Comm 121: Media and Culture Week 2 Note
Comm 121: Media and Culture Week 2 Note Comm 121
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jieun Son on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm 121 at University of Massachusetts taught by Lisa Henderson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Intro to Media & Culture in Communication at University of Massachusetts.
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Date Created: 09/15/16
Media Structures 1 Media Ownership and Control Who owns media organizations? "The corporate view has become the "American" view, even though. E.g. In discussions of the U.S. economy, national economic well-being = corporate success. Relationship between corporate financial health and citizen well-being rarely discussed (e.g. living wages as measure of national economic well- being). Big issues in media ownership: Concentration Vertical Integration: integrated ownership of most parts of a media industry (e.g. venues + promotion + tickets sales in music touring) Horizontal Integration: integrated ownership of different industries (e.g. New Corporation owns 20th Century Fox and Harper Collins) = Financialization: the process by which financial institutions, markets, etc., increase in size and influence. How many media organizations they can own? Ownership concentration: Single owner owns several industries. Effects on content: homogenization hypothesis: concentrated ownership diminishes diversity of content, e.g. "single newspaper towns" Limits on that hypothesis: concentrated owners happy to make money from independent themes and "edge" (Figure 2.2, p.38) 1 Advertising and the Culture of Consumption Media power through economic control, but where does the money come from? In the long range, through investment and finance. First, though, revenues through advertising as the sale of consumers to producers: still true though in new forms on-line. Advertising as "Capitalist Realism" Modern capitalism is an economic system that promotes the idea of consumption as the route to satisfaction in life. A contrast term to "Socialist realism" - a Soviet art movement from the 1930s, celebrating industrial and agrarian work, i.e. production (not consumption). Propaganda? Usually. (Is, then, capitalist realism propaganda?) Posters 1. "Our Young Hearts are Beating for Our Nation" (Poland, 1955) 2. "Rosie the Riveter" (USA, 1942) : After the War, there was a campaign that the women can work. Advertising is capitalism's primary form of image- making. All ads offer us stories and images of the value of consumption: Schudson calls this "capitalism realism." But the form has changes! From making a mass audience for advertisers to making a fragmented or "niche" audience for advertisers. Making the mass audience Mid-late 19th Century: Urban migration for industrial labor, not agriculture. People were changing where they lived - moved to city. Investment in machinery: keep machines working in order for investment to pay off the buildings or factories. Increased rates of production means an increased supply of goods for sale. Markets needed: supported by new systems of distribution and the development of a buying public, what we now call "consumer culture." Improvements in transportation support the movement of goods; so does the development of national advertising. Late 19th Century: The "yellow press" is established as the first real form of mass communication. Cheap newspapers, sensational stories, financed by advertisers, to "deliver readers to advertiser" : the more readers, the higher the ad rates. Much more efficient for getting the word out about products and developing national brands. Quote: From historian Michael Schudson on the relationship between newspapers and advertisers: The relationship between newspapers and advertisers changed dramatically in the 1880s.Thanks in part to the growth of department stores and the development of brand names and trademarks by national manufacturing concerns, business demand for advertising space accelerated. The ratio of editorial matter to advertising in the newspaper changed from about 7030 to 5050 or lower. Advertising revenue represented 44 percent of total newspaper income in 1880, 55 percent by 1900. This did not diminish the reliance of newspapers on circulation, but, on the contrary, made circulation more firmly the measure of a newspaper's competitive standing. Newspapers became brokers of their own columns, selling their space and the readership it represented to advertisers. Developing the advertising profession: 1850s -60s : ad workers are "space jobbers," selling space for newspapers. 1870s : ad workers develop campaigns on behalf of advertisers, representing them through and "open contract system:" guaranteeing clients the lowest possible rates with publications, in exchange for clients working exclusively with an agency for a set period. 1900-1920s: ad workers form an independent profession, specializing in "market research," e.g. "women buy, men don't" ("Facefriend") Quote: From Schudson on early marketers discovering that women buy men’s products (copy for an aftershave called Facefriend): "What does a man know about complexion, the skin? Nothing. He rips and hacks away at his face and then washes it with strong soap, sprinkles on a little powder, and believes he is a beauty parlor wizard. You, the woman of the family, understand what the care of the skin means. You realize that a good lotion is invaluable. Protect that foolish husband of yours against himself; start that collegeboy son of yours in the right path—put a bottle of Facefriend in the bathroom closet and see that they use it after shaving. They know no better—help them." Promoting Promotion 1901: 20% of Boston firms use advertising 1911: 50% of Boston firms use advertising, suggesting their greater confidence in its value or necessity. Now: making the niche audience Public attention hard to attract; leads to new ways to reach consumers. E.g. from product ads that we can skip, to product placement we can't skip. Branded entertainment: partnerships between retail firms and media projects from the start; No partners? No movie. E.g. "The Great Gatsby" (2013) + Prada +Tiffany's. Toby Maguire as Nick Carraway for Prada. Viral marketing heightens stealth and defeats ad-blocking, e.g. "advergames."
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