Texts and Meaning

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“Media text is any constructed media product or piece of communication.” – SAE lecture notes

“The media text is any media product we wish to examine. Every description or representation of the world, fictional or otherwise, is an attempt to describe or define reality, and is in some way a construct of reality, a text.” – medienabc.org

 

Anything that is used as a medium for sending a message to an audience is considered to be called a text. The medium could be an event, a type of work, even an object. Anything that can be used to tell an audience something.

A text is a representation of something. It is used to represent a movement, a group, a message, etc. It is a tool that an audience can interact with. It is a way for someone to help motivate change. A text is the physical embodiment of what someone can stand for and believe in. It can be used to show truth, or lies, in numerous ways. It is how a leader leads through media. The texts aren’t restricted to any specific type of delivery or appearance. A text can be presented as visual, or audio. It all depends on whether it can reach an audience, and what type of feeling or emotion it stirs up.

Texts are made up of images, words, audio, movement, videos, etc. They are tangible pieces of information and expression. Many people use them to speak to the world. Businesses will make use of various forms of media text to promote a product of theirs. This will be done through advertising and branding. The advertising will be shown through various other forms of media texts as well. This will include television, internet adverts (pop-ups; videos),  billboard signs, etc. These are all ways in which the business engages with its consumers (audience). Branding is also a form of text. It contains graphics and words, which may have a tune to go with it, which would probably be used in video and audio (podcasts and radio) adverts.

Every thing we use in terms of media can be referred to as text. Things like the internet, or even the visual representations our devices use to allow us to understand what we are seeing on our digital screen. Through text, our devices can deliver various messages and knowledge to use, because we understand it once the digital information has been converted into simplified visual representations. For example: what we find on the internet is provided through words, images, and videos we can understand. This is all because of media text we are familiar with.

Texts in media are a significant part of our every-day lives. We use it to communicate ideas and opinions over social platforms on the internet, PowerPoint presentations, white boards, and so on. It is how we communicate with people outside of the standard use of speech face to face. Media text is such a large part of our lives. So perhaps we should consider ways we can make use of it to make a change in our community, because of how connected we all are to it. It may help making a change happen sooner than before.

Sources:

Kawinga, R.K. 2018. Texts and meaning, lecture PowerPoint slide. Displayed during lecture at SAE Institute, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town, South Africa.

Jones, S.J. 2018. Teaching Media Text with the Key Concpts, MedienABC. http://www.medienabc.org/page5/page40/page40.html (13/11/18)

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Hegemony in Media

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“The dominance of one group over another, often supported by legitimating norms and ideas.” –http://www.britannica.com

“The position of being the strongest and most powerful and therefore able to control others.” – dictionary.cambridge.org

“The social, cultural ,ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group.” – http://www.merriam-webster.com

 

Most people at some point in their life have felt what it’s like to be pushed around by someone in power. This could be a parent, a teacher, classmate, boss, fellow employee, etc. Often power gets abused when someone has it for too long, or doesn’t deserve it in the first place. The power they have over other people: be it social, economic, cultural or ideological; will allow them to have a level of dominance over a group of people. The dominance given to them via one or more of these factors can allow them to have most of the directional influence in terms of what happens next or what decisions are final in something beginning or finishing. Often these people can make decisions outside of what the rest of the people want, but with the power the few have the decision is made final by them, often affecting many in some sort of a negative way. This is called hegemony.

Hegemony is the result of an unbalanced society. Few are given power over others because of social status or wealth. Now this isn’t always a bad thing, of course, because a functioning society needs strong leaders to lead it. However, leadership shouldn’t be determined by status or wealth. Leadership should be determined by a person’s integrity, ability, and responsibility before being placed into a position that determines the direction of others. If a person has proven that they are firstly – able to manage their own lives and prove to be successful in what they do, and secondly – prove that they have the ability and skills to successfully take charge of a situation and lead a group of people to a better state or position, then they should be deemed worthy of a leadership position in society.

Unfortunately, many people are placed into power who do not deserve it. This being the case when for example, a person in power steps down from their role, or is forced out due to personal circumstances, and a new person fills their place. This sometimes, or rather, often allows people who actually aren’t appropriately equipped for leadership to be placed into a very demanding role, and therefore leading them to not provide what is expected of them. Eventually, not always but often, this person will come to do not so great things with their power due to them not really knowing what to do with it themselves, or having selfish reasons from the start. This of course leads to hegemony in society.

It is our responsibility as a community and society to choose our leaders wisely and to ensure that the people being considered have proved themselves worthy of the position long before they came to the point of being able to receive the power to lead. The voice of the people (the majority) who will be affected by the rule of powerful leaders (the minority) must prove to always be stronger than the few people in charge, because the the decisions those few make will ultimately impact the majority of the people who make up the population in this world. It is every single person’s responsibility to contribute to having and maintaining a stable community.

 

Additional Sources:

Kawinga, R.K. 2018. Media Culture Ideology & Hegemony, lecture PowerPoint slide. Displayed during lecture at SAE Institute, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town, South Africa.

Effects of Mass Media

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Effect Categories:

Cognitive – affect our knowledge and thinking about something

Affective – affect our feelings about something

Conative – affects our behaviour towards something or someone

Time-scale – an affect may occur on different timescales.

As wonderful as media is, there are still cons to it. The access to and use of media will connect us with other people. This exposes us to their opinions, thoughts, ideals, and taste. Often fashion trends will reign over many streams of media. This will of course paint an image for many or the average media consumers. The image being perhaps, how one should wear their clothes, or what clothes to wear in the first place. All these things will contribute to how people want to he seen and perceived by others. This can be a good thing when helping someone find confidence in themselves. But often it can lead to detrimental views on one’s self image.

The coverage in media as well as the representation of various happenings and scenarios can cause people to become desensitized to various themes. Themes such as violence, nudity, and sex for example. These are things that happen in the world all the time of course, but people are being introduced to them and their severity much sooner than they would have been before new media became widely spread.

Through discussions on forums and comment sections, and in discussions found in newspapers and magazines, people are always stating and sharing their opinions on topics being covered. Now as valuable as opinions are, often someone’s opinion could be wrong or not as close to the truth as it should be. But because of the mixed information they may have received through various, or only one source/s, their opinion on a topic may have very unsound reasoning behind it. This being due to the reliance they have and trust they place in their sources, while not choosing to challenge the information they receive.

Due to having access to all that’s happening in the world being displayed on the device we hold in our hand, our culture has become lazy. There is a lack of intrigue or desire for discovery. If we want to learn something about another country, or hidden ruin from centuries back, we just need to open up Google and find an article on the topic. There isn’t any great reason to get up and find something new, because all the discoveries one may desire can be accessed through their phone so what’s the point of leaving the safety of your home if everything can be accessed and delivered to you?

Media has often been used for things like propaganda. Leaders in the past, and even now still, have made use of media to manipulate the thoughts and opinions of the people they rule over. An example of this would be Nazi Germany during the second World War. Films were made to show the way Jewish prisoners were being treated. The films of course were scripted and did not accurately represent the lives of Jewish people in the camps. And yet, many people were shocked when they discovered the true brutality of the concentration camps. The effects of this led to much ignorance and prolonged pain and despair. This is one of many examples of the effects media has on society. Of course there are more positive ones, like uniting people under a flag or in a march against unfair disadvantage. The point is that there are always effects around whatever media is used for because of how many lives mass media connects to.

The effects of media cannot be avoided. They will be all around us everyday. Many of the effects it has on society are also unintended and not planned by anyone specific. These effects would be things like: cultural change, collective reaction, socialization, etc. Each one of the effects brought on with mass media can be either short or long term. Both having impacts nonetheless. No one can be excluded from the effects either. Everyone will experience them.

Sources:

Potter, W.J.P. Media Effects. Sage Publishing. https://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/45690_Chapter_2.pdf

Kawinga, R.K. 2018. Short and Long Term Effects of Mass Media, lecture PowerPoint slide. Displayed during lecture at SAE Institute, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town, South Africa.

New Media

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Means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet.” – Oxford Dictionary, the definition of new media.

 

Everywhere you look there will be an example of new media. This will include things like: uploading a photo to Instagram, listening to a podcast on Castbox, watching a video on YouTube, playing Counter Strike, or finding a date on Tinder.

New media is tangled around most of our lives. To some, this may be bad. To others, it brings benefits and positive experiences to their lives. Some for example may try to maintain a certain “character” on social media, by posting specific types of post to develop a certain image. However, this image may not be true to who they actually are and could prove detrimental over time. Another person could perhaps use new media to show where they travel and the cultures they come to interact with. This making the experiences they share educational to those who may not have experienced the same thing for themselves. But the point is that many, if not most, people have incorporated some forms of new media into their lives and have decided to embrace it on a daily basis.

The way we have access to new media is through technologies such as home computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and televisions. These will all require internet access however for the user to gain access through them to new media.

New media is basically what mass communication has evolved into. Examples of this would be things like: a telegraph vs a text message, posted mail vs email, books vs ebooks, radio vs podcasts, and so on. What really separates the two is how much someone can interact with them. New media is full of features and opportunities for people to have their say or make a choice in how something is delivered or replied to personally. Mass communication involves a more one-sided approach of: we as the superior information provider tell you what we deem as true, and you as the listener/reader must accept that it is truth. New media provides everyone the opportunity to have their say and opinion put out to the world and then either accepted or challenged by someone else.

As technology continues to develop and grow, so will the new media that’s shared and developed through it. Technology plays a large role in how we live, and the development of it will help determine how people will live their lives in the future. This is the same for the access to, and growth of new media. The more tools people have available to them, the more accurate and advance the product or service will become.

The introduction of new media into society has brought many opportunities for people to be more vocal about their rights to equal treatment and representation. New media has become a closer to truth mouthpiece. This has enabled many movements to gain more publicity and bring more widespread awareness to issues being faced by different groups. This is another strong example of how new media brings much more freedom and representation to people who, perhaps didn’t have much to begin with due to how they were portrayed by people originally in control of the dominant methods and means of mass communication before new media.

So again, new media proves to be much more accessible and available to people searching and fighting for empowerment. It helps spread messages closer to truth, and provides resources to people who are searching for the truth behind something they may believe to be a lie.

Media and Society

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Media is here to inform the public about what’s up in the world. Without media, we would be quite oblivious to all that’s happening outside of the town or city we live in. Sometimes, due to cities being so big, media even shows us what’s happening within our own areas that we wouldn’t have know about before.

Education is key to society developing and growing. Media is a great driving force and medium for getting information across to a multitude of people. To educate is to bring awareness and development. Education is an enabler for people to see how changes for the better can be made, and should be made.

Entertainment is what keeps us happy and open to new ideas. We all want to be entertained by something we like at some point in the day. Otherwise, the world would just be one long gloom that none of us would want be a part of eventually. Entertainment is what brings the colour back into our lives. This even applies to jobs some of us have. If we enjoy our job and have a passion for the tasks it involves, then that too could be considered some sort of entertainment. Media, however, is the main source of entertainment in this day and age. It is easy to access, and is available to everyone.

Access to media brings so many new opportunities. Media opens people’s eyes to many things, like new types of creativity, investment, travel, culture, etc.

Media’s role in a community is dependant on the political status of the country or community it is being provided in. This means that depending on what the political status, it will detemine how media is given and portreyed to the community. If the political status is a democracy for example, then media will be very open and adventurous. If the country is run by a dictator, then the media will tend to be a lot more censored, (this goes for Communism too).

There are three main theories with regards to media and it’s distribution. The Authoritarian theory, which means that the media will be greatly monitored, controlled, and censored; the Libertarian theory, which means freedom of thought and expression is granted; and the Development theory, which means that the media is used for the development of the people and the community.

Media has a massive amount of power and influence over the way people live, react, and behave. Two big parts of our lives, Ideology and Culture, are greatly influenced by the media around us. Our ideologies (beliefs and ideas) can, and will, often be swayed by what we hear and see. Often media will give us new ideas and beliefs related to things we may not have known before. Our culture is always changing in some way too. There are definitely solid roots that will always be fallen back on, but many of the world’s cultures have been greatly influenced by the media we have and the growth of it in our societies.

Our lives are always going to be influenced by what we hear and see. Media takes advantage of that. This can often be very beneficial to our growth as people. But we also need to be aware that not everything we are exposed to is entirely true. So this is why we always need to test what we are told and shown, to prove to ourselves that it is not a lie constructed by someone else.

Representation

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Representation is key in our society. It allows people of all races, sexes, genders, classes, ethnicity, and so on, to be seen in the correct way.

In media, representation helps bring awareness to people who may not have the chance, or freedom, to experience the culture and lifestyle of people outside of their social circle or social status caliber. Sometimes they may think that what they know is true to fact, but that “fact” could very much be someone else’s twisted perspective or opinion, instead of an accurate, non-biased, open-minded view.

Contributors to the media we view and consume need to mindful of the accuracy of their statements and documentations based on, or of, people or groups. Incorrect representation often happens, and leads to cultures and people receiving hate or being deemed as lesser. Representation helps the ignorant and uneducated see the truth. It opens many eyes to see how a person, who was possibly seen in a negative light before because of how they are as a person, or the group they are a part of, is in fact totally fine.

For centuries, even now still, someone who identifies as something other than heterosexual can be seen as an outsider to society, and therefore deemed unworthy to receive equal treatment by others. This is obviously absurd now, but wasn’t seen as so by a large amount of people until recently. A contribution, to people who identify as something other than heterosexual, receiving less hate and disgust from the general members of society, is true representation. Representation of these groups have allowed them to be seen as equal human beings in society (not to everyone, but to most, which is way better than almost none at all). This also applies to race groups. Races other than white have received many trials and tribulations to find equal ground with the dominating white contributors to society. Media has taken an incredibly long time to include people of all races to be shown in the same light. One of the reasons this has managed to be brought the lengths it has, is true representation of the races. Representation to show that no single race is better than the other.

Accurate representation proves that people are people. No person is less equal than the other just because of difference in skin colour, bone structure, or language. A person is equal to another person, because people are humans. Humans are all the same in how their bodies function. This means we’re all equal. We cry, live, bleed, and die the same. This surely shows that there isn’t any true reason for separation and segregation. We are a society that functions at its best together, as one whole, just like any healthy relationship.

Mass Media & Communication

Disclaimer: This is a non-profit blog. The content is purely for learning and entertainment reasons.

 

“The imparting or exchanging of information on a large scale to a wide range of people” – Oxford Dictionary, the definition of mass communication.

 

For a long time mass communication through mass media has been how people spread messages across their towns, cities, and countries. Today this even includes the entire world. Mass communication is basically someone telling a whole bunch of other people what’s up. If something happens in the government, or with the royal family, mass communication is how the word gets around.

The forms of mass media are the means by which the messages are passed through. Mediums such as the newspaper or magazines, the internet (such as social media, websites and forums), television, movies, music, etc. These are all ways one person or a group of people can get an idea or message out to the rest of the world.

Without mass communication between people, the world may still be in quite a primitive state in some ways. Through the evolution of sharing content, people have been able to learn new things sooner, and therefore grow faster. This has reached the point where there is an overwhelming amount of new content available as soon as you open up an app like Pinterest for example.

As a constantly evolving race, mass communication through mass media has become a primary part of most people’s lives. It doesn’t really matter where you are anymore. Most people can access the internet at some point in their week. This includes people living in rural areas for example. Not all rural areas, but many now have access to some sort of an internet hub.

However, the internet isn’t the only way that media is shared. There are still radio stations and Televisions which allow communities to engage with the current state of the world. So pretty much every person out there will have some grasp on what’s happening outside of their town at least.

People aren’t meant to hide away from each other. The best way to grow is by learning from each other. If we try to find everything on our own, it’ll take much longer to develop as an individual. This could lead to becoming very closed minded, which is a very unhealthy and unfulfilling place to be.

So try open up to new information, and the ways it’s transmitted to you. It could ultimately change your life for the better. But also remember to always evaluate and analyse what you’re being told before accepting it as truth. Not everyone out there wants the best for you as an individual.

 

Go!

Learn something new.