Why Is It Important to Study the Media, Rather Than Simply Consume It?

1674 Words Aug 21st, 2005 7 Pages
Everyday we encounter the media in some form. It could be waking up to the sound of the radio, or passing billboards in the streets or simply just watching television. They are a lot of different forms of media, for example, verbal or written media, visual media and aural media. Examples of media would include newspapers, magazines, film, radio, television, billboard advertisements as well as the internet. Media studies came about because of the developments in mass communication and it provokes the generation of exigent questions about what we think we know as well how we came about knowing it. There are always changes in the media and the term "media" refers to the many ways of physically forming meanings as well and carrying them. The …show more content…
Western Marxism is said to incorporate semiology and structuralism in the media and Ideological Critique argues that the media induce misunderstanding and media audiences are said to be "cultural dopes" (Sinclair, 2002). Structuralism was said to be based in France and is linked to the psychoanalytic theory, the anthropological theory and semiology. French structuralism and Semiology studies the media messages themselves. Political Economy on the other hand studies the production and distribution of media content, It does not argue that media content under capitalism is ideological but somehow had assume that audiences fall under the ideological influence. The American Empiricism defines content analysis as a systematic and quantifiable method to describe and analyze the meaning of the media messages (Sinclair, 2002).
Textual analysis is a way of gathering and analyzing information in academic research and is a methodology. It is also a way to approach media texts to try to understand their meanings (McKee, 2001). Content analysis breaks down the components of a programme or newspaper into units which you are able to count them and replicates can be done. Semiotic analysis on the other hand, breaks down different elements of a text and labels them. It pays attention to every stage in the process of making meaning from a text and therefore they are not limitations to it. In media studies, there is never a

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