Media = middle, i.e. between sender and receiver. Use of technology to communicate with
large audiences across distance, usually in order to make a profit (see O’Shaughnessy and
Stadler, 2002:2). “Asymmetric flow” of info from one sender to many receivers, mostly one
way although the audience can communicate back to the sender via ratings, talk-back radio,
interactivity etc. (Page 4).
Media pros and cons (p6): The main thing I like about the media is the entertainment and
information it gives – I watched a documentary called Lumumba this week that really
improved my knowledge of politics and history in Africa and kept me entertained too. The
main thing I hate about the media is that it is so profit driven, everything is somehow related
to consumption, to buying stuff that gives you a particular image. The media creates desires
for things we don’t really need. So much money must have been spent on making the ads for
mobile phones and cosmetics that were on during Lumumba when what we really need is
better health care and education.
Media Effects (p11 and 31-38): It’s hard to measure media effects because the media is not
the only thing that influences us. For example, maybe I decided to buy a particular CD today
because the media influenced me – they’re really pushing it on the radio, or because it’s part
of the culture I live in and I identify with it, or because my housemates hate it and I don’t
want them controlling my life, or because we’re studying music in Contemporary Pop
Culture. Maybe the music I listen to will change my attitude or behaviour, maybe it won’t.