Notes from 10/5 to 10/21 (Midterm)
Notes from 10/5 to 10/21 (Midterm) MSCH-C 213
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This 17 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madelyn Chassay on Wednesday October 21, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MSCH-C 213 at Indiana University taught by Andrew Weaver in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 184 views. For similar materials see Intro to Media & Society in Media at Indiana University.
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Date Created: 10/21/15
Monday October 5 2015 Media amp Society Week of 10515 News media How content develops Journalistic values You have to make the decision of what to cover Billions of things to write about but there s only so much time Entertainment audiences have to want to consume it Also drives ratings Audience pressure becomes a key driving source of what the news will cover we need to pay more attention to what it is we want to seehear Objectivity being fair being bias if you stay objective you can attract audience members from all sides of the political spectrum yields the biggest audiences the gold standard is decreasing in use To be objective you need to have independence from ex political pressure No personal ties Balance giving equal time to credible sides of a debate on an issue Need to have multiple sources from each side of an issue represented Makes issues look more divisive majority can be on one side but there is still a minority Erases a middle ground Nonevaluative you can t insert opinion or evaluate a side Just facts so readersconsumers can create their own opinion This works for the idea of reaching a mass audience but the news should really be more bias to attract to those niche audiences When the news is forced to be balanced and nonevaluative it privileges a certain type of story Changes content in a very particular way lnformativeness news has to be informative not the same thing over and over the only way to ensure the information you have will be informative to the majority audience is to cover breaking news Breaking news trumps all giving people info they haven t heard before is a primary importance doesn t matter if the information is even true or not Monday October 5 2015 Brevity the news needs to be brief needs to be delivered to us in the fastest amount of time These format constraints TV air time column sizes in newspapers etc are gone so it s possible to write long form stories online now but audiences don t have the patience for that If there isn t a short way to cover it many people won t cover it The impact of these values have on content Crime tends to be over emphasized as well as the events along with it Other kinds of content become dramatically under emphasized we don t see things that are complicated associated with an event etc because it s now new Talking a lot over a political debate when a certain political speech should be getting more coverage but it s not Think about things outside the values that we need to know Ex homelessness very rarely covered in the news only covered if there s an event associated with it ex if a homeless person was involved in a crime We get a very systematic coverage nextstep reality When news values are so commonwide spread they can be manipulated very effectively Public relations studying news values to change them so other important things will be covered Press conferences are done just for the media to have an event to cover it s quick informative easy entertaining Magic window a perspective that regards media messages as a window on the world that presents the actual occurrences from the real world in an undistorted manner Monday October 5 2015 News media Effects of the coverage Knowledgeinformation acquisition not the only goal but it is a primary goal It works Media is our number one source for information about the world our community etc Diffusion of news Accumulation of knowledgeinformation people who consume more news know more about certain subjects although it isn t always particularly accurate Cultivation the more media we consume the more our perception of reality fits that media depiction Ex seeing more violence in the news assume it ll happen to us Diseases that aren t that common once they re covered in the news people are scared they are going to get the disease The stuff we read about in the news is typically always rare Agendasetting the media doesn t tell us what to think they tell us what to think about Our attitudes and beliefs aren t going to be changed by what s in the news media The agendasetting hypothesis it does influence what we see is important Influences what we should be paying attention to talking about Testing agendasetting Simple correlational designs news coverage of issues and Perceived issue importance very strong relationship between the two This is an issue because you don t know what is causing what ongitudinal designs measure over time find where they overlap More effective Findings show one group stories on crime show another group stories on the economy The group that saw stories on crime will believe crime is more of an important issue currently but the group that saw stories on the economy believe that it is the most important issue If an issue doesn t get news coverage in our eyes it doesn t matter as much Suicide stories something audiences want to read about needs to be covered Findings when news covers a suicide rates of suicide go up The more coverage the more of an increase in the suicide rate The rate goes up where the most news coverage on suicide isnot where the suicide occurred Monday October 5 2015 Hypothesis News media coverage of suicides is causing people to commit suicide Alternative explanations Coroner classification effect has to draw a conclusion based on evidence lots of guess work Ex did Heath Ledger commit suicide or did he overdose on accident But because of suicide news coverage a coroner is more likely to determine a death as a suicide than an accident Suicide rate looks like it s going up because of these ambiguous deaths and there is no decrease in other types of deaths Precipitation not causation the media coverage precipitates suicide but does it cause suicides Causes people to commit suicide sooner than they already would have rather than someone committing suicide if they ve never really considered it Suicide rate increase after news coverage should have a decrease after the coverage goes away But that isn t the case after the suicide rate goes up it only goes back down to the average doesn t go below So what can we do in the news media to cover suicide but not have these after effects Adding suicide prevention hotlines to the story provides helpful information There are things that can be done but there are steps to be taken to inform journalists These stories have a right and a wrong way to report on a suicide Monday October 5 2015 News coverage of Political Campaigns The sports frame how the score is changing the analysis they lost because Political coverage is similar to coverage of a sports event The two questions Who is winninglosing By how much How are they winninglosing Campaign strategies where they spend ad money why they gave a speech was it a good or bad strategy Dominated by polls An alternative way a problem proposal performance what are the key problems they re going to have to address what specific proposals do they have for these problems and would they work what about the candidates background would influence their performance We should pick our political leaders based on this job interview like proposal Why the sports frame Because it fits the journalistic values Sports are a contest they are entertaining dramatic something that can be presented in an objective way It would be more difficult to use the problem proposal performance method because it would be non objective you would have to evaluate the candidates You can report on polls daily A focus on proposals would not be sustainable To do reporting on proposals would take a lot of time lots of background information to cover but audiences don t have the patience for it Effects of the sports frame Knowledge acquisition we know very little about what the candidates want to do in office their plans proposals policies etc We focus too much on their strategies and why they give a speech We can learn more about a candidate from an advertisement than we do from mainstream news sources Knowing who is winning does not mean you are an informed voter Public cynicism makes us more cynical about politics and politicians Monday October 5 2015 No matter how good a politician s intentions are they will be reported on in this sports frame reference Do media influence public attitudesbehavior in political campaigns Yes Voter turnout clear evidence voter cynicism If the media is making us more cynical of politics we are less likely to go vote Media coverage depresses turnout Can also depress turnout by negative political ads don t really change our opinions of the candidate the cause of the negativity makes people less likely to vote The undecided voters are most likely to not vote because of exposure to negative ads Evaluation of candidates EX Nixon and Kennedy debate Kennedy looked more presidential Nixon looked slumped more people supported Kennedy lmages spark our emotion reactions in ways sound bytes will not What we see influences us more than what we hear Agenda settingpolitical priming an agenda setting effect where the media influences our opinions on what is important in turn effects who we are going to vote for If you change what the news media is covering it will change who you vote for ex you like 2 candidates some views from one and some from the other Say immigration and the economy are popular in the news right now you would vote for the candidate with whichever views you have of the current topics in the news Changes with what is dominating the news media Becoming literate with news content Becoming well informed requires more than habitually exposing yourself to news messages News stories are not usually well balanced indepth analyses of important issues instead they are typically commercialized messages designed to attract audience attention with easy flashy topics To be well informed you need to pay attention to messages and really think about them You need to get out of the automatic processing state and devote some conscious attention to the content of certain media messages Wednesday October 14 2015 Entertainment Formula What it is Broadly Conflict a core element Could write a story without conflict but very rare wouldn t sell very well Character development characters we likedislike characters we connect with the hero and the villain getting the audience to create a connection Nextstep reality providing people with content grounded in reality but goes an extra step Genre differences Romantic storylines are pretty much all the same Ex Nicolas Sparks books movies enormously successful because they fit their genre s formula Medium differences Era differences The USA Network example Made a formula for all TV scripts put the script on an excel sheet and see how it fits the formula Only bought shows that met a certain threshold Some requirements Need to have a lead character that is aspirational and upbeat Trying to reach a goal that is somewhat out of reach they stay upbeat to reach this goal Need to be quirky Great at what they do Have to have some sort of fun flaw to play off of make humor of it Every scene needs to have a primary color the bowl of fruit rule in a darkish room need to have bowl of fruit somewhere in the room to bring a pop of color Some TV shows on USA Psych Monk Burn Notice Wednesday October 14 2015 Why use it It works people like it Format constraints there are some stories you can t tell given the medium Audience constraints we audience members only want to seehear certain kinds of stories What are audiences looking for High culture vs low culture High culture critically acclaimed seen as better in terms of quality More quality acting writing directing etc Low culture a guilty pleasure we don t often talk about these lower quality ex reality tv shows Most of the time audiences seek out low culture Proves that quality doesn t matter that much Often movies nominated for awards are not at the top of the box office ratings Ex Selma nominated for best picture but box office sales were less than Horrible Bosses 2 Birdman 78 and Boyhood 100 made way less than Guardians of the Galaxy and other top box office films but they were both nominated forwon Best Picture We want in the moment entertainment don t want to watch something complex nothing we have to think about Uses and gratifications as audience members we re seeking certain gratifications ex emotional reactions want to feel happy or sad want to see things blow up etc We want a certain emotional response We want to forget about our problems so we turn to media that will provide us with these gratifications Ex listening to certain music to change your mood certain types of music to pump you up for a workout music to calm down and relax music to make you sadcry etc Works without our knowledge Our needs influence the content we consume meeting a base level not caring about quality Wednesday October 14 2015 The Formulaic Ingredients The role of conflict and identification In drama Disposition theory there s a good and a bad rooting for the good against the bad there s a conflict and the good wins Suspense for suspense to occur there needs to be a conflict with 2 possible outcomes the outcome has to be uncertain have to have a strong preference for one outcome over the other achieved through character identification The more we care about the characters the more suspense we will feel To maximize suspense really want something to happen make it look very unlikely to happen Maximized suspense example Toy Story 3 when Woody Buzz Jesse and the other toys are about to be burnedmelted We like the toys we want them to survive but looks very unlikely We suspend the knowledge that Pixar would not end a film that way Because of that we feel suspense to enjoy the movie ln comedy Hostile humor humor that happens at someone else s expense there s a victim humor comes from laughing at that victim For this to work there has to be conflict someone we re rooting foragainst Have to set up that character disposition We can still like the victim of the joke but we have to believe they deserve it in the moment Need the audience to be in a comic frame of mind we suspend empathy because it would get in the way of laughing at the victim If we feel bad for them we won t laugh Ex 2 drink minimum at comedy clubs we laugh more when we re drunk alcohol shuts off the part of our brain that feels empathy What about aversive content Why would we consume content that doesn t give us a pleasant pleasurable expenence 10 Monday October 19 2015 Violence At some level we like to watch violent shows play violent video games etc But at a base level violence should be something that turns us off Bloodsight of blood is the number one phobia there s a survival benefit to this When we see bloodviolence we should run away If it s so aversive why is it so common Because it does draw an audience Selective exposure refers to an individuals39 tendency to favor information which reinforces their preexisting views while avoiding contradictory information Enjoyment Research suggests that we would actually enjoy violent shows if the violence was taken out So why do we still want to watch these violent shows Violence provides a short hand for action suspense although it comes with a cost disgust aversive emotions etc Violence represents part of the conflict formula very effectively it s easy for producers as well as audience members Horror People seek out to watch something to scare them Terror management Horror film consumption is highest during periods of economicsocial security when there is a local murder or crime etc Happens at a local and national level People are using these horror films as a way to gain some control to manage these outside stresses and anxieties fear of losing a job fear of mass murder fear of the economy etc We turn to media to escape Allows us to manage the terror we can shut it off or walk out when it gets too bad The importance of gender roles We don t generally watch horror films alone horror film contention is purposeful planned out tend to be consumed in groups This is most often seen with teenagers still learning about themselves and the gender roles in horror films set unrealistic expectations Natural reaction to fear male amp female is to lookrun away but when you re sitting in a movie theater females typically cover their facelook away while males usually keep looking sometimes laugh It s not masculine to show fear Monday October 19 2015 Study shows that a guy thinks a girl is more attractive if she s scared girl thinks a guy is more attractive if he isn t scared Changes perceptions of physical attractiveness Tragedies purpose is to make you cry make you upset Social comparison we always evaluate how we compare to others especially when we re feeling downdepressedupset we strongly feel the need to see others who are worse off makes us feel better What I m going through is bad but at least I m not like that guy Elevation an emotional response tightening of the chest feel our body move up on the verge of tears but different than sadness Can experience at the same time but elevation is a desirable emotion Although in most cases there isn t a happy ending it does reinforce the great things about humanity the reason tragedies are sad usually is because an amazing person has lost a fight Something bad happens to a character we rooted for In all of these cases the content itself is not necessarily enjoyable but it does provide us with certain gratifications Content patterns Gender race age romantic relationships families socioeconomic status occupations healthbody image sex violence We get very predictable content patterns because of the Entertainment Formula Becoming media literate with entertainment messages The more you know about these discrepancies character portrayals controversial content health and values the more you can separate your mediaworld knowledge from your realworld knowledge and thus prevent the mediaworld distortions from influencing your expectations for the real world Keep asking questions about stories you see in the media be skeptical If you stay active during exposures you will be increasing your media literacy and thus gain more control over setting expectations for life that are both realistic and special to you 11 Monday October 19 2015 Advertising The impact of advertising Prevalence Traditional media advertising stays relatively consistent on how much money spent on advertising while mobile advertising spends billions Connection between needs and product Ultimately you need to connect the consumer s needs to your product One of the core goals of advertising is to create a need because the majority of all advertised products in the market do not have an actual physiological need You do not need another TV or the newest smartphone etc Goals of advertising somewhat exclusive what you do to get someone s attention may not be something to change their attitude vice versa not all of these go hand in hand Advertisers have to balance these different goals to be effective Attention Memory 0 Attitude Emotion Behavior We are in a consumer society driven by advertising creating new needs that we don t really have Advertising manipulates us into buying things we don t need Companies manipulate us through subliminal advertising With advertisers economic responsibility is more primary than the social responsibility Does it work Yes Advertising is enormously successful Consumers are willing to pay more for something that they see an advertisement for brand names Where does the money come from for advertising Higher prices on products Need to make at least 2 or 3 dollars more than price of advertisement 12 Monday October 19 2015 General findings The more advertising you consume the more you spend the more you want the more unsatisfied you are with what you have Kids that watch more commercials have much longer Christmas wish lists than kids that don t watch that many commercials Part of the goal of advertising is to make people unsatisfied with what they have they think buying this product will make them satisfied Prescription drug example not until 1977 you could advertise drugs directly to a consumer Around the world it is still illegal only legal in US and New Zealand It used to be illegal because it creates a need to make people think they have something wrong with them and that they need that medication The consumer can t make that decision by themselves It violates the whole idea of having prescription drugs in the first place DTC legalization exponential growth in money spent on prescription drugs Effectiveness works very very well You can make a 41 return investment on advertisements so you can continue to charge higher prices Consequences Causes prescription drug costs to spike inconvenient for people that actually truly need the medications There s a much greater need It s not because more people are sick it s because these advertisements creating a need for prescription drugs Drug advertisements are very effective in making you think you have something wrong with you Ex prescriptions descriptions of ADDADHD symptoms relate to pretty much everyone tell you what the symptoms are so you can self report those symptoms to your doctor most of the time the doctor will go along with it Solution stop advertising prescription drugs to consumers What works in advertising Factors influencing success Celebrity endorsers used for several reasons To be more relatable we know these celebrities can relate to them more than a random actor usually have a positive identification with them 13 Monday October 19 2015 Balance principle we want to have likes and dislikes that are similar to those of people that we like and dissimilar to people that we don t like The problem is if someone has a negative relation to a celebrity they ll have a negative relation to the product they re associated with It can backfire Ex Tiger Woods or Just Say No campaign using Nancy Regan old white lady telling you what to do basically made rebellious kids want to use drugs instead Congruence and credibility More credible ads will be more successful Congruence how closely linked are the celebrity and the characteristics of the product If they are not congruent it will not be as successful It damages the persuasive appeal Celebrities can backfire Successful advertising Nike ad with an athlete that uses Nike products Unsuccessful Tiger Woods endorsing Buick cars Celebrity voiceovers don t even show the celebrity but it catches your attention When we hear voices we re familiar with we pay more attention than we would to a voice we didn t recognize Attention getting gets you to pay more attention to the ad Doesn t always equal increased success of the ad but it helps Liking of the ad Does it matter Only for little known brands and new products Liking of the ad often hurts other aspects A drawback of having a well liked advertisement you remember the commercial but not the product They don t focus on the product very much Liking can increase attention but it is directed in the wrong direction Liked ads compared to disliked ads disliked ads are more successful People remember them focus on the product Ex annoying 5 dollar footlong song on Subway ads Sexual content Sex sells Nope Could be beneficial but for the most part doesn t work It is very attention getting even if we don t consciously recognize it we still spend more time looking at it than other ads It increases arousal not just sexual but physiological which increases our attention and memory 14 Monday October 19 2015 Congruence is relevant here too if using sexual content makes sense for the product they stick together better in our memory Ex sexual content in an ad for condoms is more effective The drawback of using sexual content is that it could distract you you re paying attention to the sexual content not the product itself We don t remember the product Reduces brand recognition Eliminate about half of your audience It is almost impossible to be all inclusive from a sexual point of view you re going to either be focused on individuals attracted to males or individuals attracted to females If it isn t targeted to us our interest in the product goes down You run the risk of alienating the audience Elaboration likelihood model How we are persuaded how are minds and behavior are changed There are different routes to persuasion Central route involves us thinking about it engaging with it Peripheral route conscious elaboration does not occur Belief and behavior changes happen before attitude changes What determines what route we take is how much we care about the belief the product the idea in the first place The product we care a lot about that we spend a lot of money on we think through it we use the central route Ex buying a car Ads need to use different strategies depending on which route their audience will likely take Credibility is necessary for the central route Attractiveness superficial things are more important for the peripheral route Concerns Consequences of effective advertising Exposure to advertising leads to materialism Makes us feel like we need more stuff Also increases unhappiness There is more stuff that we want that we don t have 15 Monday October 19 2015 People in countries that have very little are much happier than countries which have so many options Countries that are more driven by advertising are more prone to materialism and unhappiness Sets unrealistic goals and expectations Health issues ads targeted to children and teens are mostly unhealthy foods fast food candy and snacks sugared cereals soda etc This leads to childhood obesity If we had more ads on health foods than unhealthy we would all be healthier Doesn t just effect kids it effects all of us When we see foods advertised over time those foods physiologically taste better There is a lot of mental context that determines how we think something tastes Deception Ads aimed towards children any ads that target children is by its nature deceptive Kids do not have the cognitive ability to understand persuasive intent As adults we understand ads are trying to sell us on their product their views are biased Younger children can t take another person s perspective they are very egocentric Visual perspective is easier than social perspective when a kid can understand that what they see is different from what you see they can understand visual perspective But it is much harder to understand social perspective where it is much harder to understand what other people are thinking and feeling They can t understand that commercials have a different point of view Kids are so gullible and easy to take advantage of so advertising for them is easy If Tony the tiger is telling me to eat frosted flakes he obviously has my best interest so I should eat frosted flakes Subconscious persuasion The idea that are behavior are purchasing decisions are effected by processes outside of our control This is uncomfortable for us we like to believe we have control of ourselves and what we do 16 Monday October 19 2015 We are persuaded by advertising whether we know it or not whether we want it to or not Becoming more media literate with advertising To protect ourselves from all this unplanned advertising exposure we remain in a state of automatic processing so we don t have to pay attention to all of the ads However exposure to the ads continues even though hew are not paying attention to them This makes our exposure unconscious which is what advertisers want During unconscious exposure advertisers can plant their messages into our subconscious This generally shapes our definitions of attractiveness sex appeal relationships cleanliness health success etc To increase your media literacy with advertising you need to construct a good knowledge structure about advertising and an accurate knowledge structure about your own real needs 17