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Flashcards in Media influence Deck (87):

what is moral panic

- An intense feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order.



A long lasting negative physical, psychological or emotional effect that can be measured.



A short term negative affect not lasting past the moment that cannot necessarily be measured.


Susceptible audience

A group of people that are potentially open to negative effects of the media


Active audience

An audience that plays a role in, and makes choices about, the meanings they derive from the media


Passive audience

An audience that absorbs the message of the media without any interpretation


Open text

- A text that can be interpreted by the media


Closed text

A text that has only one possible message


Cultural effects theories

Explore what the media does to us


Reception theories

Explore what we as an audience do with the media



A suggestion that the media has a particular effect on us


Negative effect

That the media can influence us in a way that harms society


Positive effect

That the media can influence us in a way that benefits society


theories and models 9

Hypodermic Needle Theory
Agenda Setting Function Theory
Cultivation Theory
Reinforcement Theory
Two-Step Flow theory
Uses and Gratification Theory
Semiotic Constructivist Theory
Political Economy Model


overview of hypodermic needle theory

A linear communication theory which suggests that the media has a direct and powerful influence on audiences, like being injected with a hypodermic needle.


audience of the hypodermic needle theory

Audiences are passive and homogenous, this theory does not account for individual differences.


evidence of the hypodermic needle theory

In 2011, Anders Breivek murdered 77 people in Norway and his defence counsel blamed Call of Duty for his actions


strengths/weaknesses of hypodermic needle theory

Although many people still talk about the media in this way, this theory is disregarded as an outdated way of thinking about media influence. Audiences are more active than this theory suggests.


year of Agenda setting function theory



Agenda setting function theory creator

Maxwell McCombs Donald Shaw


overview of the Agenda setting function theory

This theory suggests that the media can’t tell you what to think but it can tell you what to think about. Through a process of selection, omission and framing, the media focuses public discus- sion on particular issues.


audience of Agenda setting function theory

Audiences are active but, when it comes to making important decisions like who to vote for, they draw on information that is particularly salient at the time.


Evidence of the Agenda setting function theory

The ‘Kylie Effect’ was a finding from research conducted by the University of Sydney revealing that the media saturation of Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer scare actually raised the number of breast screenings significantly. Researchers saw a marked increase in appointments during the saturation and for a prolonged period after.


Strengths/weaknesses of the Agenda setting function theory

The way people receive media is changing, instead of mainstream media like newspapers and television, people now get information from the internet. Does this affect the media’s ability to set agendas?


year of the cultivation theory



who created the cultivation theory

George Gerbner


overview of the cultivation theory

The media, particularly television, contributes to the audience’s perception of social reality. Because it is so pervasive, it dominates our view of reality, cultivating attitudes which were once acquired elsewhere.


audience of the cultivation theory

Cultivation Theorists don’t deny that audiences can be active but are susceptible to the gravitational pull of mainstream television.


evidence of the cultivation theory

Gerbner and other researches have conducted numerous studies to determine whether people who watch more television perceive reality differently to those who don’t and whether this reflects a “television” view of the world. Gerbner’s research found that crime on television is ten times more than in real life, resulting in a more dangerous view of reality.


strengths/weaknesses of the cultivation theory

Cultivation analysis considers the total exposure to television over time. It considers the contribution that television makes to our culture and social reality. Critics say that people are also likely to be influenced by other factors.


year of the reinforcement theory



who created the reinforcement theory

Joseph Klapper


overview of the reinforcement theory

Klapper argued that the media has little power to influence people and it just reinforces our preexisting attitudes and beliefs which have been developed by more powerful social institutions like families, schools and religion organisations.


audience of the reinforcement theory

Audiences are active and exist in a society where they are influenced by important social institutions. This theory considers the total situation.


evidence of the reinforcement theory

1948 study which revealed that voters were inclined to vote according to the beliefs of the family, including a situation where a young man said he was going to vote Democratic because ‘his grandfather would skin him if he didn’t’.


strengths/weaknesses of reinforcement theory

The strength of this theory is that it moves the discussion about media influence away from the assumption that the media has a direct and powerful influence on audiences, considering the total situation.


two step flow theory year



creator of two step flow theory

Paul F Lazarsfeld


overview of the two step flow theory

A diffusion model of influence, suggesting that people are more likely to be influenced by ‘opinion leaders’ - people who are more connected to the media than their peers and pass on media messages.


audience of the two step flow theory

Audiences are active, particularly opinion leaders, who exist throughout society in all different classes and socioeconomic groups.


evidence of the two step flow theory

Kony 2012 was an online video, created by a group of activists, with intentions to having a ugandan war criminal joseph kony brought to justice. The video became a viral success overnight through the help of several celebrities including George Clooney, helping spread the news


strengths/weaknesses of the two step flow theory

This theory acknowledges that audiences are part of a society which affects the flow of information. One weakness is that there may, in fact, be more than two steps in the flow of communication.


uses and gratification theory year



creators of the uses and gratification theory

Jay Blumler Elihu Katz


overview of the uses and gratification theory

The Uses and Gratification Theory looks at how people use the media to gratify a range of needs – including the need for information, personal identity, integration, social interaction and entertainment.


audience of the uses and gratification theory

Audiences are active and can have power over the media. If people don’t watch a television program, it won’t rate and it will be taken off the air.


evidence of the uses and gratification theory

Uses and Gratification theorists examine what people do with the media and maintain that the best way to find out is by asking audiences. A recent study of how young people use social network- ing - ‘Hanging out, messing around and geeking out’ - took this approach, asking young people how and why they use social networking sites.


strengths and weaknesses of the uses and gratification theory

Uses and Gratification is an approach to studying the media, rather than a theory of influence. It has been criticised for its vague definition of important concepts.


Semiotic Constructivist Theory year



creators of the semiotic constructivist theory

Ferdinand de Saussure


overview of the semiotic constructivist theory

a theory of communication which suggests that media texts are constructed using a shared code which is encoded by the sender and read by the receiver.


audience of the semiotic constructivist theory

Audiences are active because they construct meaning from texts by ‘reading’ signs. Meaning varies as signs can have both shared and individual connotations.


evidence of the semiotic constructivist theory

The theory of semiotics is not supported by empirical evidence. There is also no agreed way of conducting research. Semioticians do not seek to prove this way of thinking about communication, rather, they use it as a way of thinking about the communication process, putting the emphasis on the meaning that the audience creates from media texts.


strengths/weaknesses semiotic constructivist theory

A strength of semiotics is that it focuses on the role of the reader and links our reading of texts with culture and values. Criticised for being a loosely defined critical approach.


year of encoding/decoding



creator of encoding/decoding

Stuart Hall


overview of the encoding/decoding

Stuart Hall’s Encoding/Decoding Theory suggests that audience derive their own meaning from media texts. These meanings can be dominant, negotiated or oppositional.


audience of encoding/decoding theory

Audiences are active in decoding media messages. They can accept or reject parts of the text based on their personal beliefs or attitudes.


evidence of the encoding/decoding theory

The idea of encoding/decoding is not supported by evidence. It is a way of thinking about the communication process which prioritises audience and culture. This theory shifts our attention to the reception of media texts and how meaning is created.


strength/weaknesses of encoding/decoding theory

Only three decoding positions. These three categories are not supported by empirical evidence. The theory does consider the importance of culture in determining dominant messages.


year of propaganda model



creators of the propaganda model

Noam Chomsky Edward S Herman


overview of the propaganda model

The mass media is owned and controlled by powerful organisa- tions which serve their own commercial interests. News is shaped by five ‘filters’: ownership, advertising, sourcing, flak, anti-Communism and fear.


audience of the propaganda model

Media institutions encourage a preferred reading of media texts which is shaped by commercial, right wing interests. Audiences are not passive, capable of dissent


evidence of the propaganda model

According to Dr Jeffery Klaehn, there are numerous studies which support the logic of the Propa- ganda Model. His own research found that Canadian government and corporate interests in Papua New Guinea influenced the reporting of the near-genocide in the country after Indonesia’s invasion, resulting in fewer articles about the atrocities.


strengths/weaknesses of propaganda model

Some have suggested that the rise of the internet means that large commercial organisations no longer have absolute control of the media. Herman argues that this is “exacerbating the problem”.


5 reasons to regulate media

1. Stopping copycat behaviour
2. protecting susceptible
3.protecting cultural identity
4. preventing mass ownership
5. To prevent content that encourages discrimination


how do they regulate copycat behaviour

Free TV Australia and the Advertising Standards Bureau
have guidelines for the advertising of food and beverages to children which state that they should not promote an ‘inactive lifestyle’.
meaning that it may influence people to doing the wrong thing


how and how do they protect susceptible audiences

with children In Australia films and publica- tions are classified on a scale
from G to R18+. These age recommendations and restrictions aim to protect children from material likely to upset or disturb. as It's easier for the government to regulate than parents


why and how do they prevent content that encourages discrimination

eliminate content in regards to Racial Sexual Religious factors that may offend


why and how do they protect cultural identity

In Australia, minimum require- ments for the amount of
Australian content on television and radio reflect the belief that overseas content may erode our cultural identity.


why and how do they regulate media ownership

In Australia, we have laws
governing foreign media and cross media ownership to prevent
media organisations having too much power. According to cross media ownership laws, one entity cannot own more than 2 means of media preventing any bias with agenda setting


What does ACMA stand for

The Australian Communication and Media Authority


what is ACMA responsible for 4

regulating broadcasting and online content in Australia. Its responsibilities include
promoting industry self-regulation and
managing the television and radio spectrums,
developing codes of practice for television and radio in conjunction with the industry bodies Free TV Australia and Commercial Radio Australia
regulates the ownership of commercial media organisations in Australia, maintaining a register of media ownership and control.


what is the National classification scheme responsible for

The classification of films, video games and publications in Australia


what are the principles that the national classification scheme follows 3

1. adults should be able to “read, hear and see what they want”
2.minors should be protected from material that might upset or disturb them.
3. protect adults from unsolicited material likely to offend and take into account commu- nity concerns about the depiction of violence.


what is the Advertising standards bureau responsible for 2

The Advertising Standards Bureau oversees a national system of advertising self-regulation.
handling consumer complaints about advertising.


reasons that the Advertising standards bureau may come into play

the use of language, the discriminatory portrayal of people, concern for children, portrayals of violence, sex, sexuality and nudity, health and safety, and marketing of food and beverages to children.”


what is the code of conduct on body image

The Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image was introduced in 2009 to help influence the representation of body image, particularly in beauty magazines.


Outline one argument against the regulation of one specific media form or text. In your response, refer to any media forms or texts that you studied this year, and issues in relation to control of the specific media form or text.

The controversial pro euthanasia television advertisement was regulated and taken off the air due to Free TV Australia, which regulates the industry. Free TV withdrew its permission for the $30,000 ad to be screened on the grounds it promotes suicide. However, it eliminates the opportunity of creating freedom of speech as well as artistic expression, which is something that is promoted and allowed in New Zealand. It also eliminates the freedom of an adult, as they should be able to view whatever content they wish.


types of research

case studies
lab research
meta - analysis


case studies

Real life situations which are examined to find media influence


Lab Research

Tests performed in a controlled laboratory environment


Semiotic Analysis

The study of relationships that are created over a period of time between the social attitudes and behaviour and consumption of media texts



Where researchers look at a number of studies and draw conclusions from the collective results of this research


Qualitative Research

Involves asking people about their media use


Quantitative Research

Involves surveys at statistics --> raw data to numbers