Tag Archives: audience

It’s all business, but we made this

31 Oct

Dr. Taya Thussu from the India Media Centre gave us a lecture on 25th October, talking abut “infortainment”, which mean news that is treated for entertainment.

The market conception in news production is very logical. Sponsors want to sell their products, so they need time/coverage for publicity. Owners of media need to make profit from media outputs, so they will influence to provide what the audience want and to make sponsors happy. So technically if the owner of the media is rather profit-oriented or does not have a healthy financial situation, the media will hardly operate independently. The US is a highly commercialized society, which make infortainment an understandable output.Of course we are still talking about media independence and ethics, but without money, they are only utopian conceptions. It’s all business.

Within the communication process, it seems that the audience are only passive receivers of information, and that they cannot do much about what to watch and to read. But the modern audience theory indicates that audience can actually be quite active. Audiences can decide whether the idea from the media output is acceptable or not. They can execute their own process of decoding. There can be many results out of many decoding processes, as different people bear different situations. But there is a prerequisite. That is, people need to be critical enough. Audiences need a certain degree of education and be reflective enough.

The problem is, people in these days do not think much about what they get from the media. “I have been work for the whole day, why should I bother what’s on the media? Leave them to the academics.” That’s probably what most people will think.

People are pragmatic. They turn to the media for a need. The media will fail if it cannot satisfy people’s need. The dark side for today’s newsroom is that people tend to entertain themselves rather than actually accumulating some knowledge. That is why tabloids sell. Hard news like politics can actually make people bored. People need relax.

As an answer to people’s need, the media start to provide what people need, rather than holding the journalism principle. That is how the media can attract audiences and therefore survive. It’s all business, and we made this.

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