Introduction to Media Studies
Introduction to Media Studies MDST 2000
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Geovanni Spinka PhD
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Geovanni Spinka PhD
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Media Studies
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Chapter 1 Media in Context Mediamaking implies that the media re themselves being made while they are simultaneously making something else suggest we must see the media and all of the relationships that the media are involved in as active relationships producing the world at the same time that the world is producing the media 0 Making is primary activity of media 0 Practices are various forms of human activity that transform some aspect of human reality MEDIA amp MEDITATION De ning amp Distinguishing the Media Interpersonal media pointtopoint person to person communication Mass media communication from single point to large number of points or form a single source to audience of many people Network media either interpersonal or mass media used to create new geography of social relations connecting many points to many points all of which can be both senders and receivers Modalities of Media 1 Communicating 7 print books electronic television chemical lm 2 Sense experience on which particular media operate 7 visual books aural radio tactile Braille mixed television 3 Economic 7 directly purchased media media that can be delivered to audience without direct cost radio media that charge for general access media that charge for right to view speci c content Categorizations of Media Institutions 7 produce and disseminate media corporations vs independently produced Technological manifestations 7 different uses of technology Media content Information technologies 7 patents copyrights photocopying Media vs popular culture Technology the physical means of producing reproducing and distributing goods services materials and cultural products 7 physical media and techniques by which we communicate Institution any largescale entity embodying a range of social relationships and social functions created by humans to perform an essential function for a society 7 specific social organization where particular decisions are made and can be carried out 0 Communication technologies can be developed within institutions Cultural forms formats structures ways of telling stories how the products of media technologies and organizations are structures amp how their languages and meanings are structured into codes 0 EX product of television sitcom 0 New media technologies simply borrow cultural forms from older technologies Mediation o l interceding or coming between occupy middle position or intermediary as a means of solving dispute 0 2 biased or shaped by the mediator and can be contrasted with immediate objective information o 3 space between the individual subject and reality 7 space of experience interpretation and meaning 0 4 how messages are transmitted from one person to another TWO MODELS OF COMMUNICATION 0 Communication comes from the Latin term common 9 What is it that is made or held in common through the process of communication 0 Two perspectives of communication 0 l transportation some thing message or meaning is transported from one place or person to another 9 TRANSMISSION MODEL OF COMMUNICATION o 2 production of common culture concept of communication closely tied to notions of community and communion 9 CULTURAL MODEL OF COMMUNICATION 1 The Transmission Model 0 Modernization closely tied to industrialization and also development of new technologies that facilitated the movement of goods people and information 0 Communication is process of moving messages from a sender through a medium to a receiver SOURCE 9 MESSAGE 9 RECEIVER 0 Based on interpersonal context in which the major concern is fidelity of communicating or accuracy with which message is transported from one person to another in a linear trajectory 7 although model may allow for feedback loops 0 Major challenge of process of communication is to successfully transmit content of message as if form the mind of one person to that of another 0 Understanding Intersubjectivity sharing of meaning 0 Harold Lasswell 1948 7 Who communicators or people amp organizations that produce media messages and control what gets transmitted says What systematic analyses of media content to Whom audience through what Channel and with what Effect effects on audiences 0 Model assumes effects are direct between source and receiver 0 EX Columbine shooting 7 Marilyn Manson has negative message in songs etc 2 The Cultural Model 0 Close connection between processes of social communication and production of common culture 0 Raymond Williams 1958 7 culture as a means of cultivating particular abilities sensibilities and habits in human society cultured person 0 Culture becomes synonymous with whole way of life of a society or people 0 Modernization Progress changes that have radically altered the nature of social life 0 Culture was not a response to the new methods of production the new Industry alone It was concerned beyond these with the new kinds of personal and social relationships again both as recognition of practical separation and as an emphasis of alternatives 0 The idea of culture is a general reaction to a general and major change in the condition of our common life Its basic element is its effort at total qualitative assessmen o Argues that what connects the notions of a whole way of life and privileged set of activities is a set of processes that can properly be called cultural and that are above all else ordinary 0 People have to nd ways to interpret experiences that appear to have no place within the existing culture 0 Communication is constant process of balancing the possibilities of the culture social languages shared experiences and meanings with the needs of individuality 0 Culture as communication is the process of producing new shared meaning out of the interaction of historically given shared meanings and individually created meanings 0 Culture is set of activities in which this process of producing new shared meanings is carried in the various forms of art and media communication 0 The cultural model of communication sees communication as the construction of a shared space or map of meaning within which people coexist o Vast majority of our communication merely serves to ritualistically reproduce that system of shared meanings within which we live 0 James W Carey 1989 7 ritual view of communication can look at media presentations as rituals to illustrate the ways in which media function as a cultural forum 0 Rituals 7 formal but emotional public events reminder of beliefs repetitive practices of communication 0 Ideology common picture of reality 0 Culture is for humans the compensatory medium of information without which we would be condemned to living in a chaotic reality with culture reality becomes ordered and manageable 0 Culture is the medium in which human beings extemalize objectify and internalize subjectify their meaningful experiences of the world Transmission vs Cultural Models 0 Transmission model cannot deal with enormous amount of misinformation and redundancy in coverage or with the relationship between news and entertainment 0 Cultural forms give audience a way of understanding events 0 Disaster marathon extent and amount of media coverage of 911 9 structures interpretation of event 0 Media event share experience of being part of the American community 0 Cultural model contain power of language culture and rituals focusing its attention on the ways in which coverage reaffirms the shared systems of meaning and values that define American culture 0 Transmission and cultural models can be both quantitative and qualitative research 0 Transmission model isolates specific aspects of the media and also try to isolate the media from the various elements of the context 0 Can study impact of media on individual members of society or various subgroups in audience 0 Cultural model allows researchers to question ways in which media practices reinforce or challenge existing social trends and tendencies 0 Not used to study immediate impact but rather places media product or message in particular context to fit larger structures of in uence and effects MEDIA AND POWER 0 The media have the power to engage and entertain to create and destroy to open spaces and to close them 0 1 capacity or determination o 2 control Power as Effect 0 Power ability to produce effects to make a difference in the world 0 Determination 9 Causality 0 Ex Pornography 9 negative attitudes and behaviors toward women 0 Relationship of any practice to its effects cannot be isolated and identified because it depends on the entire context where effects are overdetermined 0 Ex Broad range of media portrayals help to define shape and limit construction of sexual identities and differences Power as Control 0 Control over people and resources producing and then operating through or exploiting social differences in the world 0 Two models 0 l Consensus Model emphasize unity and harmony within society and the ability of different peoples to get along together I John Dewey 1925 7 communication is process through which different groups in society come to understand and accept each other despite their differences communication is the means through which a nation forges a common identity a common purpose and a common resolve o 2 Con ict Model emphasize con icts and inequalities within social life and the difficulties different groups have in living together I The power to in uence meanings is the power to define questions or the power to define what others view as important and how they think about them System of social differences organize distribution of resources by social class race ethnicity nationality gender sexual identity age and differential abilities Ex Feminism 0 Media theorists who favor a con ict model of society view the more consensusoriented alternative as defending the status quo the current way of life and all of its inequalities 0 Media theorists who stress consensus model defend vision by appealing for the continuous progres and that the lives of all people within society will improve in the future as they have in the past They argue that con ict theorists give too much importance to the problem of power and overlook progress and harmony in human life Ch 2 Narratives of Media History 0 The role of communication in shaping human existence 0 Femand Braudel 1972 7 set of categories for viewing scope of historical events 0 l the EVENT a thing like a war a decree a meeting or the introduction of television Most typical histories of media list a series of such events each even focused on a technological development 2 the CONJUNCTURE describes short periods of time usually measured in decades Conjunctures comprise many events Ex America in the postwar years Roaring Twenties 3 level of HISTORICAL ERAS a period that can be viewed as a whole usually less than a century Ex Industrial Age Enlightenment 4 HISTORICAL EPOCHS major and signi cant transformations of human life that often cross national boundaries and that encompass events conjunctures and eras I Long Duree or the long term a temporal unit that encompasses centuries Ex Middle Ages Modern Period 0 O O 3 Different Historical Narratives o Orality 9 Writing 9 Print 9 Electronic 0 Impact of changes in modes and technologies of communication across the long duree o Conjunctural in Braudel s sense and focuses on communication culture and social relationships in modern life 0 Modernity 9 Postmodernity 0 Communication as a part of a broader cultural transformation in history FROM ORAL TO ELECTRONIC CULTURE 0 Oral culture facetoface interactions preliterate society with no shared form of xing or writing messages Writing culture literate society in which shared system of writing exists so that communication can take place outside of facetoface communication across time and space 0 Print culture expansion of writing culture as a means of printing press encompasses social and cultural changes as a result from proliferation of printed matter 0 Electronic culture communication can transcend time and space without physically moving the same object from one place to another Oral Culture Walter Ong 1982 o 1 Different sense of time in an oral culture 0 No records so memory can t be a recorded one 0 Its history only exists in present moment of telling the story 0 Passed on from generation to generation orally 0 Stories are often con icting and gaps that must be filled with imaginatively o 2 Psychology of oral cultures uses a different kind of memory system 0 Memory is not verbatim repetition memory is thematic and formulaic o Epic singers break down song and memorize themes 9 verbalize in own ways 0 3 Performance is more important than authorship 0 Every time a work is performed it is reshaped by the performer and provides a new model for future performances o No authors only performances 0 Small number of people are likely to possess and control the knowledge of and stories about the culture as well as their distribution 9 power is concentrated in these few people Oral culture tends to be very public and shared across generations Privacy and individuality are less important than commitment to social whole Writing Culture Harold Innis 19501951 0 Written communication allowed societies to persevere through time by creating durable texts which could be handed down and referred to Invention of more transportable media papyrus allowed for centralized control to expand over wider area 0 Communicator can guarantee that message received is identical with the one sent without having to rely on memory of messenger 0 Beginning of empire Walter Ong 1982 Creation of Greek alphabet changed how Greeks thought and handled knowledge Teth could measure truth of any specific performance of story Function of memory changes from thematic and visual memory to verbatim memory Plato believed that writing would make people lazy since they wouldn t rely on memory as much however writing meant hat memory itself could be judged or held accountable to something else the text or the written word Oral culture vs Writing culture 0 ORAL community is basic unit of social existence WRITING fixed written and permanent rules or codes of law develop individuals can appeal to and be held accountable to such codes authorship created individuality 0 ORAL neither space nor time has much meaning apart from particular place in which the community lives and the particular moment in time that defines the community s sense of the present WRITING allows for an understanding of both space and time as continua that encompass other group of people other places and other times Writing enables knowledge to be hoarded because knowledge no longer requires public performance Print Culture 0 Ability to reproduce a text freed writing from its reliance on an elite group of individuals and it guaranteed that each copy of the text would be literally identical to every other COPY o Took control of writing out of the hands of the Church and the scribes assigned to copying ancient texts o Obsession with precision and exactitude gives rise to dictionaries embodying the desire to legislate the correct use of language 0 Printing future reinforced the sense of individuality and privacy 0 With printing sight rather than hearing begins to dominate consciousness 0 Working class taught to read Bible and manuals for machinery then they often read political tracts and newspapers which contributed to the growing political gap between the classes 9 created new political parties and democratic governments 0 Just as eyes move across the page line after line thinking also works this way Electronic Culture 0 Consequences of telegraph o Reorganized people s perception of space and time o Allowed for new kinds of organizational control 0 Telegraph enabled the almost instantaneous transmission of messages across space and it fostered a rational organization of time 0 James W Carey not only can information move independently of and faster than physical entities but it can also be a simulation of and control mechanism for what has been left behind 0 New electronic means of communication have revolutionized not only how people communicate but how they live as well 0 If print individualized and privatized what had been an essentially public oral culture the effects of the electronic media have been both to reinforce the sense of individuality and privacy and to create new forms of what McLuhan 1964 has called the global village 0 Carey 1989 7 Space can now be measured in temporal terms Space no longer appears to be an obstacle in the organization of social political and economic relationships 0 Tendency of the electronic media is to disperse and decentralize the control of information and power 0 Incorporation of masses into the cultural arena as both consumers and potential producers of cultural products is a revolution 0 New electronic cultures are multisensorial requiring a constant monitoring and coordinating of a wide range of sensory experience and information Criticisms of Technological Determinism o Belief that technology is the principal if not only cause of historical change 0 Assume that history is guaranteed in advance 0 McLuhan 1964 7 People s normal use of technology necessarily modifies their consciousness He argued that the forms of communication technology oral print electronic available to people at a particular historical moment determined the ways in which they can perceive reality and the logics they use to understand it The content of media the actual messages are irrelevant This is the meaning of his aphorism The medium is the message The shape and nature of a technology do not determined but they can place limits 7 technological effects are therefore overdetermined THEORIES OF THE MASSES o A conjunctural narrative stresses the sociological nature and impact of the media in history From Social Relationship to Culture 0 Theory of mass society Mass society theory held that as a result of various social changes including industrialization both the nature of social life and the form of social interaction were fundamentally altered for the worse 0 Rural agrarian society in which people knew each other intimately and personally 9 urban mechanical society in which people did not know their own neighbors except in terms of their professional function 0 Relation only by formal and contractual relations 0 Individual becomes a part of a mass From Culture to Society 0 Hitler and Stalin made important use of the media to create and maintain their power 0 Different audiences responded differently based on their own cultural background and resources to the same media Mass Low culture 0 High culture art both spiritually and formally or aesthetically more developed than other forms of culture such as mass popular or folk culture 0 Folk culture those cultural products and forms that can be traced to a particular community or socially identifiable group 0 Expression of the experiences of this group 0 Both artist and audience share a common life 0 Popular culture culture which regardless of where or by whom it is produced speaks to a large public audience that cannot be simply described by a single social variable such as class or gender or age 0 Audience for popular art is itself diverse and complicated Mass art assumed to come from the top down given to the people whether they like it or not This conjunctural narrative of media history emphasizes how these ideas of mass and elite culture have developed and changed over a period of decades FROM MODERNITY TO POSTMODERNITY The Modern 3 different concepts of domains Modernization broad spectrum of interrelated historical forces that radically changed the world since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution capitalism and colonialism in Europe and America 0 New economic relations of distribution and consumption and new commodity markets Changes in the patterns of social migration both within countries urbanization and across nations diasporas Also includes political democratization the modern nationstate imperialism and cultural events public education and museums Gramsci 1971 7 with modernization ideological consensus rather than force began to play a central role in the legitimation of power Governments increasingly attempted to regulate the population by making people the object of knowledge and producing subjects who were responsible for policing themselves according to the norms of power Modernism cultural forms discourses practices and relations 7 both elite and popular both commercial and folk 7 with which people attempted to make sense of represent judge rail against surrender to intervene into navigate through or escape form the new worlds of modernization 0 From pressures of modernization Modernity refers to changing structure and nature of the lived social realities to which modernism and modernization responded and which were themselves shaped by both modernism and modernization o Attempts to describe what it felt like to live in the new modern world a world that attempted to break away form the customs norms and traditions of earlier generations Marshall Berman 1982 7 To be modem is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure power joy growth transformation of ourselves and the world 7 and at the same time that threatens to destroy everything we have everything we know everything we are 0 Marx 7 suggest that modernity is the experience of constant change ux or transformation the search for the new the turning away from tradition yearning for change recognize that change can t be stopped and that if one stops to rest the world will pass you by or you will be swept away by these changes 0 O O O The Postmodern If modernity is about mass production mass culture everything mass then postmodernity is about returning to the small and exible If capitalism in modernity is committed to maximizing profit by producing more for less and then attempting to persuade consumers to buy the products capitalism in postmodernity is committed to maximizing profit by developing systems of production and distribution that can respond quickly to the different demands of smaller groups of consumers No human activity that is free from capitalism commodification and the profit motive Increasing mobility both voluntary and forced of human populations around the world Rapid development of new communication technologies in particular the computer and other information media is essential to postmodernity o Technological determinism is most important factor bringing about the postmodern era Jameson 1991 7 features of postmodernism l Disappearance of depth 7 irrelevance of anything outside of the text of the normal assumption that cultural texts refer to something else 7 such as deeper meanings or the expression of an author s intention 0 Only surfaces matter only images are real 2 Pastiche 7 refers to the absence of any normative rules and definitions of coherent styles and forms 0 Ex combining different Greek architectural styles plus modern glass walls 3 Schizophrenic 7 fragmented texts both formally and temporally 0 Characters often inconsistent and seem utterly incapable of unifying past present and future into coherent stories and authors seem unwilling to create coherent narratives 4 Nostalgia 7 romanticized longing for the past attempt to appropriate a missing past comes increasingly to resemble a search for a lost fashion 5 Postmodern subline 7 experience which cannot be represented in contemporary cultural codes 0 Inability to construct maps of the contemporary spaces of everyday life within capitalism Baudrillard 1983b 7 difference between an image or code and reality is no longer important In fact if anything reality is measured against images rather than images against reality 0 Ability to distinguish reality from its images disappears so does the difference between them 0 The medium is the message signifies not only the end of the message but also the end of the medium There are no longer media in the literal sense of the term 0 that is to say a power mediating between one reality and another between one state of the real and another 7 neither in content nor in form Modernity and postmodemity are relevant particularly to industrialized western nations and do not necessarily describe life in other places What narratives of the longue duree lack are the specifities of social forces that we get with narratives on the level of the conjuncture Mediamaking ch 3 When asking the question who makes the media we get different answers at several different levels of analysis These levels are 0 Individual 0 Organizational 0 Industrial 0 Institutional 0 Cultural 1 Individual 0 The individual people directly engaged in the creation of media Usually the most visible people within the show itself 0 Ex Actors hosts 2 Organizational 0 Includes the supporting roles such as announcers producers directors camera operators makeup artists writers etc All of these people make up the organizational level 3 Industries 0 The industries within media that are all shaped by certain characteristics 0 Ex The reason newspapers books tv shows etc all look roughly the same 0 There are unwritten rules within the media industries that determine roughly the way things such as newspapers or tv news shows are structured These rules are often taken fore granted so they are usually unquestioned 4 Institutions 0 The level of analysis that looks at how media in general influence or are influenced by institutions of government religion medicine and so on 5 Cultural o The highest level of analysis The way that culture shapes media and media shapes culture 0 For example if culture did not affect media then media would be very similar in each society however this is not the case TV is very different in the US compared to Italy This difference shows how culture affects media and vice versa Mediamaking in Context 1 People 0 There are 2 different views about how individual differences influence media content 1 The view that individual creators derive from their backgrounds and experiences the attitudes and ideas that shape what they create 2 Groups share a characteristic then that characteristic may show up in much ofthe content produced by that group 0 These values attitudes and norms need to be separated into quotoccupationalquot and professional categories 0 Occupational values are those relating to a person s job 0 Professional values are more general and pertaining to someone s view of the overall world 0 Resource development perspective we can better understand how media producers behave by understanding how their resources are allocated 2 Organizations and Industries 0 There are many routines and rules essential to media organizations and industries 0 If you consider the example of a show such as The Tonight Show there are things that happen 0 The rules and routines will assure that production will be smooth efficient and predictable o The media end up being interdependent relying on each other for the quotraw material that becomes their content 0 Not everybody is treated in the same way as quotstarsquot are governed by different rules than unknown people 0 The rules and routines that make putting media products together easier more predictable and efficient for their producers also makes them predictable for audiences 0 Even for unconventional tv shows conventional rules apply 0 Rules are important but it is still necessary to be able to think in new and creative directions 0 Technology causes rules to change over time 0 Role A set of attitudes values and behaviors expected of any occupant ofa position 0 Reference Group Any group of which one is a member and to which one orients his or her thinking and actions 0 Doing anything as complex as assembling a media product requires people in multiple roles o The existence of different reference groups helps us to understand the circumstances under which conflicts are more or less serious Institutions 0 The relationship between media and other institutions includes two sets of critical distinctions 0 He degree to which the nature ofthe relationships is passive o The distinction between formal and informal constraints on media 0 Important factors in the relationship between media and other institutions are 0 Formal relationships are perhaps the most important ones for understanding how the media operate They account for relationships between government and the public and they explain how a society views the nature of the public Formal relationships change over time Formal relationships do not in and ofthemselves explain how the media are regulated we must consider informal relationships as well 00 Government Media Relations Government is one ofthe most important institutions that media confront This is because 0 Worldwide government control is direct The government is the only institution that can legitimately use force to assure compliance 0 Government exerts control not only over media but over other institutions as well 0 The relationship between the state or government and the media is undergoing radical transformation worldwide 0 Censorship 0 Government can simply not allow a certain media product to be distributed This is called Prior Restraint Licensing is another form of media censorship A license is given but it can be revoked if the licensee distributes something violating the government s rules 0 The third form is punishing the publisher after something is published The fear of such punishment would prevent things that don t comply with the governments rules from being distributed 0 Publicity is a major resource the media has It is the ability to focus public attention on a topic issue or person The government and government officials need this resource to focus public attention towards certain things 0 0 Education 0 The average person spends more time in his life watching television than attending school It has been shown that moderate amounts of television do not hurt a child s performance in school but watching 5 hours of more per day is detrimental to grades 0 Certain programs such as quotchannel one have attempted to use television to enrich education 0 Medicine 0 Medicine is often portrayed on television Professionals such as lawyers doctors and teachers are overrepresented on television CHAPTER 4 Media and Money Media is big business one of the biggest and most profitable in the world Average American household spent 2000 on entertainment in 2002 Consumer spending on media was averaged at 673 per person per year in 2001 in 2007 it was estimated that the average person spent 941 on media per year How the media are organized institutionally and how they operate to produce the particular types of products they do are significantly in uenced if not determined by their relationship to money and profit American media operates in a capitalist economy Capitalism assumes that any product enters into a freely competitive market however many argue about the extent to which the organization of media as a largely profitm aking venture influences the sort of media products that are made available to the audience Every good has some use value which describes its function in our lives Use value is more obvious with some things than others ex Desig nerjeans have a less obvious use value than do just a regular pair etc Every product also has an exchange value which is its value in the market There is no necessary correlation between use value and exchange value EX Designer jeans have a high exchange value although they have a lower use value Commodities are products primarily made to be sold in the market Money is a kind of universal abstract measure against which we measure the exchange value of different commodities Labor theory of value a commodity s production the labor that goes into it gives a commodity its exchange value Surplus value is the profit gained off of a commodity The goal of capitalist market is to sell items for more then it cost to make it to create this profit Pro t is what s left over after one subtracts the cost of producing the product from the price one sells it for The key to media profit is access which can take either of 2 forms Selling products directly or indirectly to consumers Selling access to the audience to advertisers One of the most powerful ways of increasing profit is to participate in economy of scale in this after a very high initial cost of starting up the cost of producing each unit of profit declines rapidly as the number of units produced 1ncreases Thus the more products that can be produced the higher the rate of pro t Sources of Media Support People are surrounded by the media everywhere they go But how is this media funded Some media products are paid for fully by consumers These usually include physical entities such as CDs books and tapes Direct consumer purchases can also come in the form of long term sales or subscriptions magazines cable TV Other media is sold as access rather than ownership consumers pay for a ticket to watch a movie in theaters they go through a turnstile Media giants often make the most money through these as well as secondary profits coming from concessions stands within theaters Some media such as broadcast radio in America are delivered free of charge and are fully funded by advertisers taxes andor public contributions In some countries such as Britain television and radio are controlled by a monopoly BBC which is completely state owned and funded by a tax the consumer pays on the TV or radio appliance Advertisers often alter their ads to accommodate the majority they often cater to white middleclass women ages 1849 Therefore it is argued that many groups such as minority populations are underrepresented in the media Advertisers try to have different markets by catering to different ages and types of people ex Channels Nickelodeon Disney Cartoon Network cater their ads to children That is their market Within the youth market advertisers have people with jobs called cool hunters They try to anticipate the next big fashion or culture trends among youth before the trends are large scale to generate the most profit from their ads Capitalism allows for competition between companies There are different forms of competition Competition for an audience Ex a new newspaper competing against established newspapers Competition for resources Ex airtime or advertising Principle of relative constancy suggests that over time individuals spend a constant portion of their disposable income on media Profit in the Media Media economics like capitalist economics in general focuses on the efficiency and generation of profit Most media companies operate on the examples of economies of scale defined earlier Media companies measure the success of their medium s outreach by using a ratings system Ratings estimate the total number of households viewing any particular program Expressed as ratings points each ratings point 931000 households with a television Ex 188 rating175 million homes Shares provide an estimate of the percentage of all households among those viewing television view a particular program Ex a program with a 31 share is estimated to have been viewed by 31 of all households watching TV at the same time Media profits often involve risk a producer does not know Whether his movie will turn out a huge profit but they make an investment into producing the movie before it is released There are two strategies that maximize the chances of success aximize the investment capital The more money available to put into the product the more likely it is to be successful Integrate the production process try to control the entire process of producing marketing and distributing the product to minimize the chances that a third party will alter the product so much that it differs from what the producer originally wanted Controlling this change minimizes risk Vertical and horizontal integration Modes of creating more profit company that is vertically integrated controls the entire production and distribution process of their product Ex a record company that controls the creation of the music its physical reproduction and packaging marketing and promotion and its distribution to wholesalers and retailers A company that is horizontally integrated controls markets all across the media spectrum Ex Time Warner company owns media from magazines to cable TV to movies to radio broadcastingetc and everything about their production Ch 5 Media and Meaning 0 Culture is the making of meaning it is how we understand the world 0 We are constantly interpreting meaning we are involved in a process of making meaning 0 Failures of communication occur in the most common everyday interactions 0 Problems in Interpretation the process by which people understand or make sense of something I Ex Ronald Reagan used the song quotBorn in the USA to inspire patriotism however singer Bruce Springsteen said not to use it because that s not what it means This shows that there is a struggle over meaning 0 The Two Domains of Meaning 0 The world itself is meaningful o The languages people use to describe the world are meaningful o What is Meaning 0 Meaning can be representational or conceptual o Polysemy O O o Semiotics O o Acode o The Sig o Dissemination Competence T relatively norm Representation meaning any language or any system of meaning always points or refers to the real world 0 Representational Word Object Conceptual meaning language refers to or points to thoughts inside our minds 0 Conceptual Word Concept Anything can have a variety of different meanings and interpretations The same message can mean different things to different people and audiences The Study of the nature of any system of meaning is a system of signs each of which is distinct from every other n signifier A material forma sensuous marker like a sound or a visual mark For something to be a signifier it must be located within a code in which its uniqueness can be recognized A sign s meaning depends on the way we understand signifiers and signified I Example Grades the signifier needs a code the alphabet to know what an A B C or D means We know from the alphabet that A comes first The grades only have meaning when we understand a second code which is the signified of that That has to do with student performance The signified is not concrete It only has meaning within its own system of signs and codes Articulation is the process by which different elements are connected stitched together Meaning always depends on the relationship between different texts Meaning is always intertextual The meaning of a message depends on the way codes are linked or articulated to other codes in and through texts A sign can be signified in many different ways Understanding and making meaning is a complicated process Everything we do in our lives depends on the relationships between signs signifier etc Meaning is a social process It does not simply describe the relationship between a common reality and its understanding to us Meaning resides in culture It is always a social process of articulation the endless movement and proliferation of signifiers he ability to decode and understand messages with sufficient skill to function ally in a society 0 Conclusion 0 People always live in a world made by the codes with which the world is made meaningful o The codes of meaning that make up our common culture produce the very reality they represent Chapter 6 The Interpretation of Meaning Introduction 0 Every text has multiple interpretations and evaluations 0 Transmission model I The aim of communication is to maximize the chance that the receiver gets the exact same message the sender is trying to send I If receiver and sender don t get the same message process has failed 0 Stuart Hall and Semiotics I Doesn t agree with above model I Encoding and decoding are two distinct processes and communication can t be said to succeed or fail based on a comparison ofthe two I Audiences interpret messages with their own code 0 The Nature of Interpretation 0 What is the text to be interpreted I Signs and codes in text are located in a complex set of relations 0 Artistauthor and their image 0 Knowledge people bring from other areas 0 Knowledge of forms of behavior 0 Popular culture 0 Different tastes of audiences I No text can be isolated from these relations I Every text is an intertext 0 Why have we turned to this text I Behavior 0 To nd a role model or rules for living 0 Ex to learn dance steps to see how to treat the opposite sex ethics nature of drugs or violence I Meaning 0 To nd a deeper less obvious meaning 0 Ex Star Trek made commentary on racism colonialism imperialism the cold war and Vietnam 0 How does a text communicate I How does the text produce it s particular meaning 0 Ex genre conventions star s personality assumed fan knowledge 0 Interpretation and the Author72 problems 0 Gathered meaning isn t always what the author intended I Ex Reagan using Bruce Springsteen s songThe Wizard of Oz was written as a political allegory not just a family movie This Land is Your Land was written as a socialist retort against the celebration of our country not a patriotic song 0 Dif cult to even gure out who the author is I Hard to isolate one single author scriptwriter director actors producers cinematographer network executives I All participants have different meanings in mind 0 Techniques of Interpretation 0 Intuitive interpretations I Analysis of themes and symbols 0 These aren t insightful and o Depend on prior assumptions o The following four ways to examine text go beyond intuitive interpretations 0 Four ways to examine text I Narrative Analysis 0 Narratives are stories people tell 0 Central to movies TV shows comics popular songs 0 Taken for granted because our lives are immersed in stories 0 TWO CENTRAL FEATURESistory and discourse 0 STORY Actual progression of events through time that make up substance and content of a narrative Narrative characters serve story lnctions by doing certain things 0 Characters have a variety of characteristics assigned to them by the narrative Stories use hooks and suspense and make the ctional world seem real 0 DIS COURS E The way the text describes or tells the story the way it s plotted Narrator someone telling the story 0 Told from their point of view Sometimes address camera directly Sometimes we don t know who narrator is All of these are features of the discourse Digetic narrator o Narrator within story Malcolm in Malcolm in the Middle 0 Nondigetic narrator o Narrator from outside of story newscaster o Omniscient narrator o Knows what s going on everywhere like in fairytales Narratee someone to whom the story is being told Narrator and Narratee are not the same as author and audience 0 Discourse creates an implied author and implied reader 0 Real author 91mplied author Narrator Naratee Implied reader Real reader pg 177 Time 0 Discourse techniques include ashforwards and ashbacks Story and discourse may be told in the same time TV show 24 Most discourses are summaries of the story Discourse can skip over entire scenes of story called ELLIPSIS o Narrative theory shows how the telling of the story constructs the story itself and identi es the perspective taken on the story I Genre Theory 0 3 de nitions of genre 0 Shared set of conventions about narrative characters locations style Ex Western lms 0 Underlying structure of values Ex in heavy metal music con ict between angry youth and creative adulthood o Articulations of texts that de ne a particular set of intertextual relationsExadult children s programs like Rocky and Bullwinkle or The Simpsons 0 Genre is a type of shorthand o If the audience understands the rules and features of a genre the writer or director can save time from explaining each aspect o Analyze relationship between genre and an example of the genre 0 How the text embodies features of the genre 0 How the text reshapes features of the genre 0 Genre can describe the speci c ways in which a text can both resemble other texts and maintain it s individuality I Semiotics o Chains of connotation signi er to signi er red white and blue cloth means US ag means country itself means love and patriotism o Chains can become xed and frozen into myths like the Cinderella myth of rags to riches 0 TWO Ways texts are organized o SYNTAGM I Text s organization how signs are connected in time or space I This Is if you switch them you get Is this and it changes from a statement to a question Changes in syntagm alter meaning Horizontal organization EXAMPLE 0 The girl drives a car 0 The sentence structure order of words is the syntagm o PARADIGM I Describes possibilities possible substitutions that one can make without changing syntagmatic relationship I Vertical set of choices I EXAMPLE The girl drives a car Why girl and not woman or lady 0 Why car instead of automobile or Hummer 0 These choices make up the paradigm o Commutation test 0 Does a change in the text make a difference 0 How is the text affected 0 Ex Does it matter if the good guy wears black If Bart Simpson had normal hair 0 Semiotic Analysis 0 Portrait ofthe Simpsons pg 182 I Iconic codes tell us it s a cartoon 0 B right colors they have four ngers I Tells us they are a family 0 Standing close together patriarchal and matriarchal roles I Tells us who s female and who s male 0 Long eyelashes jewelry hairstyles dresses on the females I These are all signifiers 0 Two other important aspects of semiotic analysis I Teth are organized around binary oppositions and codes 0 Blacldwhite malefemale individualsocial goodbad youngold beautifuluglystrongweak Develop equivalences between terms Womanyoungbeautifulweak DECONSTRUCTION 0 Theoretical extension of semiotics o Criticizes tendency to believe that codes are organizes according to simple binary oppositions Says that the terms depend on each other Male means not femalefemale means not male 0 They do not exist apart from each other I The polysemy of any text suggests the possibility of many interpretations but then why do people arrive at such few meanings 0 Very few and very powerful codes transect the text itself and thus we usually all arrive at the same assumed meaning 0 Aporia gap in the logic ofthe text I Content Analysis 00 More systematic and objective than the other three methods of analysis Rigidly categorizes and quanti es aspects of the text Example determine how violent television programs are 0 First de ne violence in iction of harm 0 Then categorize further verbal vs physical intentional vs accidental etc Choose text to be analyzed television What sample What programs Cable For how long News programs Etc 0 Then count each time violence occurs in sample Sample must be representative of object of study Validity and reliability of study Categories must be mutually exclusive any element can be coded in only one way and collectively exhaustive every element an be coded in some way Content coding 0 content analysis is made objective by applying the same set of categories in the same way 0 o The Analysis of Visual Texts O O O OO examine appearance of themes or repeated visual motifs and symbols man with arms outstretched is a symbol of the cruci xion structure and content of the visual image is the image balanced Symmetrical Foreground vs background miseenscene spatial organization lighting presentation of characters the shot at or deep line of sight where horizon appears editing how shots are connected to one anotherfaded into black Splicing them togethernormally edited in the continuity editing style so the viewer feels a narrative continuity I Issue of editing raises some more questions 0 Who is the editor 0 On what do they base their decisions 0 What effects do the decisions have on the meaning Simone Asque MDST Study Guide A Cultural Approach to Communication James Carey gt James starts out saying how someone had advised him to read up on John Dewey most of the article goes through and explains Dewey s points one of his main focuses is explaining Dewey s quote of all things communication is the most wonderful Thoreau predicted that after the invention of the international telegraph all the information that would be shared would become very trivial the intelligence that Princess Adelaide had the whooping cough gtThere are two different definitions for communication both definitions come from religious origins Transmission View of communication def1ned by terms such as imparting sending transmitting or giving information to others it is formed from a metaphor of geography or transportation the center of this idea of communication is the transmission of signals or messages over distance for the purpose of control in the idea of transmission communication is a process whereby messages are transmitted and distributed in space for the control of distance and people focused on the idea of getting information from one point to the other the extension of messages across geography for the purpose of control the definition originates from movement of the Christian community in Europe to the Americas Their moral meaning of communication was the establishment and extension of God s kingdom on earth Ritual View of communication linked to terms such as sharing possession ofa common faith this definition exploits the ancient identity and common roots of the terms commonness communion community and communication A ritual view of communication is directed not toward the extension of messages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs the sacred ceremony that draws people together in fellowship and commonality gt7 4 participation association fellowship and the gt7 4 on page 19 This projection of community ideals and their embodiment in material form 7 dance plays architecture news stories strings of speech 7 creates an artificial though nonetheless real symbolic order that operates to provide not information but confirmation not to alter attitudes or change minds but to represent an underlying order of things not to perform functions but to manifest an ongoing and fragile social process meaning the point of communication is not to only transfer information but to re establish or recon rm the norms of the current society and continue the underlying message of what the order of things should be the reason for our strong aversion to the ritual view of communication is because of our obsessive individualism gtIf you look at a newspaper with the two views of communication page 20 under a transmission view one sees the medium as an instrument for disseminating news and knowledge under a ritual view it looks at the act of reading a newspaper not so much as an instance of sending or receiving information but more as attending a mass a situation in which nothing new is learned but in which a particular view of the world is portrayed and con rmed News reading and writing is a ritual act and moreover a dramatic one Carey also talks about how newspapers are made to be dramatically satisfying presentations of the world that labels it with a general form order and tone He says that through a ritual view news drama gton page 22 Carey explains how Dewey s quote of communication being the most wonderful is correct because communication is the basis of human fellowship Meaning that communication is what keeps society together Society is possible because of the sharing and circulation of information gton page 23 Carey produces another definition for communication communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced maintained repaired and transformed gtCarey agrees with McLuhan s point of how we ignore or don t give a lot of attention to communication because we are so used to it always being there He mentions McLuhan s thought of the fish that is not aware of the water he swims in gtthere is reality and then there is our accounts of reality gtwords are not the names of things things are the signs of words gthumans created order and organization It is not genetic or created by nature gthe addresses how we think that our thoughts are private and an exclusive activity for our own heads But he explains how this is not true and that our thoughts are mainly public and social This is true because thought depends on a publicly available stock of symbols Also thinking consists of building maps of environments pg 28 gtthere are two ways to look at symbols symbols ofquot amp symbols for symbols of present reality symbols for create the reality they present Carey creates an example of communication of drawing a young boy a map to give him directions on how to get from home to school the map can be both a symbol of and a symbol for the map is a symbol of the actual route to school the map is also a symbol for the reality of the child making it to school gt We rst produce the world by symbolic work and then take up residence in the world we have produced pg 30 meaning that we create our view of the world through our own perceptions and then live in it when our perceived world doesn t work we try to repair it We are constantly repairing it because it constantly breaks down gt to study communication is to examine the actual social process wherein signi cant symbolic forms are created apprehended and used pg 30 to gure out the process of how we perceive reality gtCarey talks about the irony of communication about communication itself and how that is how we study communication models of communication are representations for communication to study communication involves examining the construction apprehension And use of models of communication themselves gtproblems in communication are linked to problems in community which are linked to problems surrounding the kinds of communities we create and in which we live because communication is based off of popularly established signs symbols and general norms within a community gtCarey explains how there is a social interest in communication because of the imbalance in it We are obsessive about the transmission view of communication but communication also includes the ritual view of communication sharing of aesthetic experience religious ideas personal values and sentiments and intellectual notions 7 a ritual order A Cultural Approach to Communication Part I 0 John Dewey o Societies distribute information and through such transactions society is made possible To alternative conceptions to communication in American Culture 0 Both derive from religion 0 Transmission View of Communication 0 Most common form of communication 0 Formed from a metaphor of transportation geography 0 Communication is the transmission of signals or messages over distance for the purpose of control 0 Derived from the desire to increase the speed and effect of messages as they travel in space 0 Transportation and communication used to be inseparable until the time of the telegraph It began during the time of exploration to create new religious communities extend the Kingdom of God This is also established the moral meaning of communication With the telegraph communication and transportation broke and led to the era of preaching telegraph was said to have been inspired to spread the Christian word farther and faster but eventually communication got rid of its spiritual connections and moved to the center of thought 0 Ritual View of Communication 0 Oldest view 0 Directed towards the maintenance of society in time the representation of shared beliefs 0 o The archetypal case under the ritual view is the sacred ceremony that draws persons together in a fellowship and commonality o The projection of community ideals in dances plays architecture etc is to manifest an ongoing and fragile social process 0 This view has not been explored as much because of our individualism and our isolation of science which is culturefree Newspapers 0 Transmission view tool for disseminating news and knowledge 0 Ritual view particular view of the world is portrayed and confirmed 0 Presentation of reality that gives an overall form order and tone 0 it is a form of cultural invented by a particular class at a particular point in history 0 Not information but drama participation in social roles Neither the ritual view nor the transmission view of communication denies what the other affirms Ritual view just class that one cannot understand the transmission process unless The transmission view ad dominated American thought since the 1920s Part II 0 Communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced maintained repaired and transformed 0 Activities we call communication are so ordinary that it is difficult for them to arrest our attention Dewey is trying to induce awe in commonplace activity 0 There is a real world but our language culture distorts the way we see it 0 Words are not the names for things things are the signs of words 0 Reality is brought into existence through the construction apprehension utilization of symbolic forms Communication is experience not a derivative from existent nature 0 Various ways of mapping space draw a map sing dance ect I Each mode allows you to talk about something when it isn t present displacement I A person can make an in nite amount of representations with a nite number of symbolic elements productive I Different maps produce quite different realities 0 Because of our individualistic tradition we think of thought as private but author argues that it is primarily social because it depends on public symbols and building maps of environments 0 Thought is the utilization of maps The ability to create reality and live within its production depends on the ability of symbols to be representations both of and for reality 0 symbols of present to reality 0 symbols for create the very reality they present 0 e g a child experiences a trip home from school with certain blinders observations that a map would induce thus the map creates a reality similarly with a religious ritual All human activity involves creating the world with symbolic work and then living within it Our reality must constantly be repaired It breaks down with certain ideas become problematic and then the reality must be repaired and become authoritative To study communication is to examine the actual social processes wherein signi cant symbolic forms are created apprehended and used Ironic aspect to the study of communication there is no such thing as communication to be revealed in nature that is free from culture We just have models for it Models for communication are found in common sense law religious traditions and scienti c theories The study of communication involves examining the creation apprehension and use of models of communication themselves bc they are representations for communication Dewey problems of communication are linked to problems of community and problems surrounding the communities we create and live within Our minds and lives are shaped by representations of communication Social interest in communication derives essentially from the representation of communication in models of power and anxiety 0 We typically see society as a social order but it is also an economic and ritual order 0 Advances in technology are typically seen to help economics and politics but Carey hopes to change the study of communication to the ritual order to reshape common culture MCCLUAN39S The MEDIUM is the MESSAGEquot 0000 O OO O O O O O O O O O O 0 Understanding Media Chapter 1 The Medium Is the Message The Medium is the message Automation o Negative Eliminates jobs o Positive Creates roles for people It is not the machine but what one did with the machine that is its meaning or message Essence of machine technology is th technigue of fragmentation Essence of automation technology is the opposite it is integral and decentralist in depth Content of an medium is always another medium o Ex The content of writing is speech the written word is the content of print The message of any technology or medium is the change of scale or pattern that it introduces into human affairs o Ex The railroad did not introduce movement or transportation but rather it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human function The medium is the message because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action The context or uses of such media are as diverse as they are influential in shaping the form of human association The latest approach to media study considers not only the content but the medium and the cultural matrix within which the particular medium operates General David Sarnof The products of modern science are not in themselves good or bad it is the way they are used that determines their value The message of the movie medium is that of transition from lineal connections to configurations Cubism substitutes all facets of an object simultaneously for the point of view or facet of perspective illusion Cubism sets up interplay of planes and contradiction or dramatic conflict of patters lights textures that drives home the message by involvement Cubism by seizing on instant total awareness suddenly announced that the medium is the message De Tocqueville o Proclaimed that printed homogenized the French nation c He also claims that because England rejected the principle of print and clung to the oral commonlaw it lead to their discontinuity and unpredictable quality of culture O O O OO O 0 Any medium has the power of imposing its own assumption on the unwary Electric speed has revealed the lines of force operating from western technology in the remotest areas of bush savannah and desert Mental breakdown of varying degrees is the very common result of uprooting and inundation with new information and endless new patterns of information Accelerated media change is a kind of massacre of the innocents The content of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as content Print created individualism and nationalism in the 16th century All media are extensions of our human senses Chapter 2 Media Hot and Cold 0 O O 0 Hot Medium one that extends one single sense in high definition o Photography high definition o Low in participation o Example Book compared to dialogue where hot medium is book due to low participation Cool Medium one of low definition because the ear is given a meager amount of information o Telephone or a Cartoon o Speech o High in participation completion by the audience Disruptive impact of hot technology succeeding a cool one Robert Theobald in The Rich and the Poor o Australian natives were given steel axes by missionaries their culture base on the stone axe collapsed New electric structuring and configuring of life o effect had first been anxiety now it appears to create boredom o In terms of media hot and cold backward countries are cool and we are hot The City in History Lewis Mumford the cool structured towns over the hot filledin cities o Great period of Athens was one during which most of the democratic habits of village life and participation still obtained Jack Paar s war with the gossip columnists was an example of clash between a hot and cold medium occurred with the scandal of the rigged TV quiz shows The hot radio medium used in cool or nonliterate cultures has a violent effect o A cool or low literacy culture cannot accept hot media like movies or radio as entertainment o They are as radically upsetting for them as the cool TV medium has proved to be for our high literacy world o Basic difference between hot and cold media uses is to compare and contrast a broadcast of a symphony performance with a broadcast of a symphony reherseal 0 Glenn Gould s recording piano recital and Igor Stravinsky s rehearsing the Toronoto symphony 0 Difference between hot and cold media is a practical joke The hot literary medium excludes the practical and participant aspect of thejoke so it is considered not a joke at all Whereas to literary people the practical joke is found as being humorous Alphabetization of the Popular Mind Illich amp Sanders 1 Only the alphabet has the power to create language and words for the word does not emerge until it is written down a Essay begins by differentiating between an oral culture and a written one Stresses the vast importance of the written word in many examples 1 The alphabetic scribe carries what is spoken from the ever passing moment and sets down what he has heard ONLY with this act can knowledge separate from speech be born ii Without a listener speech could not be perceived as anything but madness and before this sound recording through the alphabet a listener could not be perceived as a recorder iii The alphabet records only sounds and it is only through sounds that it provides meaning exactly the opposite of what hieroglyphics were designed to do Here basically the authors say that the alphabet dictates what we say more so than hieroglyphics in which the symbol requires the reader to interpret the message on a deeper level There is more left to be implied in the case of symbols and hieroglyphics 2 Only after the alphabet had it become possible to x the ow of speech in phonetic transcription did the idea emerge that knowledge information could be held in the mind as a store ALPHABET 9 MEMORY a In section II the authors describe the written word s impact on memory and how memory truly exists now that things can be recollected from text i As soon as the stream of recollections becomes even potentially visible as a narrative the stream clots and turns into an authority a point of reference a socially disembodied rule that excrement of lived wisdom that a new kind of wise man the scribe can create No longer are thought and memory intertwined in every statement with no distinction between thought and speech 2 3 The transformation of the manuscript pageilustrates the steps through which the mind of the west has come into being a In other words the TEXT serves to shape the society and expand its growth in two main ways i New ways of doing business nourishing prayer life and administering justice all became feasible through the written preservation ofwords ii by words own symbolism getting under a culture s skin and changing social perception in terms of the written word iii Trust power procession and everyday status were functions of the alphabet The use of documents turned writing into a constituent element in the mediation of mundane relations The authors also extensively describe how documents such as oaths and wills become somewhat more legitimate when written down Postman s Amusing Ourselves to Death Leila Chouai o Begins with a discussion of what Postman calls the Age of Exposition this was the age of print culture 0 Print and the language used in this print created much more thought than television does Whenever language is the principal medium of communications especially language controlled by the rigors of printian idea a fact a claim is the inevitable result 0 Print creates rationality 0 Also argues at the time of the Age of Exposition there was less time for leisure thus when reading was invoked it was with more meaning and steadfast purpose than it is today 0 In the second part ofthe essay Postman discusses the Age of Television that has overcome the Age of Exposition 0 He does not like the Age of Television because it is not a direct representation of life It feels the need to ALWAYS be entertaining 0 Television is also based primarily on images thus it does not evoke thought it is too easy The single most important fact about television is that people watch it which is why it is called television And what they watch and like to watch are moving picturesi millions of them of short duration and dynamic variety It is in the nature of the medium that it must suppress the content of ideas in order to accommodate the requirements of visual interest that is to say to accommodate the values of show business 0 television is our cultures principal mode of knowing about itself PostmanAmusing Ourselves to Death Erika Maguire Trying to describe the differences that occur when we move from communicating mainly through print to communicating through oral Believes the age of television is worse than the age of typography society was better off when the dominate form of communication was print society is inferior today because of this change Age of Show Business replaced Age of Exposition where people had a quotsophisticated ability to think conceptually deductiver and sequentiallyquot TV quotsource of illuminating the printed pagequot Thinks that because we have grown up with TV we are morons our attention has been so fragmented we don39t think quotPeople of a television culture need 39plain language39 both aurally and visuallyquot Trying to explain changes in conscience that are brought on by TV Argues that there is no distinction between the real world and the world portrayed by the media today due to television the media is how we know the real world quotTelevision is our culture39s principle mode of knowing about itselfquot thus quothow television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be stagedquot TV changes the nature of truth has an epistemology all it39s own our notion of truth depends on the media Supports the belief that seeing is believing need journalists to tell us what to know rather than us finding out ourselves TV came to be the dominant medium in our society TV changed political discourse but it has changed it for the worse no longer like Lincoln Douglas debates which quotillustrated the power of typographyquot TV less able to capture the complexities of politics than the written word Argues quotthe act of thinkingquot does not play well on TV for its main goal is quotapplause not reflectionquot Argues the problem is not that TV presents us with material that it is entertaining but that all material has to be presented as entertaining quotAmerican television is devoted entirely to supplying its audience with entertainmentquot quotTV has made entertainment itself the natural format for the representation of all experiencequot quotGood television has little to do with what it 39good39 about exposition or other forms of verbal communication but everything to do with what the pictorial images look likequot TV changed education now indistinguishable from entertainment eg Sesame Street quotWhat is show business and what is not becomes harder to see with each passing dayquot Postman recognizes two types of cultures one amplified by typography one by TV Typographic print Culture the use of language as a means of complex argument was important pleasurable and a common form of discourse in every public arena audiences could withstand long hours of discourse without losing attention intellectual lives ad public business were fully integrated into their social world egLincoln Douglas debates illustrate power of typography public discourse in this time was serious inclined towards rational argument and presentation and therefore made up of meaningful content John Marshall preeminent example of Typographic Man detached analytical and devoted to logic the printed page revealed the world to be a serious coherent place capable of management by reason and of improvement by logical and relevant criticism AGE OF EXPOSITION Imagecentered Culture TV has three purposes source of illuminating the printed page an electronic bulletin board and a bookcase television redefines the meaning of public discourse not extending or amplifying literate culture but attacking it the problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining thus losing its true meaningful content eg news shows format for entertainment not for education or reflection quotgood television has little to do with what is 39good39 about exposition but everything to do with what the pictorial images look likequot TV programs aim to achieve applause not reflection act of thinking is perceived as boring on television and thus ignores it quotit is in the nature of the medium that is must suppress the content of ideas in order to accommodate the requirements of visual interestquot how television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged has affected peoples attention spans shortened and education which now has to be entertaining in order for it to have the same affect eg Sesame Street changed political discourse now only soundbites AGE OF SHOW BUSINESS Postman believes the age of typography was better for society people who have grown up around TV are now morons unable to think for themselves and only relying on TV for their information One objection to Postman still have newspapers books magazines said in lecture McChesney Battle for the US Airwaves 1928 1835 Key Points American Exceptionalism People often believe that the US is an exception to the idea that the media is a political issue we often see the media as something that is neutral 9 he claims that this idea is a myth o quotThis chapter debunks the central myth that the modern corporate commercial mass media system in the United States is the natural system and that it was adopted if not enthusiastically at least with minimal qualms P157 Before the radio act if 1927 the radio broadcasting industry was 0 Very chaotic 0 Had no regulatory body 0 People would try to overpower other signals on the same frequency quotRadio act of 1927 established the Federal radio Commission FRC for one year to allocate broadcast licenses and bring order to the airwaves by reducing the total number of stations P159 0 In 1928 and 1929 congress held hearings about whether or not to extend the FRC I Congress questioned FRC about the increase in unchecked network broadcasting and the decrease in nonprofits General Order 40 0 Set aside 40 if the 90 stations to be clear channels The Vicious Cycle 0 Nonprofits were given less desirable hours so less people wanted to advertise with them so they got less money and they continued to get less money and worse hours because they were seen as less desirable Third Annual Report 0 Claimed that commercial broadcasters provide a general public service because they satisfy the publics desires by appealing to demand in order to make a profit 0 Claims nonprofits are propaganda stations because they don t worry about satisfying peoples needs 0 Report is really not saying anything because there is a huge difference between what people desire and what people need 3 themes within criticism of llFor Profit broadcasting 0 Radio should be a public resource 0 For profits would shade radio programming to defend the status quo 0 Lack of cultural educational and public affairs programming 3 plans to revise US broadcasting 0 Government sets a fixed percentage of nonprofit channels 0 There would be a series of subsidized nonprofit stations 0 Create an entirely new broadcast system after an extensive and independent study 3 major barriers for nonprofits o Lobbyists for major stations had political influence because they had wider audiences o Needed print broadcast but the position the press offers was that of the commercial broadcasters because they were fed the press releases 0 Legal community rallied foe the status quo 3 phases of the campaign to restructure 0 19301933 I Opposed to any congressional involvement 0 19331934 I Lots of legislation introduced but it never made it thorough 0 19341935 I Communications Act of 1934 I Refused to change didn t want to upset the system it was during the depression and they wanted to provide a sense of stability I Became completely commercialized Robert W McChesney Rich Media Poor Democracy Communication Politics in Dubious Times Chapter 1 US Media at the Dawn of the let Centuryquot In this article McChesney talks about the trends in the US media at the dawn of the let century He focuses on corporate concentration conglomeration and hypercommercialism The media is dominated by a small group of corporations such as CBS or NBC Media corporations are faced with the threat of new technologies so they are forced to grow in order to be successful Media concentration and conglomeration are also major trends because of the changing laws and regulations that allow them to expand He then goes on to talk about horizontal and vertical integration OO 17 W1 WIWIWIO 0 Horizontal integration is when a firm attempts to control as much of the output in their field as possible ultimate example of this would be a monopoly Most media in operate in oligopolies which are markets dominated by a handful of firms who own a large share of the market There are many benefits that come from this such as more bargaining power with suppliers more control over the prices it can charge buyers These benefits motivate firms to merge and become more powerful or to come up with new technologies He then goes into criticizing how problematic this can be because it decreases competition In lecture we walked about the first tier of media conglomerates Time Warner Disney Seagram Rupert Murdochs News Corporation Sony General Electric ABC and ATampT Firm either gets larger through mergers or gets swallowed up by a more aggressive competitor Vertical integration is when media firms not only produce content but also own the distribution channels that would guarantee places to display and market their products 0 The fifty leading television channels are owned and operated by the top tier firms Vertically integrated media conglomerates are not necessarily established to appear on their own TV stations and networks they compete in some markets while they are customers for other markets Pressure to become a conglomerate is stimulated by the desire to increase market power by crosspromoting and crossselling media properties or brands O O Crosspromoting offers a great deal of efficiency and crossselling offers major opportunities Branding or the idea of giving media property a distinct identity branding is used to attract and keep audiences while also allowing for new commercial and advertising opportunities This is making it even more difficult for newer or smaller firms to survive the media giants have an easier time expanding because they have these branding opportunities and are more recognizable The article talks a lot about synergy which I m not exactly sure what it is but I think it has something to do with different media sectors meshing well together like how a newspaper had trouble using the radio or television to promote itself Television startions are usually part ofTV networks cable channels film studios and music studios The core unifier for this set of synergies is entertainment content production combined with distribution crossselling and cross promotion Smart firms get bigger and bigger because they carefully assess their holdings and see that they complement each other Must also be aware that conglomeration and market concentration are 0 necessary for profitability but they do not assure it Not all conglomerates are successful and not all mergers pan out could happen because there is too much competition Media fare is ever more closely linked to the needs and concerns of a handful of enormous and powerful corporations and they are run by wealthy managers and billionaires who have interests majorly distinct from the majority of humanity This argument is institutional The structural factors that influence the nature of the media content include profit size of the firm amount of direct and indirect competition and nature of competition degree of horizontal and vertical integration influence of advertising specific interests of media owners and media employees Supply and Demand factors Usually demand causes supply to shift but in the media supply causes demand Example of foreign films and how they majorly declined Hypercommercialism increasing commercialization in the media Example of the music industry and the increased hypercommercial activities that have become mandatory over time Corporations are giving advertisers more control because they need them Two aspects of media hypercommercialism 0 Trend within the media to ratchet up commercialism internally and to subordinate editorial fare to commercial values and logic The idea of famous actresses appearing in commercials 0 2nd trend is the spread of media conglomerates externally to new areas of life Disney has amusement parts Many corporations own sports teams At any rate the cultural landscape of the US is vastly more commercial at the end of the 19905 than it was a generation earlier and all signs point to further commercial expansion into every nook and cranny of social life Farewell to Journalism the other side of the coin of commercialization is the decline and marginalization of any public service values among the media placing the status of notions on nonmarket public service in jeopardy across society The decline ofjournalism as a public service is apparent in every facet of media Newspapers and other forms ofjournalism are filled with way too much advertisements Limitations to journalism as a democratic agency The quashing of the public debate allowing deterioration of journalism and broader media culture makes perfect sense for media owners but the degree to which it has been enacted reflects also the absence of organized and coherent public protest about these trends Telecommunications Act of 1996 The act deregulated and allowed for anyone to enter into a communications business was an overhaul of the telecommunications law allowing businesses to easily move into other sectors of media In response to this groups got together and tried to influence media regulation in Washington came up with the idea of market friendly reforms aim to not hurt a firm s bottom line in any appreciable manner But these reformers are widely unknown and therefore basically ineffective This act led to less democracy in the United States It was supposed to encourage competition but instead it has led to the urge to merge Has allowed for giant firms to get even bigger FCC Federal Communications Commission Was created after the Communications Act of 1934 Internalized the notion that it had to assure the profitability of the industry it was regulating before it could make public service 0 O O OO 39 O OO demands so the demands were limited and easily quashed by commercial interests Conclusion The implications for democracy of this concentrated conglomerated and hypercommercialized media are entirely negative The main motive for media is profit and no longer looks at the public as a democratic polity but as mass consumers In our discussion we talked about the article as a whole and how McChesney is using all of this to describe the tension between capitalism and democracy That these two institutions completely undermine one another because capitalism leads to less democracy US media system is an integral part of the capitalist political economy and that this relationship has important and troubling implications for democracy Undemocratic and corrupt manner in which the core laws and codes regulating communication most notably the Telecommunications Act of 1996 have been enacted Rich Media Poor Democracy The Main Trends in US Media 1 Corporate concentration 2 Conglomeration 3 Hypercommercialism The dominant structural features of the 1990s concentration and conglomeration a media rms strive to become larger to compensate for the unknown change brought by media technologies b result from changes in laws and regulations c concentrated media markets are less risky and more pro table for the dominating rms Horizontal Integration to control as much of the output in a particular eld as possible a the ultimate form is a monopoly b Bene ts rm gets a bigger share of the market and has a lower overhead giving it more bargaining power rm gets a bigger share of the market it can control the prices for its products Oligopolies markets dominated by a handful of rms each with signi cant market share a dif cult for a new player to enter into this market b US mass media industries are operated by noncompetitive oligopolistic lines Newspaper industry a clustering daily newspapers purchase or merge with all the smaller dailies in the suburbs or surrounding region b clustering allows regional and or broadly metropolitan newspaper monopolies Concentrated corporate control the conglomeration of media ownership a the dominant trend since the l970s 1980s b allowing rms to have major holdings in two or more distinct sectors of the media c 2 tiers of media conglomerates 1 First tier Time Warner Disney Viacom Seagram Rupert Murdoch s News Corporation Sony ak a THE BIG SIX FILM STUDIOS remaining rst tier giants GE owner of NBC ATampT 2 Second tier newspaperbased conglomerates Gannett KnightRidder New York Times Company Comcast and Cox Enterprises CBS 15 or so second tier conglomerates smaller than rsttier rms and tend to lack lm TV and music production capacities of the rsttier giants d the option of being a small or middlesized media rm barely exists e a rm either expands or gets swallowed by an aggressive competitor Vertical Integration rms not only produce content but also own the distribution channels that guarantee places to display and market their wares a for decades US laws forbade lm studios from owning a movie theater and it forbade TV networks from producing their own tv shows or programs b such restrictions have since been relaxed or eliminated c for example Disney owns ABC and News Corp owns Fox d full vertical integration is most likely to occur with the production of TV shows for TV networks e some expect the logical path for networks will be to produce nearly all of its own tv programs whereas now most networks own a piece of the show that appears on its network f pressure to become a conglomerate is stimulated by the desire to increase power in the market by crosspromoting and crossselling media brands across different sectors not suggested by vertical integration ie a conglomerate has a motion picture it can promote the lm over its broadcast properties and use the lm to spin off TV programs musical CDs books merchandise etc ie Disney s The Lion King led to a Broadway show a TV series merchandising and other media spinoffs Synergy the principle that makes becoming a media conglomerate more pro table and mandatory Branding primary means of attracting and keeping audiences while also offering new commercial possibilities a media rms are racing to give their media properties distinct brand identities b a competition for attention b for example The Little House on the Prairie from the 1930s 1940s HarperCollins has taken this book series 812 yrs old and added new books to the series and created products such as paper dolls cookbooks and picture books with the Little House logo The trend in the media market if media rms are not able to crosssell and crosspromote their product it will be very dif cult to survive and prosper against the media giants Not all media sectors mesh well together a newspaper chains have found it successful to extend their holdings to radio and TV stations and magazines and book publishing core uni er newsoriented content and facility with advertisers b television stations have made conglomerates with TV networks cable channels lm studios and music studios core uni er entertainment content production combined with distribution cross selling and crosspromotion c there is little evidence that newspaper chains and lm studios OR music studios and newspaper chains would offer each other pro tability Independent record labels and book publishers have grown rapidly in recent years a Small independent publishers and recording companies play an necessary part in the overall system of providing content that is too risky for giants to consider b if the independent project turns out well then big rms can begin to produce it or buy the independent c for example by 1998 almost all of the Hollywood indies were owned or affiliated with a major studio Eforts to establish a new media giant a rst tier media giants could possibly emerge if second tier rms merge b example of an effort to establish a new media giant Dreamworks Hollywood studio formed by Steven Spielberg and David Geffen backed by billions of dollars Dreamworks must rely solely on the lm s theatrical success since it can t exploit numerous other revenue streams Market concentration and conglomeration are necessary for pro tability but they do not assure it a creation of these media empires brought substantial debt to many of these rms b short term pro t dif culties are exaggerated especially if the problem is due to increased corporate debt to pay for acquisitions most decisions make sense longterm c ironically investors see the main problem with the current media system is that there is too much competition too many different companies involved the eventual outcome has been said to be a global media oligopoly dominated by the BIG SIX d on the contrary there is not competition in the general sense of the word the media giants work closely together and meet at retreats to discuss the future of their industry e media giants employ joint ventures with their competitors which is ideal because it spreads the risk of a venture and eliminates the threat of competition by teaming with potential adversaries The problem with the corporate media system is not that the people who own and manage the dominant media rms are bad or immoral a owners and managers do what they do because it is the most rational conduct to pursue in the market context they face Why does the system produce good stuff a the media giants are required to utilize the talents of some very creative people and in doing so some good materials get produced ie Michael Moore extent of his creative freedom is unclear and by exercising it he willingly sacri ces money creativity is a factor that breathes continual life into the media system creativity is always an uphill ght the commercial system mitigates against creativity and has a dif cult time establishing original commercially successful products b commercial media giants strive to satisfy audience desires and audiences often want quality fare as much as demand creates supply supply creates demand media conglomerates return to what has been commerically successful in the ast little incentive to create and develop something new over time example decline in foreign films in US movie theaters not because people didn t want to see foreign lms but rather it was because US chain owned movie theaters with lower costs drove the one screen theaters featuring foreign lms out of business supply was the collapse of demand Hypercommercialism concentration and conglomeration have encouraged speedup throughout both the media system and the society a concentrated media control permits the largest media rms to increasingly commercialize their output with less and less fear of consumer reprisal b conglomerated media control opens the door to greater opportunities for commercial exploitation c end result integrity of the editorial material produced by the media giants is greatly compromised d exploded in the lm and TV industries ie NBC violated its previous values by selling videos of its programs over the air during broadcasts Advertising and Hypercommercialism a hypercommercialism of the system increases with advertising b all of the TV networks have increased the percentage of time set aside for advertising since the 1990s c advertisers are not strictly bonded to media and this has them scurrying about to try to locate new methods to brand their names in the mind of the public ie companies playing ads to customers on hold on the phone brands incorporated into the structure of buildings street fumiture bus shelters newsstands bus wraps and building wraps entirely covered in vinyl ads d the media are aware cluttering is a problem but their primary concern is pleasing advertisers not viewers e other solutions fewer but longer commercial breaks doesn t lose viewers to channel sur ng reducing the number of advertisers not the amount of advertising leading to greater retention f media rms are increasingly giving advertisers greater identi cation with and control over the programming Two aspects of media hypercommercialism both key contributors to the general commercialization of US culture l The trend within the media to ratchet up commercialism internally and therefore increasingly to subordinate editorial fare to commercial values and logic 2 The spread of media conglomerates externally to new areas of social life All of these trends add up in the hurried commercialization of US childhood a children are seen as determining a signi cant number of their family s purchases b by age 12 children s preferences are stored in massive data banks maintained by marketers of consumer goods Result advertising in school a both advertisers and corporate media have also set their sights on expanding externally into schools b rms are now paying to have brands advertised in textbooks c late 1990s CocaCola and Pepsi were locked in a battle to gain contracts to be the exclusive drink provider in schools d goal is school vouchers with public money paid to private schools enhancing commercialism at public schools since they would be in a need for money as students take their vouchers to private schools gt all signs point to further commercial expansion into every nook and cranny of social life Journalism a has been regarded as a public service by all of the commercial media throughout this century b professional journalism emerged as a pragmatic response to the commercial limitations of partisan journalism in the new era of chain newspapers advertising support and one newspaper towns c those in positions of power have considerable ability to in uence what is covered in the news d professional journalism tends to demand new hooks to justify publishing a story so long term public issues ie racism tend not to be published e prof journalism is arguably at its worst when the US upper class is in agreement on an issue media will accept the elite position as revealed truth and never question the position ie nonexistence of the media coverage of the CIA media on occasion will analyze school budgets health care and welfare to see if the money is being spent wisely there is little media examination of the media budget f prof j oumalism is arguably at its best when elites disagree on an issue ie if a US invasion was tactically sound or not journalism has always been a struggle and even in the best of times journalists have had to contend directly and indirectly with powerful corporate commercial and government forces that wanted to neuter or corrupt their enterprise Network and national cable TV news has gone from being a lossleader and a mark of network prestige to being a major producer of network profit a 1015 years ago prominent journalists were among the most dependable defenders of the commercial media system today journalists have emerged as among its foremost critics b most working journalists remain dedicated to providing a public service independent of the commercial needs or political aims of their owners and advertisers c Media conglomerates discourage their news divisions from examining their corporate operations these giants have fewer problems about using their control over journalism to promote their other media holdings d local television news is considerably worse local news tends to feature crime and violence triviality celebrity and more air time is devoted to commercials than news e the attack on journalism is every bit as pronounced in nation s newspapers ie newspaper coverage on the international news declined by an even great percent than that of network TV news between the 1970s and 1990s f to cut costs corporate giants are using temporary labor to serve as reporters and photographers and there is implicit pressure on editors and reporters to accept marketing principles and to be more reader family emphasizing life style and consumer issues that appeal to readers and advertisers The Los Angeles Times in 1997 appointed Mark Willes to be the general manager for news overseeing the editorial product to ensure that it conformed to the best commercial interests of the newspaper a wants to tear down the wall between editors and business staffers b planned to increase the editorial business cooperation at the newspaper and how this could work to their clients advantage c Said the paper could attract more women readers by offering more emotional and less analytical articles later apologized for the stereotype BUT NOT for his attitude towards journalism d growing trend in journalism the need to serve commercial needs first and foremost e magazine journalism has had less concern with keeping a separation between advertising and editorial content ie incidents of advertiser scrutiny implying censorship of magazine editorial content f the nature of editorial integrity in the era of commercialized joumalism when the editorial content has no commercial overtone at all g some say uff in magazines will harm the media corporations profitability when people realize the news is only entertainment The threat of libel is often pointed to as an explanation for commercial media s unwillingness to go after wealthy corporations a some truth to this but this can only partially explain the hostility to the notion of investigative journalism b News Corp fired two TV reporters in Dec 1997 for refusing to create a misleading impression of their investigative report on Monsato c In June 1998 Timer Wamer s CNN formally retracted a story it had run about a nerve gas being used by the US military on deserters in the Vietnam War This showed how quickly CNN folded to the military pressure Drift of journalism to a more explicitly procorporate position is only partially determined by the institutional factors a re ects the rightward movement in elite and mainstream political culture over the past two decades b commercial journalism almost always stays within the parameter of mainstream opinion journalism has become less willing to make concessions toward ideas critical of capitalism and less receptive of ideas complimentary of social spending Deterioration of j oumalism and broader media culture a makes perfect sense for media owners b the degree to which its been enacted re ects the absence of organized public protest about these trends c Until media owners feel some political heat they have little reason to change their ways d the nature of the US media system is a result of political decisions not natural law or holy mandate e even when media are regulated by markets it is a political decision to turn them over to a handful of individuals and corporations to maximize profit f all modern US media are affected directly and indirectly by government policies regulation and subsidiaries There have been numerous organized public interest groups working to weigh in on the public s behalf a weigh in as citizens not just as consumers to in uence media legislation and regulation in Washington b in order to be taken seriously these groups are compelled to accept the corporate system as it is all powerful c Public interests were successful in the 1960s and 1970s but in the 1990s they have less leverage due to free market technology and the collapse of moderately progressive politics In theory public broadcasters receive their access to the publicly owned spectrum at no charge because they provide a public service they do things they would not do if they were solely interested in maximizing profit a the logic has been that nonprofit broadcasters supported by advertising will tend to concentrate on light entertainment material regardless of social value b broadcast regulation can provide and important way for a nation to establish public service values in the commercial portion of the broadcast system FCC a members and officials sometimes come from the commercial broadcasting industry and often go there for lucrative employment after their jobs in public service b sometimes members propose a public service requirement that might appreciably affect the bottom line broadcasters use their leverage with key members of congress to force the person to back down and leave the issue to elected officials c The FCC s notion of regulation owes more to its support of the commercial interests than to its being the public s watchdog of their activites Lobbyists a communication lobbies have successfully ceased all political challenges to their control over broadcasting and the media BUT the legislative process makes it impossible to keep the public entirely shut out bduring rare instances where congress is considering legislation for regulation over media it is customary for congressional committee hearings to be held on what the public interest is and how it might be served by legislation The telecommunications Act of 1996 any issues to be determined down the road by FCC and others Proponents of the Telecommunications Act promised that deregulation would lead to genuine market competition resulting in much better service and lower prices deregulation has made it possible for giant radio rms to establish monopolies to control enough of a market to compete with TV and newspapers for advertisers this consolidation also permits the giant chains to reduce labor costs by down sizing their staff from national headquarters radio has been transformed into an engine for super pro ts with greater returns than any other media sector some rms can convert radio broadcasting into the most ef cient way for advertising
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