-class-68-shade. html The Daily Star[2008] available at : http://www. thedailystar. net/story. php? nid=37767 Williams, K. (2003) Understanding Media Theory. London, Arnold Ch6.


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