Audiences of Mass Mediated Communications
Notes from a course in communication theory by John Lye, Brock University
Question: what is an 'audience'? Think of what we mean when we say 'target audience.'
- different media tend to create their own audiences
- different people interpet media texts in different ways
- the audience 'constructs' or interprets the media text
Question: what qualities or attributes in an interpreter might alter the way in which she constructs, or interprets, meaning? Which of them would constitute an 'audience'?
- genre and genre expectations
- the purpose of the 'reading'
- competence in that mode of communication
- social class
- degree of involvement/commitment
- personal experiences
- sharing of knowledge frames -- common frames
- cultural perspective
Some distinctions suggested by Sonia Livingstone:
- popular vs 'high' culture
- ideal or model readers vs actual readers
- nonfictional vs fictional communications
- texts which construct a unified subject position vs texts which construct multiple subject positions
- closed vs open works