Audiences are not Passive

Audiences are not Passive


Communication technologies have given easy access to audience so that a common can represent himself in news or talk shows (Curran, 1991). Everything that was previously private, through media and mobile technologies has become external and Audience. This is a fast come back of the mass media's fast suitability of the character. Since this unimaginable reversal, no emergency planning had been thought for tackling it. But, to the degree that the growth of the Audience opinion confronts become recognized for any way of the developed regulations, these targets will be met. It is obvious that the Audience community networks and internet can become under strain to finish or delete the recognised weak affects that these divided media use.

It is certainly possible to interpret many of the generic properties of the new media as exacerbating the crisis. The decreased costs of communication lead in turn to the overload problems of large communications volume. Increasing interconnectivity and two-way electronic communications tempt central authorities to secretly monitor and analyze the day-to-day communication and economic behavior of citizens. Sophisticated forms of targeted communication provide propagandists with subtle and effective new strategies and tools.

A More Balanced/Assessment of Communications Effects

The accumulated findings of five decades of systematic social science research, however, reveal that the mass media audience, youthful or otherwise, is not helpless and the media are indeed not all-powerful. The evolving theory of modest and conditional media effects helps to put the historical cycle of moral panic over new media in perspective. New media are a lot like old media. So are the "new" audiences. We need not abandon but rather can fruitfully build on the knowledge about audience psychology and media use which has accumulated in recent years. The new media, like the old, can be used for propaganda and education alike. It makes sense to move forward from a balanced and integrative theoretical framework which does not fixate too narrowly on either propaganda or education.

The original notion of communications and propaganda effects which emerged out of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s is sometimes characterized as the bullet or hypodermic needle model. One need only hit the target, a particular audience member, to have the intended and inexorable negative effect. It reflected in part the early behavioristic stimulus-response theories in experimental psychology. It may also have reflected in part the intensity of the moral concern. But as the empirical evidence accumulated, it became increasingly clear that the process was more one of interaction between audience and medium, highly sensitive to situational conditions, audience attitudes and interests, and the nature of the communicated message.

Media technologies are technical in a broader sense of the many technological sources of creating, transferring, getting and saving texts, these advancements in technologies are of greater significance to the Audience of and institutions. As this is disappointing that social and political theory has, as John Thompson writes, gave a meagre care to the networking media which engages new types of accomplishments and communication (Thompson 1995: 4). In this advance era Audience spend most of its time in spending upon the social institutions of the family, education and the workplace. But these settings of Audience are transmitted by media technologies which enable people to choose or reject from the given choices, and which are also almost similar with the dominion of entertainment, where Audience spend quality time than previous modern followers.

Abundant Media Exposure

One thing is clear. There is a lot of exposure. The media are heavily used by virtually every segment of the population. Television is the dominant medium in terms of time use representing about 50 percent of media exposure per day for the average citizen. A. C. Nielsen estimates that the average household has the set on for an average of a little over seven hours per day, with the average adult watching about four and a half hours. At the peak of prime time (about 9:00 in the evening) some 60-70 percent of American households are viewing. There is some variation among different demographic groups, but even the lowest-viewing category (teenage girls, who may have a number of other things on their minds) watch three and a half hours per day. Radio is next, with well over two hours of exposure per day. A fair sold in the United States have radios) so the peak exposure times for radio are "drive time" in the mornings and evenings as commuters commute, and many others listen as they attend to personal tasks and prepare meals.

Estimates of newspaper reading per day, depending on research methodology, vary from 18 to 49 minutes. Estimates of magazine reading vary from six to 30 minutes per day per person. That represents substantial variation in estimates. The differences are due to the difficulty people have recalling their behavior over the past 24 hours. The broadcast data are in large part derived from electronic viewership meters and are thus a bit more reliable. Book reading is estimated at about 18 minutes per day and includes pleasure reading as well as work-and school-related reading for appropriate segments of the population. Taking rather conservative estimates, it still adds up to a rather impressive six hours and 43 minutes of media exposure per day.

Information Overload

The television set throws forth 3,600 images a minute per channel. Radio on average generates just under 100 words per minute, totaling between 3,000 and 5,000 words broadcast by radio each minute of each day in the typical urban area. The average daily newspaper contains 150,000 words and several thousand graphic images. Magazines and books add to the flow at similar scale. Are we beginning to press up against the psychological limits of human information-processing capacity? Are there unanticipated effects of media abundance? Indeed, some analysts conclude that overload may result in intrapsychic trauma and conflict, withdrawal, confusion, and frustration.

The increased complexity and speed of decision making would seem to threaten this physiological barrier. Studies of battlefield commanders, business executives, and air traffic controllers provide further evidence of significant psychological pathologies. It appears, however, that media audiences have developed considerable skill in organizing, filtering, and skimming information through coping strategies of partial attentiveness. Most people do not feel bombarded or overloaded by an expanded array of available mass media. On the contrary, for the most part they seek out more media and respond enthusiastically to expanded choices. Media behavior is voluntary behavior. People choose to be exposed.

Mediated Constitution of the Audience

It is impossible to understand the Audience that is both governed and yet is also supposed to govern without understanding the technologies through which it is governed, or how it is governed. The most significant aspect of the government of the Audience is the way that media technologies constitute the Audience as an agent, or more precisely as an assemblage of agents. The Audience is an effect of the construction, maintenance and articulation of audiences by media technologies that mediate between Audiences and groups. Dahlgren' view that, the growth of media-based democratic system in the west corresponds previously with the appearance of the print media as the major institutions of the Audience (1991: 1) is a simple and beneficial signal of the close links between the democratic Audience and media. He adds that central agents in the shaping of Audience lives is media which emerge in the real communication of Audience, such that audiences should take a step in the mainframe being a member of the Audience (16-17).

The modern Audience can be taken as popular viewers because of advancement in technologies. Toby Miller writes, media technologies formed and reformed the Audience on a routine basis through which technology develops and stables the presentation of a Audience beyond a group of physically gathered people (Miller 1998: 5). No matter how people are far from each other, media technologies are connecting very large numbers of people to each other across great distances; media makes the mass democratic Audiences in the most prominent way by enabling them to act united even if they are not co-present (Thompson 1995: 236).

Print media first enabled the groupings of ideas and knowledge to Audience, enlarging arguments about politics ahead of the core of government (Lam, 2009)... After the invention of telegraph, networking got speed than transportation, it shows the growth of the broadcast media that joint together the huge number of Audience into a big group. Media takes the credit that it makes modern Audiences. Certainly, given the ongoing differentiation of Audience even at the occasion of their globalization, and the appearance of optional active Audience circles in comparison to the major Audience which is not as a single union (Dahlgren 1991: 12-15). The Audience sometimes represent as a one entity (the state, or the Audience) but mostly ranging from as a line of professions, sectors, age groups ethnic groups such as pensioners, or virtual categories whose ballot is taken essential, such as middle England.

The Audience as a group of viewers is set according to sections and types, but also different media divides the audiences of different types within those media, which develops different options within the fields and media. cultural technologies enables an individual becomes part of the Audience for being a member of an audience bound together with its knowable profile. Today's Audience is necessarily a mediated Audience, like a broader media networks struggles for bigger parts of market share, agencies try to take over a position from which they can make their position in the name of the people or the Audience interest, looking for political rather than consuming popular agreement. In different words, the direct objective of media technologies is to make accepted audiences as a state although some audiences are transnational to bind Audience to nations. (Miller 1998: 28).

Interactivity is the quality of electronically mediated communications characterized by increased control over the communications process by both the sender and receiver. The prototypical interactive process is a simple conversation between two people. It is a mutual, reciprocal process. Either party can interrupt the other, change the subject, raise new ideas. Most traditional mass media, electronic or otherwise, are not interactive. Communication is predominantly one way, from producer to large audience, with very limited and crude forms of feedback such as letters to editors, ratings, and circulation figures. Once a newspaper, book, or motion picture is produced it becomes a single, unchanging product to which audience members may or may not pay attention. Although different people take quite different messages away from a particular program or article, the communication content remains unchanged by those who choose to watch, read, or listen.

But five generic properties push the new media in the direction of interactive, personal conversations. The five properties are the increasing speed, interconnectivity, and two-way character of electronic communications and the increasing control of the process by both producer and audience member. Thus a video game represents a form of electronic communications rather unlike most forms which preceded it. There is no single script of the game. It varies depending on the behavior of the audience member. The author of the game and the player of the game interact electronically, interpreting and anticipating each other's behaviors. A video game is, of course, a limited genre. The vocabulary of action and ideas is quite limited. The player is often limited to such behaviors as up, down, back, forward, and shoot. The ability of the author to communicate complex ideas is limited. But those are not permanent or inherent constraints. Several new games which allow the players to experience the strategic alternatives for nuclear deterrence and international relations are capable of communicating quite sophisticated political messages.

A fundamental quality of the process, not previously present in print or broadcast communications, is that the medium itself monitors, stores, and reacts to the behavior of the audience member. Thus in text-oriented computer games, the computer may respond, "You've tried that ploy before; it will never work." Or an electronic news delivery service may prefilter and feature information similar to that which a particular user had previously requested. Or an educational medium could adjust the rate and level of instruction based on what it "knows" about a particular user. That information about preferred learning style or level of knowledge could have been programmed in from other sources or "intuited" by the machine as it monitored differential success at learning by the user.

Interactivity as Diversity

Another way of looking at the potential of interactivity is that it provides a stimulus to cultural and political diversity. It has always been true that the experience of watching a television newscast or reading a novel is quite different for two Audiences, each bringing individual beliefs, experiences, internal mental images, and selective attention to the common experience. By giving the individual audience member more control over the format, pace, and even content of the communications experience, that natural potential for diversity is enhanced.

The most clear-cut case is that of interactive fiction by which the audience member selects among alternative paths as the plot proceeds. There have been experiments with books, plays, and movies where the audience votes or otherwise influences the outcome. The limitations of the media, however, usually constrain both the opportunities for choice and the number of alternatives available. There is typically the choice of two endings or, with carefully contrived movies, one of 16 outcomes. The new media, however, are beginning to provide a programmable, nonlinear technology of almost limitless flexibility.

Technology allowed dissemination of newspapers and pamphlets, which provided a common focus for discussion and conversation. It was not, as it became during the modern period, a fiction or an abstraction. It was not a group of people sitting at home watching television or privately and invisibly reading newspapers. Nor was it the results of a public opinion poll. The public space, in turn, depended on public habits, manners and talents, such as the ability to welcome strangers, to avoid intimacy, to wear a public mask and to shun the personal. As such, the public was taken to be both critical and rational. It was critical in the sense that nothing in public was taken for granted; everything was subject to argument and evidence. It was rational in the sense that the speaker was responsible for giving reasons for believing in any assertion; and there was no intrinsic appeal to authority. The public was, thus, more than a group of people or a mode of discourse: It was a seat of political power, located in the world between the state and the private sector (Hartmann, 2009). It was the only sphere in which power could wear the face of rationality, for it was the only sphere .where private interest might be transcended.

The critical factor in the relationship between the public and journalism was that journalism was not an end in itself, but was justified in terms of its ability to serve and bring into existence an actual social arrangement, a particular form of democracy as discourse in a sphere of independent, rational, influence. In this term custom vision of communication diverts our attention on the vital new side of media. As various studies have shown, media rings public of its position in a group, country, or society. Media's role during times of conflict, war, or any emergence is like a priest to the public because media depicts the ongoing situations in any part of the world.


Audiences like the option of interactivity. They like the ability to voice an opinion, to skip a commercial, to select from a diverse offering of channels, and to call up specialized data and information. But they would prefer not to have to interact. Media monitoring does not have to be like driving a car, where a moment's distraction from control could have serious consequences. Reading newspapers and watching television are associated with relaxation and amusement. The distinction between browsing, being entertained, and seeking needed information is blurred, and the two behaviors are intertwined.

Few adults expect to be quizzed on current events information. As a result they satisfy rather than optimize when it comes to monitoring and internalizing information about distant and complex events which may or may not have any direct influence on their lives. If new interactive media allow Audiences to learn in greater detail about economic and political events that may affect their lives at some extra effort and expense, the use and advantage of such a technology are likely to be unequally distributed through society. Those strata which have already distinguished themselves by exerting extra energy and initiative are likely to be differentially advantaged by the new information technologies in the home.

Such conclusions must be qualified, however. The examples and systematic studies on which such judgments are made are based on the earliest and relatively crude prototypes of interactive information and entertainment services. It is also likely, given the shapes of the cost decline curves, that interactivity, in a sense like color television, will only at the earliest stages be differentiated by the economic resources of the early adopters. Furthermore, the behavior of the average viewer of television is largely culturally reinforced. It should not be surprising if most households react hesitantly to two-way television. The previous 20 years of experience have engendered a different set of expectations.

One might conclude then, that the prospect for inter-activity in the home is heavily constrained by the traditional psychology of the mass audience. To the extent that fundamental changes are in the offing, they are certainly to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

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