Theory

Narrative – the way those events are put together to be presented to an audience. All media texts have a narrative, whether they are a six hour TV miniseries or a one paragraph newspaper story or a glossy magazine photograph.

Representation – Who? What? Why? Where? Representation is about understanding the choices that are made when it comes to portraying something or someone in a mass media text. When representing a person, media texts often focus on their age, gender, ethnicity, job, culture/nationality and financial status.

Genre – a way of categorising a particular media text according to its content and style. Genre does not rely simply on what’s in a media text but also on the way it is put together. A media text is said to belong to a genre, as it adopts the codes and conventions of other texts in that genre, and lives up to the same expectations but texts from different mediums may belong to the same genre.

Audience – Every media text should have an audience, if not then there is no point going any further with it. All media texts are made with an audience in mind, ie a group of people who will receive it and make some sort of sense out of it. And generally, but not always, the producers make some money out of that audience.

I think my target audience is quite a broad one and so I believe I’ll be able to attract quite a few people from my music video. Whilst I was coming up with an appropriate target audience I took into consideration the various audience theories and models so that I would be able to attract the largest demographic possible through the making of my video.

One theory in particular that I took into consideration was the effects model also known as the hypodermic model which basically means that the consumption of media texts has an effect or influence over the audience, however this is usually a negative one. I don’t know if this is the case for the majority of music videos but I am hoping to construct mine in a way that doesn’t have a adverse effect of the audience. The effects model presents the audience as vulnerable and having no control over that influence thrust upon them.
Whilst this theory represents all audiences as powerless, another theory that opposes this is the uses and gratifications model. What this model says is that all audiences are active and instead of being powerless over media, consume it for their own pleasure and have control over it. The uses and gratifications model says that the power lies with the audience and not the producers. Audiences will decide if they enjoy, reject or apply particular media products, the choice is theirs and they are the only ones who can control this. Clearly this directly opposes the effects model but I looked at both of these theories when brainstorming ideas about my song and video.
One thing that the effects theory and the uses and gratification theory have in common is that they both have their limitations and because of this, another theory was bought forward called reception theory. The main thing that this theory stated was that all media texts or products have a hidden or specific message or meaning behind them. Reception theory stated that some audiences could fail to decode the hidden message behind the media product or in some cases reject the idea completely. Stuart Hall who was the theorist behind reception theory identified three types of audience decoding of texts which are; dominant, negotiated or oppositional. According to reception theory every single media text has to fall into one of these categories whether they are supported by the audience effectively decoded of rejected completely. At the moment I’m unsure whether I want my music video to portray a hidden meaning or message behind it but if I did, I would want my target audience to successfully decode what I’m trying to get my music video to say.
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