Mr. Pinto’s first class of semester II, M.phil Media Studies, research methodologies in media, was a short class and dealt with the analytical power of the audiece.
Mr.Pinto started with the fact that research in media in India is all about audience survey. Also the research knowledge available in India is largely influenced by the U.S. So there arises a requirement of more theories for studying media itself and less of an audience survey.
Mr. Pinto went on to discuss the word ‘mass’ on how it suggests that the recipients of media products constitute a vast sea of passive, undifferentiated individuals, and how , one of the leading cultural theorists, challenged the tem mass. Hall brought in agency or the analytical power of the audience. He says the message does not reach the reciever unaltered. The message reaches the audience after passing a series of codes. The message from the encoders is transformed at every point, because we as individuals are tuned into following traditions. We have been taught codes and therefore look to apply what we have been taught in practically everything. Eg; while writing a news article we invariably tend to follow the inverted pyramid style because we have been taught to!
The magic bullet theory holds no good anymore because each individiual percieves a message differently. But that is the final stage, before it reaches the audience the message undergoes numerous transformations, under the story writer’s hand, under the camera person’s hand, under the editor’s hand and more. And then the way the audience indivually takes to it differs from person to person.
So in such a society as today where each man thinks differently and percieves things differently, a collective audience survey is not good enough, calling out for more research work in India studying the media itself.