Articles tagged with: week 2

Stuart Hall: Encoding, Decoding

on Thursday, 28 April 2011. Posted in Student Notes


“In societies like ours, communication between the production elites in broadcasting and their audiences is necessarily a form of “systematically distorted communication.””

- Distortion or misunderstandings because of the lack of equivalence between the two sides in the communicative exchange.


on Thursday, 28 April 2011. Posted in Student Notes



McMahon and Quin say that ideology is a mixture of theories, ideas, habits, and activities that shape society’s perception. Although ideology is not a natural phenomenon, it is engrained into our brains from the get-go. Through social practices, we are processed to believe in ideologies. Along with ideologies come myths that are a society’s way of making sense of things. Myths also perpetuate stereotypes which, in turn, reinforce ideologies.

Chapter 6 - “Popular Radio and the Origins of Broadcasting”

on Tuesday, 26 April 2011.



Radio was developed in the early 19th century that developed into a multi-technology mass-medium. In the early days it was a source of national identity and a chance to share a common experience. By about the 1920’s it became a full-blown mass medium and was seen as a sort of interstate commerce. It could not be owned and was a collective property of all Americans. Radio talk shows and programs led to the development of many TV shows and genres such as the Ed Sullivan show, the Price is Right, Survivor, etc. By the 1950‘s TV replaced the radio as the after-dinner activity and stole many of the ads, programs, and celebrities that were once catered to the radio indrusty. Radio programs reflect the shift in American culture, including attitudes about race and tolerance levels for stereotypes (think “Amos ‘n’ Andy”). Radio is often perceived as the voice of authority. What allowed radio to continue to exist with the development of the television is the transistor radio; which allowed a radio to be taken where a television could not follow (ie. the beach, car, etc.) Public radio once was widely owned by multiple broadcasters who privately operated and broadcasted music, news, and talk shows; but recently the ownership of many stations has come to belong to several large broadcasting companies that can censor and choose what is sent out to the public. Broadcasters and DJs target audiences by age, gender, income, race/ethnicity and has stations figured around and blocked off to target select audiences.

Gender Ideology in Television Commercials

on Thursday, 21 April 2011. Posted in Student Notes


Assumptions about Television- Some perceptions about television are that “It is only entertainment, only a source of headline news.” Kervin states that these assumptions come from the noncritical approach people take when viewing television. She mentions that television must be understood as a medium used for gaining social knowledge (knowledge about believes, and representations existing in society- pg 87 reader). Television presents us with images that allow us to accept, question or even challenge the status quo.

· Assumptions about the role of the Critic, Criticism, and the Audience- Kervin points out that even though the goal of television criticism is to present and support its arguments about the medium, it often fails to encourage its readers to critically examine “their own consumption and attitudes toward television.” She offers readers to take asemiotic and ideological approach when examining television in order to gain knowledge of the text (TV. programming) and its social implications.


The Meaning of Memory

on Monday, 18 April 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES COMPILED BY Megan Goldberger

SUMMARY: Lipsitz’s anthropological article discusses the network and sponsor’s use of television as a medium for the promotion of commodities during some of the earliest years in television. Government policies during Post World War 2 America notably altered the profile of home television. Commercial network television played a key role in the emerging economy of the mid 1900’s, acting as an object of consumer purchases and encouraging fragmentation of the family into separate segments of the consumer market. While television began as a thirty minute escape from the stresses of everyday life, it transformed into a marketing medium dominated by constant obvious and hidden advertisements.


on Tuesday, 12 April 2011. Posted in Student Notes

Notes compiled by J.Scott Alfieri

Chapter 6 in the Media Essentials textbook is on the radio industry. This chapter traces the medium of radio from its inception through the development of the radio industry, with particular focus on the implementations of government regulations and growing corporate dominance of the medium. These aspects are important because of the model they serve for the development of mediums of communication that followed like T.V. and the internet.

The radio was the first medium of mass communication in American society and with it began the development of the ideas of penetration of the “domestic space” with the intent of fostering consumerism which have become the hallmark of mediums which have followed like T.V. in post WWII America and the internet currently. The Radio Act of 1912 was the first legislation passed by the United States Congress. Its intent was to address the problem of amateur radio operators “cramming the air waves”. Similar acts were passed in 1927(Radio act of 1927), 1934 (Federal Communications Act of 1934), 1967 (Public Broadcasting Act of 1967) and 1996 (Telecommunications Act of 1996). Each piece of legislation was different in its tenants however they all facilitated growing corporate dominance of the medium.