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Flashcards in Glossary Deck (53):

Action Code

Something that happens in the narrative that tells the audience that some action will follow, for example in a scene from a soap opera, a couple are intimate in a bedroom and the camera shows the audience the husband's car pulling up at the front of the house


Active Audience

Audiences actively engage in selecting media products to consume and interpreting their meanings



The words that accompany an image (still or moving) contribute to the meaning associated with that image. If the caption or voice-over is changed then so may the way in which the audience interprets the image. An image with an anchor is a closed text; the audience are given a preferred reading. A text without an anchor is an open text as the audience can interpret it as they wish.
The same image of a school in a local newspaper could include a negative or a positive headline, which may change the way in which the same image is viewed by the reader.



The way in which products attract and interest an audience


Arc of Transformation

The way in which products attract and interest an audience e.g. through the use of stars, familiar genre conventions etc.



In terms of a media text, one that encourages the audience to want more money, up-market consumer items and a higher social position



How media producers create appeal to audiences to encourage them to consume the product


Audience Categorisation

How media producers group audiences (e.g. by age, gender, ethnicity) to target their products


Audience Consumption

The way in which audiences engage with media products (e.g. viewing a TV programme, playing a video game, reading a blog or magazine). Methods of consumption have changed significantly due to the development of digital technologies.


Audience Interpretation

The way in which audiences 'read' the meanings in, and make sense of, media products


Audience Positioning

The way in which media products place audiences (literally or metaphorically) in relation to a particular point of view. For example, audiences may be positioned with a particular character or positioned to adopt a specific ideological perspective


Audience Response

How audiences react to media products e.g. by accepting the intended meanings (preferred reading)


Audience Segmentation

Where a target audience is divided up due to the diversity and range of programmes and channels. This makes it difficult for one programme to attract a large target audience.



How sound is used to communicate meaning - voice-over, dialogue, music, SFX, etc.



A player's representation of themselves within a game


Back Story

Part of a narrative which may be the experiences of a character or the circumstances of an event that occur before the action or narrative of a media text. It is a device that gives the audience more information and makes the main story more credible.


Binary Opposites

Where texts incorporate examples of opposite values e.g. good vs evil, villain vs hero. These can be apparent in the characters, narrative or themes.


Brand Identity

The association the audience make with the brand e.g. Chanel or Nike, built up over time and reinforced by the advertising campaigns and their placement.



A larger newspaper that publishes more serious news, e.g. The Daily Telegraph has maintained its broadsheet format.


Camera Angles

The angle of the camera in relation to the subject e.g. High angle shot may make them appear more vulnerable


Camera Shots

The type of shot and framing in relation to the subject e.g. close-up shots are often used to express emotion



Words that accompany an image that help to explain its meaning


Channel Identity

That which makes the channel recognisable to audiences and different from any other channel. Presenters, stars, programme genres and specific programmes all contribute to a channel's identity.



The dissemination of media products to audiences/users - the method will depend on the media form e.g. Circulation of print magazines, broadcast of television programmes etc.



The suggested meanings attached to a sign, e.g. the red car in the advert suggests speed and power.



What the audience expects to see in a particular media text, for example the conventions of science fiction films may include: aliens, scientists, other worlds, gadgets, representations of good and evil, etc. Useful headings to discuss conventions are: characters, setting, iconography, narrative, technical codes and representation.



The coming together of previously separate media industries and/or platforms; often the result of advances in technology whereby one device or platform contains a range of different features. The mobile phone, for example, allows the user to download and listen to music, view videos, tweet artists etc. All this can be done through one portable device.


Cover Lines

These suggest the content to the reader and often contain teasers and rhetorical questions. These relate to the genre of the magazine.


Cross-Platform Marketing

In media terms, a text that is distributed and exhibited across a range of media formats or platforms. This may include film, television, print, radio and the Internet.


Cultural Capital

The media tastes and preferences of an audience, traditionally linked to social class/background.


Demographic Category

A group in which consumers are placed according to their age, sex, income, profession, etc. The categories range from A to E where categories A and B are the wealthiest and most influential members of society.



The literal meaning of a sign, e.g. the car in the advert is red.


Diegetic Sound

Sound that comes from the fictional world, e.g. the sound of a gun firing, the cereal being poured into the bowl in an advert etc.



The topics, language and meanings or values behind them within a media text. The discourse of lifestyle magazines, for example, tends to revolve around body image and narcissism.



The methods by which media products are delivered to audiences, including the marketing campaign. These methods will depend upon the product (e.g. distribution companies in the film industry organise the release of the films, as well as their promotion)



Where media organisations who have specialised in producing media products in one form move into producing content across a range of forms.



The way in which the shots move from one to the other (transitions), e.g. fade, cut, etc. Fast cutting may increase the pace and therefore the tension of the text.


Encoding and Decoding

Media producers encode messages and meanings in products that are decoded, or interpreted by audiences.


Enigma Code

A narrative device which increases tension and audience interest by only releasing bits of information, e.g. teasers in a film trailer or narrative strands that are set up at the beginning of a drama/film that makes the audience ask questions; part of a restricted narrative.



In relation to narrative, a state of balance or stability (in Todorov's theory the equilibrium is disrupted and ultimately restored)



A belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group or culture. E.g. a newspaper will be more concerned to cover stories that are closely related to the reader and their concerns. Tabloid and local papers only tend to cover international news stories if they can relate them specifically to their readers.



The beliefs, values and customs of, for example, media organisations. In TV, for example, what the channel believes in and what it sees as its role. The ethos is usually set out in the channel's charter.



An enthusiast or aficionado of a particular media form or product.



In magazine terms, the main, or one of the main, stories in an edition. Features are generally located in the middle of the magazine, and cover more than one or two pages.


Flexi Narrative

A more complex narrative structure with layers of interweaving storylines. This challenges the audience and keeps them watching.


Four C's

Stands for Cross Cultural Consumer Characteristics and was a way of categorising consumers into groups through their motivational needs. The main groups were Mainstreamers, Aspirers, Explorers, Succeeders and Reformers.



An entire series of, for example, a film including the original film and all those that follow.


Gate Keepers

The people responsible for deciding the most appropriate stories to appear in newspapers. They may be the owner, editor or senior journalists. They will only let the stories most appropriate for the ideology of the paper 'through the gate'.



Media texts can often be grouped into genres that all share similar conventions. Science fiction is a genre, as are teenage magazines, etc.



Worldwide - e.g. a media product with global reach is a product that is distributed around the world.



This derives from the theory of cultural hegemony by Antonio Gramsci. Hegemony is the dominance of one group over another, often supported by legitimating norms and ideas, e.g. the dominant social position in society is taken by men and the subordinate one by women.


Horizontal Integration

Where a media conglomerate is made up of different companies that produce and sell similar products, often as a result of mergers, e.g. a company with interests in film, TV, magazines, newspaper.


House Style

The aspects that make a magazine recognisable to its readers every issue. The house style is established through the choice of colour, the layout and design, the font style, the content and the general 'look' of the publication.