Audience Behavior and How It Relates to the New Media

2059 words 9 pages
Encoding/Decoding Theory as It Relates to the New Media

Audience behaviour has always been a complex but nonetheless essential part of the material framework for theatre or theatrical events. In its extreme forms (e.g., at live wrestling matches, at exuberant and spirited plays, etc.) is more easily identified and also gives the passive observer some inkling as to where the boundaries for decent behaviour in the given society really are. Audiences are increasingly becoming involved in a multi-layered assortment of activities and affections (greatly contrasting in importance and fervour). It is interesting to note that the audience is now intrinsically intertwined with familiar social relations. There is an unravelling of the difference
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It really is as Hall once stated that the audience holds great power. Today’s audiences are more wary of old media’s interests and have thus latched onto content generated by newer media sources. Old media is anxious when it comes to the omnipresence of blogs, the exponential rise in twitter messages, and aggregators that summarize content and link back to the original source. In such a world, their profit-driven business model (and, by extension, their very reason for being) is shot. So what happens to the encoding/decoding model if traditional mass media is increasingly playing a smaller role and is losing influence? It seems that the rise in alternative forms of information dissemination are changing the very messages that are being transmitted and, by extension, changing the expectations of the decoders as well. Smaller content creators come with their own sets of rules and some may have less concern to conform to socially-accepted norms whilst others may be raging propagandists. All the while, old media continue to deliver their carefully crafted messages while being careful to please all special interests, maintain journalistic integrity, and not damage their reputations in the process. Either way, the rise in smaller media creators (e.g., individual persons, small start ups, and other creative groups) has shaken the system and often has little


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