Why do we concentrate on mass media and not on all media?



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Chapter 1


Why do we concentrate on mass media and not on all media?

Because mass media is specifically designed to reach a large audience. Other media forms may be more personal or individual. Mass media messages do not allow for the intimate interaction of sender and receiver that characterizes personal communication.



What is meant with the term “reader”?

We refer to receivers as “readers” as they must “decode” and interpret messages. How a message is received may be very different than the intention when it was sent.



Why are media important in terms of the social construction of reality?

Social construction of reality is the process of creating meaning from observations. Our values, norms and beliefs are learned through socialisation which includes media.



What do Croteau and Hoynes mean with the term agency?

The agency has the power to maintain / change structure. Agency indicates independent action. The traditional family structure only works as long as new generations of people accepted the roles they were asked to fill.



What do they mean with the term structure?

Structure is always changing. Structure suggests constraint on human action. It describes any recurring pattern of human behaviour eg: family structure  traditional family.



  • There is tension between structure and agency – related mainly to how much autonomy (independence / self-sufficiency etc) media personnel have in doing their work.

  • There’s always a mix – media researchers examine how social structures (external) impact the media industry and how the media affect social structures (eg: should lyrics be rated like movies? Does the advertising revenue affect magazine content? etc)


Chapter 2


What exactly is a conglomerate?

Large corporations who own a collection of companies (including media companies) that may operate in highly diverse business areas (eg: not only media). This is how we distinguish corporations from conglomerates.

Example: General electric  power generation, heath technology, NBC Universal (Film, TV, Internet, Music), capital finance

Corporation: a company that is bound to corporate law.



What is meant with the concept synergy?

When different entities cooperate for an advantageous final outcome. When they work together, they can gain something that would be impossible if they were not closely linked.



Find an original example of horizontal and vertical integration

Horizontal integration: Companies in a variety of industries working together, achieving cross-promotion.

EG: A book is published, which is then turned into a movie deal. The movie is then promoted through magazines, websites and cinemas. The movie is funded by a bank and music is selected for the movie from a record label. All of these are owned by the same parent company.



Vertical integration: When a parent company controls the entire process of one medium.

EG: The same company owns the trees, the mills, the paper factory, the printing presses, and the journalists used to produce a newspaper.



Why does the conglomeration of the news industry attract the loudest warnings?

Because some news media had traditionally been sheltered from the full pressure of profit making. Now they are.



What is a corporate voice?

That is the views of the corporation who own the various mass media. It is argued that the corporate view has become “our view” (the “American” view).



Make a list of indirect and direct effects of concentration of ownership and political power.

Direct

Indirect

People like Berlusconi who own a lot of media

-As it’s owned by corporations, individual people do not have agency

-Certain voices are included / excluded  the “corporate voice”

-Less horizontal and vertical diversity – homogenization hypothesis

-Content serves the interest of the owners



What is meant with vertical and horizontal diversity?

Not to be confused with integration.



Horizontal diversity: Differences in content between two newspapers.

Vertical diversity: The degree of disagreement within a single newspaper

How can the music industry be a closed or open system?

The “open” system is when there are more record labels to record firms. When there are more labels, a more diverse range of music can be created for the same firm.

When it is “closed”, its when major companies use a limited number of familiar channels to produce and distribute music.

Why do network programmers use a “logic of safety”?

Because they need to pick programs that they believe will succeed. Since there is no strict formula for this, they turn to things which have succeeded in the past, and do things like create spin-offs.



  • Avoid risk programming

  • Copy-cat behaviour

Media deliver audiences to advertisers  large audience vs narrowcasting.

Name two key changes in television land.

Advertising through MTV

Increasing fragmentation of the mass audience (narrowcasting)

What could you say about the impact of advertising?


  • Advertising is a key source of revenue in mass media.

  • Audiences are the product being sold to advertisers

  • Advertisers don’t care about the media products, instead see them as “bait” to expose audiences to ads

  • Producers create new media products with the specific aim of sending advertising messages (eg; a news program targeted at school children)

Look for examples of product placement in a life style program on television?

Apple laptops in almost every single “teen” movie.



Explain the historical roots of objectivity in news.

In the British press, the movement away from a state-supported press (to one supported by advertisers) was a linear one, from “captive”  “free”. The Radical newspapers appealed to a working-class audience but did not attract advertisers as their large audience did not have the spending power the advertisers wanted to target. Therefore, papers had to publish less controversial things (as not to offend people) which led to a more limited view of events.



What have narrowcasting and fragmentation of audiences have to do with each other?

Narrowcasting: the move away from mass broadcast audience toward smaller, more specialized niche populations.

TV programs are able to target specific audience segments instead of aiming for a mass audience. To a company that markets cookware, it is more valuable for them to advertise during a cooking show.


Chapter 3


Name the 4 features of the Media Regulation Debates

Diversity – mane people think that the more diverse content we have, the more we will consume it and can form our own opinions about issues that are important to us

  • Regulation on programming, media access

Morality – violent and sexually explicit content

  • Self-regulation, censorship

National interest - govt. controls what kind of news is being published about wars (only a few journalists can go there etc) As taxpayers, we pay for wars to be fought and don’t even know what’s happening there.

  • Press pool, PR

Accuracymisleading content

  • Laws on advertising

What is public interest?

This is debatable and is the central dilemma raised by the pro-regulation position. Beyond the broad parameters argued by the FCC (below), much disagreement remains what is or is not meant by “public interest”. Defining the meaning of “public interest” is one way which different “actors” have influenced the construction of public policy. However, can be said as:



  • Providing information

  • Education / socialisation

  • Entertainment

What are the three arguments the FCC use to argue for media regulation?

Policy makers believe FCC serves public interest by:



  • Balancing the interests of various groups  there is no single public interest.

  • Stressing that government can’t write media regulation in stone forever, since technological and economic changes are constantly occurring

  • Regulation that promotes diversity in programming is in the public interest.

What are 2 changes that led to regulation of ownership and control?

Technology – Broadcast media enabled producers to reach millions of people. This transformed the nature of the media by expanding potential reach and influence.

Ownership – the amount of investment capital needed to produce media is enormous. “Freedom of the press exists only for those who can afford to own one”.  media moved away from independent localism  more and more are part of national and international conglomerates.

The FCC do not allow cross-ownership of print and broadcast outlets in a single city. However a company is not prevented from owning a newspaper in one city and a TV station in another – it simply can not control a single market.



Explain the two points of view on regulation of content and distribution.

Diversity vs property rights.

Liberals (left) see the government’s role in media regulation as protecting the public against domination of the private sector.

Conservatives see this as government meddling in the free-market.



What 4 basic approaches do we find when discussing regulation for media content (tv violence)?

Informal pressure from:



Political, social, economic

  • Media critics – the people that criticise the media as a profession. Often they are journalists. Appear through the media to voice themselves. Not against the media but really criticise how the media work.

  • Think tanks – eg: political lobbyists that will prevent some regulations to be formulated as laws

  • Parent groups – mainly concerned with violent and sexual content in the media. Large and have a lot of power. And they have a lot of websites.

  • National organisations – eg Adbusters

What is meant with informal pressure?

Pressure from non-governmental organisations who wish to have content regulated to appease certain audiences.


Chapter 4


What is meant with commercial logic and how is it different from “logic of safety”?

Commercial logic is an economic factor of structure. Profit demands shape programming decisions in network television. Profits result from high ratings and desirable demographics, which lead to strong advertising sales. Network executives, facing severe pressure to schedule programs that will attract large audiences, select programs that are “safe”, trying not to offend any significant constituency.

Therefore, “logic of safety” is part of commercial logic.

Give a definition of what is meant with convention and think of an example.

A convention is “a practice or technique that is widely used in a field” (Croteau & Hoynes, 1997). An example of this would be the “logic of safety” or the “hit system”.

It’s like when people shove to get on a train in NL, whereas in the UK they wait for people to get out and “cue” up to get in. This is a human construction over time.

In television? News is run from a studio, with news anchors sitting down, recognisable background, news ticker at the bottom etc.



Are all facts newsworthy?

No, news must be/contain:

Large scale Close to home Clarity

Time scale (fast v slow) Relevance Consonance

Personification Negativity Significance

Drama & action



Describe three news routines.

  • News net – functions as the first filter. It has holes in it and will exclude events, but it catches the biggest fish.

  • Beats – people stationed in different areas (eg: whitehouse, courthouse, city council etc)

  • Rounds – A schedule of who a journalist talks to first.

What is gate keeping?

Gatekeeping is a process of selection. It is related to media access in the way which editors, publishers, tv networks etc all have gatekeepers to filter through only the “best” to the top level.



List all key practices of objectivity in news making

  • Maintaining political neutrality

  • Decency and good taste – you can print any fact about anybody but is it a sign of decency? Eg: when politicians do shit that sucks, an objective reporter will refrain from reporting it if it’s not relevant.

  • Documentary reporting practices – documentaries give the impression that what we see is actually what it is no dramatization

  • Standardised formats – we know the structure: intro, body

  • Training reporters as generalists – to be focused on one section

  • Editorial reviews – what a journalist writes is reviewed by peers and editors. They have the power to decide what’s going in. They can make it better.

What is meant with internalisation?

There is the argument that the content of the news is shaped by the practices of “objectivity”. The news gathering structure includes certain happenings and excludes others. Things that happen in and around established institutions (especially official agencies) are defined as news. Happenings outside these boundaries are likely never to be detected, or not likely to be defined as “newsworthy” by the established definitions of importance.



Compare the concept of hit system with commercial logic and logic of safety.

Hit system

(stars = hits = success)



Commercial logic

Logic of Safety

  • One of the principal resources in the media industry is fame.

  • If hits are the goal, the simplest path to success is the acquisition or manufacture of a star who can attract audiences for hit products.

  • Hits make money, stars make money, hits have stars. Therefore, hits need stars.

  • The presence of a sat helps reduce the perception of risk




  • Network programming is shaped by the pressure to make a profit

  • Profits result from high ratings and desirable demographics, which lead to strong advertising sales.

  • Therefore, the network executives use the logic of safety.

  • Low cost programmes (reality TV, docudrama)

  • Spin-offs/copy-cat behaviour

  • The logic of safety believes that what has been successful before will be successful again


Chapter 5


Give a definition of ideology

When you speak about ideology, you need to specify what you mean by it. Marxists speak of “ideology” as “belief systems that help justify the actions of those in power by distorting and misrepresenting reality”.

Croteau & Hoynes define it as “a system of meaning that helps define and explain the world, as well as make value judgements about that world” (tells us what’s good and what’s bad). Makes us feel and sense what is normal.

Ideology can also refer to a (political) way to run a society.



Go on to the internet and look up more definitions of ideology

An ideology is a set of aims and ideas that directs one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare worldview), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies ...


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideology
Doctrine, philosophy, body of beliefs or principles belonging to an individual or group; The study of the origin and nature of ideas
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ideology

Think about why the quotations marks are used consistently when Croteau and Hoynes write about the real world.

Because it’s an arbitrary term and what real world you are talking about depends on the definition used to define the real world.

Analysts of ideology generally perceive the definition of the “real” as, itself, an ideological construction. Which aspects of whose “reality” do we define as the most real?

NB// cultural studies encompass structuralism and semiology from literary studies and linguistics, as well as the social sciences approach.



What is a culture war?

The ways which media provide the principal forms of public discourse by which cultural warfare is raged. The morality of abortion, homosexuality or capital punishment is debated in the mass media. (Advertising, news, letters to the editor and opinion commentary). People use media technologies to promote their positions.



How can the media normalise ethnic inequality?

The inclusion of certain ethnicities may not show ethnic inequality but instead be reinforcing racism (through stereotypical images – ie: the token black guy). By having a wider pallet of roles for all ethnicities and genders, one can hope to normalise ethnic inequality.



What did Karl Marx mean with “false consciousness”?

When members of the ruling class (capitalists) imposed their worldview (which represented their interests) on members of the subordinate classes. Those subordinates accepted the basic ideology of the ruling class were said to have false consciousness -their worldview served the interests of others.

Ideological analysis (from this perspective) meant identifying ways working class people’s ideas failed to reflect their class interests. That is how consciousness was “false”.

What does economic determinism mean?

Economy is the driving force of society. Ideology of the ruling class (capitalists) was result of their economic interests. - Marx

Revolution will change this – Marx envisioned a classless society.

Give a definition of hegemony

The dominance of one social group (or nation) over others. Ruling groups can maintain their power through either force or consent, or a combination of the two. It shapes common sense assumptions.

Consent (in this definition) is taken for granted assumptions are not contested, thus become common sense assumptions. What may be normal in this society may not be normal in another society  they don’t question it. It can often be unconscious agreement.


  • False consciousness has a negative connation because it refers to the lower class, not the upper.

What three questions does the concept of hegemony connect?

Culture, power and ideology.



What has ‘common sense’ to do with hegemony?

Common sense assumptions are social constructions. It is related to hegemony as the media (and other “cultural leaders”) are the ones who create “common sense”.

When a group is in power and generates commons sense assumptions – what is regarded to be normal – isn’t questioned!


  • Hegemony is a process to establish ideology.

Who is Antonio Gramsci?

An Italian Marxist who wrote in the 1920s and 30s. he coined the notion of hegemony and believed that ruling groups maintained their power through force or consent (or a combination). He understood hegemony as a process that was always in the making: in order to wield power through consent, ideological work through cultural leadership was an ongoing necessity. It is a daily struggle about our underlying conceptions of the world; a struggle always subject to revision and opposition.



Explain: Media are cultural sites where the ideas of the powerful are circulated and where they can be contested.

This is where media is seen as an arena or forum for debate. People are able to spread their ideas and also contest them through the media, where the journalist is seen as the objective “middle man”.



Why is it difficult to do ‘an ideological analysis of the mass media’?

Because if ideological criticism comes from both sides, then the news must not be ideological. However, the notion that news reflects the “consensus” is itself ideological because news does the active work of defining that consensus.


Chapter 6


What is meant by the concept of representation?

Representations are the result of processes of selection that invariably mean that certain aspects of reality are highlighted and others neglected.

Media representation of the social world:


  • Representations (even in documentary we have selection)

  • Production of media content is constraints by various factors (econ & political factors, journalistic conventions, ideology etc)

What is the relation between representation and ideology?

In order to spread a certain ideology, certain representations of the “real world” are given and hiding others in order to spread that ideology.



Describe and explain 4 issues that are raised when we discuss media representations and the “real world”

  1. These representations are the result of selection: certain aspects of reality are highlighted / others neglected. The literature in media and cultural studies reminds us that representations are not reality, even if audiences are tempted to judge them as such.

  2. Media do not usually try to reflect the “real” world. Ex. A science fiction film. It does not try to represent contemporary lifestyle. However, this is what makes it attractive to the audience. These depictions, however, can often teach us something about society. Ex. 1960-s Star Trek kiss between Kirk and Uhuru = 1st interracial kiss on U.S. TV. It made a statement about race relations in contemporary America. Later, a woman played the captain of Voyager. Again, it commented on social conditions at the time.

  3. Concerns the word real. Generally, it is agreeable that no representation of reality can ever be totally true → it must frame an issue and choose to include/exclude certain components of reality.

    • However, some social facts can be used as a measure of reality. Ex: age distribution: 21% of viewers are teenagers → if in a show, there were 60%, it's accurate to say that there is 3x as many. This is only because we can accurately measure age distribution.

    • 1 more point raised: is media content more liberal than the “real world”? → must be careful about claims of “bias” in the media. However, it is generally subjective.

  4. The statement that media should reflect society. This statement is not agreed on. → for many people, the media is a way to escape everyday life. How “real” media products are is irrelevant to many people. It's not necessary to believe that the media should accurately reflect society in order to compare media representations in the social world.

Read a magazine (for example Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Ebony, FHM). Explore five ways of content analysis with concern to the content of the magazine.

Creating consumer culture: In 20s early mass ads, (Stuart Ewen, 1976). Buying something from the advertisements was seen as something pleasurable  you need to buy things to feel happy

If you aren’t happy with who you are, you can buy a product that will make you happy, beautiful, successful etc.  this is the ideology behind consumerism.

Scholars claim advertisers don’t just sell a product but they’re promoters of the consumer-capitalist ideology.


  1. Reflection of producers – mirrors the group of people producing the content

  2. Reflection of audience preference – what the audience wants / expects from the magazine

  3. Reflects general society values – eg: when you see particular kind of women in cosmo, generally they are accepted in society and reflects that.

  4. Influence and effects on audience – when audience sees a media product what effects will it show on the short / long term?

  5. Self-enclosed meaning – analyse content with denotative and connotative meanings

What do Croteau and Hoynes mean with: Since race is a cultural or ideological construct?

The concept of “race” has been evolving over time. The concept of race has changed trough history. Race is an ambiguous term and no longer refers to ones genetic background, thus it is a cultural / ideological construct.



What are the three important issues when discussing racial representation?

  1. Inclusion: do the media include portrayals of dif. Racial groups?

  2. Media roles: when included, what roles do the racial groups take on?

  3. Control of production- do ppl from dif. racial groups have control over production?

Racial discrimination and the roles of minority representatives are all mainly influenced on history. As society (primarily U.S.) gave more rights and acceptance to minorities, the appearance of minorities in the media grew.

What are different meanings that media messages can take?

Denotative meaning: literal meaning

Connotative meaning: (word) charged with emotion, different meanings over cultures (eg: cross for Christianity, moon and star for Islam)

Chapter 7


What is a lobbyist?

Lobbying is a form of advocacy with the intention of influencing decisions made by legislators and officials in the government by individuals, other legislators, constituents, or Advocacy groups.

Media have organised themselves into specialized lobbying groups that cater to different segments of the industry. When a legislation that might affect a particular segment of the industry is being discussed in congress, the Media’s political lobbyists spring into action.
What is meant by the concept of politics?

Social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power; "office politics is often counterproductive"



Does politics mean any more than the way to govern a country?

Yes. Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, but politics has been observed in other group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions.


Where does the most profound impact of the media on politics take place?

Media considerations are perhaps the single most important factor around which candidates organise electoral campaigns. A telegenic style and appearance greatly enhance a candidate’s chance of success. All major campaigns have media “handlers”. Appearance matters – telegenic individuals who have experience in dealing with the media are at a decided advantage in the political realm.

Mass media serve as the vehicles for conveying political messages and mobilizing voters. Candidates spend the bulk of campaign finances on producing and airing campaign commercials.

What six levels of media importance for politics are distinguished?


  1. At the simplest level, the telegenic style and appearance greatly enhance a candidates chance of success

  2. All major campaigns have media “handlers”  they coach candidates on improving their appearance to the media (eg: when Nixon didn’t wear makeup on camera, he was perceived to have “lost” the debate to TV viewers)

  3. The significance of TV images goes beyond the specific appearance of the candidate to include the more general visual context in which a candidate appears (eg: regans team manipulating media coverage with the “line fof the day” from the white house)

  4. Photo opportunities – scripted ahead of time to generate media attention. Post modernists argue that these set-up images signal a new kind of “reality” and replace the “real”.

  5. The need for lengthy speeches is no longer there, now people are more interested in sound bites, which last just a few seconds.

  6. Candidates have complete control over media images when producing campaign materials. Campaign ads are recently relying on the “attack” formats to achieve maximum effect  eg: showing criminals to attack the oppositions current punishment policy

What's a sound bite?

An extract from a speech or interview used as edited into a news or other broadcast; an interview clip, especially seen as particularly expressive or pithy; A one-liner deliberately produced for this purpose; a statement specifically intended to be punchy and memorable.



Explain the Hypodermic Needle Model.

The media directly injects a message into the “bloodstream” of the carpet. Powerful effects model. The media can directly manipulate a passive and gullible public.



What is Mass Society Theory?

The mass media play a crucial role in uniting and homogenising a disparate (something with dissimilar elements) and atomized population.

After WW2 society was becoming a “melting pot”. Traditional families gave way to smaller and fragmented families. Religious ties gave way to perfunctory (casual / as a formality only) religious or even secular identities.

Go to the internet and find out more about the Two-Step-Flow Model.

The minimal effects (two step flow) model by Lazarsfeld et al. gives more weight to the ability of the reader to select, screen and judge media information (the reader is no longer a passive sponge).

The two-step flow of influence states that the media transmits information to opinion leaders who tend to pay close attention to the news media. Then these leaders could influence those with whom they have personal contact.

Why do people think media have a large effect on their audience?

Media coverage and public opinion never correlated well with statistical indicators of the real world (eg: media coverage and public concern peaked before the greatest number of US troops were sent to the Vietnam war).

This suggests that media’s coverage of issues affected public opinion more than the issues objective prominence in the “real” world. It also shows that media coverage does not necessarily reflect real world trends.

However, disentangling multiple influences makes it difficult to clearly measure media effects because media stimuli routinely interact with other social stimuli. Therefore clear, direct media influence is difficult to obtain.



What is Cultivation Theory?

That television plays a homogenizing role for otherwise heterogeneous viewers. Influence occurs because of continued and lengthy exposure to television in general, not just exposure to individual programs or genres. Immersion in television culture produces a “mainstreaming” effect.

This highlights the tension between structure and agency. Media messages are negotiated by readers but these messages can have an impact.

What is meant with 'media access'?

Media are not equally accessible around the globe – patterns of media consumption follow the same pattern as economic inequality.



Why should we bother about alternative media?

Like the movements for racial equality, women’s right, and organised labour, the gay and lesbian movement has both developed alternative media and worked for more positive portrayals of gays and lesbians in the mainstream media.

The obstacles social movements face when they attempt to promote positive media from the mainstream media have often led to their use of ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ media to promote their messages (e.g. underground press).

Explain the politics of the drama series CSI.

Everyone’s white and one token black dude.



What is the difference between exchange value and use value?

What is the difference between cultural imperialism and cultural homogenization?

The cultural imperialism thesis relates to the dominance of global media by a certain culture, namely western or American culture. The media products introduced to developing countries from the West are promoting values of consumerism and individualism and are thought to contribute to the decline of local traditional values. People believe that the dominance of images from the West will lead to a kind of “cultural invasion”, where Western culture will reign supreme.

Cultural homogenization is when cultures become the same. It differs from cultural imperialism as that theory believes in the domination of a singular culture. When a culture becomes homogenized, perhaps it is incorporating many different aspects from many different cultures, not just the domination of a single culture.

Two problems with the cultural imperialism idea:



  1. The media capacities of other nations has quickly allowed them to produce their own programming, reducing their reliance on U.S. shows – Media audiences in different countries make local interpretations of U.S. media products

  2. The interest of media audiences in different countries have shifted away from a focus on TV toward a broader, more generalised understanding of the influence of different media (including radio to music to comic books).


Chapter 8


What is an active audience?

Croteau & Hoynes consider the term audience as “insufficient” because the term audience came to be associated with the image of homogenous passive recipients, who daily ingested their dose of media products and thus were indoctrinated by media.

Auciences are conceptualized as active readers (in contrast to passive recipients) who actively interpret and construct meaning of a media text.

To what interpretative communities do you belong? (number 2 on the list)

There are 3 basic ways a media audience can be active:



  1. Interpretive: individual interpretation of a media text

  2. Collective interpretation: Social interpretation of a media text (eg: discussing it in a social setting) – peers, friends, family, colleagues

  3. Collective action: political

What is your social context?

The social environment of an individual, also called social context or milieu, is the culture that he or she was educated and/or lives in, and the people and institutions with whom the person interacts.



What is polysemy?

Polysemy describes the notion of multiple meanings in media texts. According to Fiske media texts contain “excess” of meaning within them possible, making “reading against the grain” (oppositional reading) possible.



How can a newspaper have an excess of meaning?

The meaning of media messages are not fixed – audiences actively ‘read’ and interpret media messages, through this process they derive meaning

Producers create (complex) texts with a (clear) intended meaning

Sometimes there will be a close correlation between intended meaning and the way the audience interpreted the message – this can be due to the craftsmanship of a producer, shared interpretive framework, pure luck etc



What is reading against the grain?

Oppositional readings.



Explain the difference between encoding and decoding.

The model was designed by Stuart Hall. A producer encodes the message and an audience decodes it. Social contexts effect both the encoding and decoding.





What are the elements of structure when talking about decoding a message?

You have something as a filter (like a lens) through which you interpret messages.



What is a discourse?

Discourse (L. discursus, "running to and from") means either "written or spoken communication or debate" or "a formal discussion of debate." The term is often used in semantics and discourse analysis.


What is a discursive resource?

“Cultural tools” eg. Concepts or assumptions associated with decoding a message. They are cultural specific.

The type of framework that you use to interpret media texts: eg: Marxist, vegetarian, religious, gender, culture, feminist, socialist age etc. This is a person’s worldview.

How are gender, race, class important for the interpretation of a media message?

Things like this do not determine how people interpret media text, but they do influence people and provide them with “cultural tools” to interpret messages.



What is the relation between our interpretation and our engagement with a television program.

Active audeicne and polysemic nature of text does NOT mean that individuals are “free agents” who can give any meaning to any text. Such (that meaning is ENTIRELY open) will substitute previous oversimplified view (that the meaning was ENTIRELY given by media).

We must remember that meanings of texts are not unlimited. Therefore the audience doesn’t have full agency – you can’t ignore the structure.

Chapter 9


How do the technological capabilities of radio affect the use of radio?

At first it was intended to only be used as “wireless” communication, for person to person. At first they didn’t think of it as a broadcast medium but it developed over 20 years.



What are the features of traditional media?

It is traditionally a one-to-many mass communication model. Time and space are relevant. Audiences are anonymous.

Page 301 for table  different technological capabilities.

How does internet disrupt these features?

Time and space are no longer relevant. It does not matter where in the world you are, you can broadcast to anybody and they can receive it instantly. The telegraph was the first to do this. TV and radio also compress time and space [ie live transmissions contest the notion of time and space – you see them in the room but it might be happening 17,000km away].

With the internet you can have one-on-one communication or many-to-many, one-to-many [different variations].

Audiences are anonymous to an extent but the notion of anonymity has changed (ie: because of facebook – they have data on us).

You can be the producer and user at the same time – eg: uploading and watching youtube videos.

New media is interactive. It enables audiences to react  the level of engagement is far higher than previous. Often it is simultaneous (eg: if you write a blog, you can get a response right away)

Convergence is taking place in media technologies: eg: smartphones (a phone, camera, internet, radio, streaming video [tv] etc..). Different medium in one. Another trend is that the converged devices are becoming smaller.

How are time and space important in media use?

With a “virtual community”, geographic location is no longer relevant. Through specific media individuals can communicate with each other without any face-to-face communication. Groups will be defined now by interest, rather than location.



What is technological determinism?

Media technologies cause changes in the way we communicate, receive, process and share information. P 305 – 314.



Who said: The medium is the message?

Marshall McLuhan (Gutenberg Galaxy). The content is less relevant, and now the characteristics of the medium are what shape content (eg: photo opportunities, soundbites etc)

Before printing became massively adopted, information was mostly communicated through oral storytelling. The societies he defined according to the medium:

Oral / print / electronic (that would eventually lead to the global village) p. 307



What is a global village? Do we live in one?

Virtual communities allow us to construct different identities. At first people thought that there would be a lot of lying about it but there has been an observable shift that has been triggered by social media that people will use their real identity.



How does television challenge our world according to Neil Postman?

He argued that there is a change that was triggered through the shift from printing to electronic media (tv). He said that watching does not require as much attention as reading. It is more superficial  deals more with images. That’s why society is more concerned now with entertainment than analytical politics.



What is hyper reality?

The boundaries used to separate reality from its representation has “imploded”, leaving images with no real world references. This is a reality where nothing refers to “our” reality – the way that it is represented is so different that it doesn’t have its real reference. This might be because we want to escape from reality. Daniel Boorstin (1961) was arguing that we are now shown “pseudo-images”  hyperreality.



What is snail mail?

Old skool post mail



What is the main argument of the The Gutenberg Elegies?

That the digital era is changing how we think and behave.



What is meant with the phrase on p. 322: change will be evolutionary, not revolutionary?

That media will not change the way that we behave, but rather it will evolve to the way we already behave, to our norms etc. this is criticism to technological determinism (which is a linear theory), it discards human agency. Economic, political, social factors influence development of technology as well.



This picture is a metaphor how people and technology shape each other.



Which ways are available to control the internet?

Ads, portals, commercializing, partnership.



What are haves and have-nots?

Technological haves and have-nots are digital natives (they ‘have’ it) and digital immigrants (they don’t ‘have’ it, have-not). The new media makes the gap between those two even bigger.


Chapter 10


Give a definition of globalization.

Diana Crane (2002): Globalisation refers to the transmission or diffusion across national borders of various forms of media and the arts.



  • Globalisation touches upon: finance, politics, culture, technology, media, people…

What do time and space mean in terms of globalization?

Both time and space are compressed with the internet. It increases the interconnectedness of society. Physical proximity is transcended since we are able to communicate and feel close to people who are on the other side of the world. Time is compressed due to the digitisation of messages – they are able to be sent and received instantaneously.



What developments resulted from the globalization of music?

“World” music has appeared, which borrows different instruments and trends of music from different cultures. Also, because of the spread of western music, much music is sang in English. The Korean “Wondergirls” are an example of the cultural hybridity caused by globalisation.



What do Croteau and Hoynes mean with the 'promise of globalization'?

The idea that we would start feeling connected to each other (eg: cheezy coke ad). That the whole world would become a “global village”  knowing about and feeling for other people / cultures would solve wars etc. it is a very positive and hopeful idea. (McLuhan). However globalisation of media has been neither democratic nor egalitarian. There are 3 key areas of concern with relation to the globalisation of media:



  1. Ownership and control: has resulted in a concentrated global media industry (wealthier nations dominating poorer ones with their media production)

  2. Content: only produced by more developed nations for distribution worldwide, along with the sheer volume of media products flowing from wealthy industrialised countries to poorer nations has led to deep tensions between industrialised and developing nations – has lead to the claim that media globalisation equals ‘cultural imperialism’

  3. Consumption: is skewed heavily toward the wealthier segment of the world’s population – those with the necessary material resources participate in the global media culture

What complication arises around the cultural imperialism thesis?

Some signs suggest that local cultures are more resistant than we might expect and that the wave of US media products flooding foreign markets may be reaching its peak as local media industries begin competing for national markets.



The traditional cultural imperialism thesis has two key limitations:

  1. It generally does not take into account the multiple interpretive strategies used by audiences in different cultures – the meaning a particular product holds for local audience may vary widely compared to foreign audiences, due to different cultural values

  2. The thesis often does not distinguish between different types of media – US products clearly dominant some media, while other media continue to be local in nature

Croteau and Hoynes list a few limits of the Global Village. Which ones?

  • The idea of global media can be questioned, considering the fact that only a few countries are dominant in the making of mass media products.

  • The term ‘global media’ is misleading insofar as it obscures the fact that ownership and control of the global media industry are not really spread out globally, but instead are centralised and concentrated in a few wealthier nations

  • One can argue, however, that ownership and production are not necessarily the focus of the term global media – even though major corporations in a few wealthier nations still control media production, these media products are being distributed and consumed worldwide

  • Media are not equally accessible around the globe – patterns of media consumption follow the same pattern as economic inequality



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