Media log 3: Evaluation and Analysis

Over the span of three days I have continuously logged all the times I used and encountered the media. This included: television, music, advertisements, phone usage and the internet. After evaluation of the findings from the log it’s clear to see how it can be related to audience theory as well as the Medias role in my life and the lives of other people.

Firstly, undeniably my log shows clear examples of active audience theory such as Blumler and Katz ‘Uses and Gratifications theory.’ This theory is described by Branston and Stafford (1999) as a ‘model that emphasises what consumers of media products do with them power is argued to lie with the individual consumer of the media who is argued to use TV, the internet, etc. Consciously to gratify certain needs.’ A clear example of me doing this in my log is when I used for example the television show ‘How I Met Your Mother’ or listened to my Spotify playlist on shuffle to entertain and distract myself from reality. This is described by Long and Wall (2009) as ‘diversion’ one of the four categories of the ‘Uses and Gratifications Theory, the other three being ‘surveillance’, ‘personal relationships’ and ‘personal identity’. A clear example of me using the media for ‘personal relationships’ is when I watched the film ‘Trainspotting 2’ on day 3. This was done with my friends and was done so I could interact with them socially as well as discuss the film with them after. Furthermore this showed me how I use the media for my own personal use and I often manage and select the media I interact with to suit my own needs. Additionally the log also showed example of passive audience theory. A clear sign of this was when I attended a gig on day 1 for the band ‘Sundara Karma’. This was due to me finding the band through the promotion they have received and content they have released through the media eventually influencing me to purchase a ticket to see them. This could be an example of the ‘Hypodermic needle theory’. According to the University of Twente website (1989) this theory ‘implied mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences’. This can be argued as in my log shows that I was clearly ‘injected’ with the idea that I must pay money to see the band live and subsequently did so.

Alternatively however the conduction of the log also allowed me to discover the different ways other people are affected by the media. I feel a good example to this in relation to the findings in my log is through active audience theory, specifically Stuart Halls ‘encoding and decoding approach’. Again according to Branston and Stafford (1999) Halls approach insisted ‘audience members share certain frameworks of interpretation and that they work at decoding texts within these frameworks.’ An example of this in my log was when watching the TV show ‘The Walking Dead’ on day 2 with my flatmate. This relates to Halls three types of audience reading: dominant, oppositional and negotiated. Personally I enjoy the episode showing I accepted the programs ‘preferred’ meaning that I should be entertained by the episode. Alternatively my flatmate hated it and found it boring meaning they rejected the episode because they didn’t like the show to begin with thereby having an oppositional reading. Another example of this was when on day 3 of the log I viewed a Toyota car advert. The advert failed to make me want to purchase the car and therefor I had an oppositional reading to the text rejecting its message. This is clear evidence of how the log has showed me different people will use the media to entertain themselves in different ways and how everyone has multiple opinions of the media content they view.

In conclusion, the findings from the media log have shown me how the media has a very influential role in my life. This is clearly shown by the gig I attended based on content and information the media provided me as well as the tickets I order for Tramlines festival on day 3 of my log. These are both clear examples of the media affecting me in a passive way. Despite this, the log also showed examples of active audience theory such as me using media content to suit my own needs similar to the ‘Uses and Gratifications’ theory. The log also showed the multiple ways different people can accept and reject media content even if it’s the same content. Unfortunately due to being in work it was difficult to record media content for the evening of day 2. Moreover due to being very busy the week of the log a lot of my time was consumed with one specific media usage meaning it was harder to get a wider mixture of media content. If the log was redone I would do it on a more typical week as I believe this would lead to me accessing in larger range of media content for broader purposes.

Bibliography

Described by Branston and Stafford (1999) as a ‘model that emphasises what consumers of media products do with them Power is argued to lie with the individual consumer of the media who is argued to use TV, the internet, etc. Consciously to gratify certain needs.’ Branston, G., & Stafford, R. W. (1999). The media student’s book (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
This is described by Long and Wall (2009) as ‘diversion.’ The other three being ‘surveillance’, ‘personal relationships’ and ‘personal identity’. Long, P. V., & Wall, T. (2009). Media studies: Texts, production, and contexts. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman.
According to the University of Twente website (1989) this theory ‘implied mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences’. Hypodermic needle theory. (1989). Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://www.utwente.nl/cw/theorieenoverzicht/Theory%20Clusters/Mass%20Media/Hypodermic_Needle_Theory/
Branston and Stafford (1999) Halls approach insisted ‘audience members share certain frameworks of interpretation and that they work at decoding texts within these frameworks.’ Branston, G., & Stafford, R. W. (1999). The media student’s book (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
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