Home > Uncategorized > Active Audience Media Theory

Active Audience Media Theory

The media theory that interested me the most was active audience or audience interpretation. The media does try to influence and almost control what their audience thinks and does in response to what is shown. However, the audience has the power to take away whatever they want from a given media presentation. The role of the audience member in the success of a TV show, movie or news story still plays a large part in media–regardless of what the big cable networks might think. Sure, they are able to delight the masses or sneakily gain acceptance of whatever it is they are showing and telling us, but they do not ultimately have the final say in what we (the audience) think about the material or how we respond to it. The theory of audience interpretation is the one thing over which big cable powerhouses such as Viacom or Time Warner cannot gain control. The media monopoly stops there.

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  1. Kathleen
    November 15, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Kendra, I appreciate the effort, but there is very little substance here. What evidence either from the theory or your own observations do you have to support your argument? How does your interpretation of active audience withstand the theories of agenda setting and framing? What evidence is there that the audience is as independent as you are suggesting? Please expand.

  2. Kendra S.
    November 17, 2011 at 5:24 am

    In chapter 4 of our Media Society book it talks about the high costs of creating a show or movie and the unpredictability of the audience reception that goes along with this. Cable networks and producers are somewhat cornered into creating what they think will be received well by a broad spectrum of members from the public. The goal of the media is to create a “hit” that will appeal to as many audience members as possible. This can cause some problems with predicting the success rate of the final product because the audience has the ability to interpret and/or judge media output however they choose.

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