Active Audiences

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The lecture covered the topic of conceptualising audiences by deeming them either active or passive. David Hendy in the book ‘Radio in the Global Age’ discusses his thoughts on the passive/active audience. 

Hendy says that audiences are passive as they believe whatever the media gives to them. Emphasis is put on the fact that propaganda ensured mass conformity many years ago and since then, audiences have become passive. A name is given for the effect the media has on an audience member which is a ‘magic bullet’ This means that propaganda is aimed directly at the audience in the hope of changing their behaviour and according to Hendy as audiences are passive, they will be affected by this bullet. 

Musicologist Adorno is mentioned in this reading and his view is also the same as Hendy’s whereby audiences react to deliberate messages in predictable ways. An example of this was ‘War of the Worlds’ which was broadcasted on radio. Although the entire bulletin was fake, millions of listeners who were not aware of this believed the drama, showing the effect it had on an audience.

Adornos 3 elements of Radio were also mentioned in the reading, these being: the content of the programme is trivial, the mode is passive and the effects on the audience are narcotising. He believes radio adheres to this as the output is trivial and the audience do not actively engage with the content but it is common for audiences to agree with the content. 

My own reading ‘Radio active: Advertising and consumer activism 1935-1947’ by Kathy Newman disagrees with Hendy’s opinion that the audience is passive. Although this book focuses on the advertisers and those who provide the content on the radio, it still understands that each piece of content affects the audience in different ways. 

During the 1930’s-1940’s audiences were very active by responding to radio shows via letters and writing into shows which already shows that certain people actively choose to take an interest in programmes which not everyone will. Hendy underestimates the power the audience have over their choices which is why he does not look at the many ways in which the audience is active. 

Newman says there are 2 types of audiences, these being advertisers/marketers, publishers etc who are responsible for producing the content that is put on radio and television. The second are scholars, psychologists etc who are educated within the media and are able to understand the content on the radio and actively make decisions based on their knowledge. 

Newman’s overall opinion on audiences is that humans are able to make their own choices and cannot be transformed by media. Although Hendy is correct in saying audiences can react to certain content in a passive manner, it is impossible to believe that all audiences are always passive, especially with the wide variety of content that is available now, the audience members are able to actively choose what they listen too. 

One way to research active audiences is to interview them by using a focus group, asking them to give their opinions of a shows content and if they agree with everything said on the show and if they would listen to it again. By doing this you will be able to get an understanding of whether audiences actively choose what they like and don’t.

References:

Hendy, D, (2000). ‘Audiences’. In: (ed), Radio in the Global Age. 1st ed. UK: Polity Press. pp.(134-147).

Newman, K, (2004), ‘Radio Active: Advertising and consumer activism 1935-1947’, book,University of California Press, pp.17-27

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5-YEAR SCHEME TO PROTECT WATERWAYS IN BIRMINGHAM

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By Huma Mian

The canal and river trust is developing a 5-year scheme to protect waterways in Birmingham. Set up in 2012, the trust is using all its resources to create targets for the long-term survival of canals and rivers.

Regular inspections will occur on canals and rivers to make sure they are attractive and accessible for visitors and boaters. The trust wants to develop it’s three waterway museums as vibrant places for learning and recreation. Each year the scheme will be revised to incorporate market research on how canals and rivers should be protected using the views of groups and individuals. Inspection scores will affect where the money will be put for that year.

Income to fund this scheme will come from individual donors and boat licence fees. The trusts partnership with the government is crucial if this scheme is to work, as they would not be able to fund themselves without the help of the government.

National press officer, Sarah Rudy, states, “Looking after the waterways is a huge challenge and the environment team play a crucial role to ensure that the canal is a safe place to visit for us and for wildlife”

By showing dedication along with growing the number of volunteers, the trust is hopeful that the waterways will be in a good shape for future generations to enjoy.

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Birmingham Canal, Brindley Place

5-YEAR SCHEME TO PROTECT WATERWAYS IN BIRMINGHAM

Standard

By Huma Mian

The canal and river trust is developing a 5-year scheme to protect waterways in Birmingham. Set up in 2012, the trust is using all its resources to create targets for the long-term survival of canals and rivers.

Regular inspections will occur on canals and rivers to make sure they are attractive and accessible for visitors and boaters. The trust wants to develop it’s three waterway museums as vibrant places for learning and recreation. Each year the scheme will be revised to incorporate market research on how canals and rivers should be protected using the views of groups and individuals. Inspection scores will affect where the money will be put for that year. 

Income to fund this scheme will come from individual donors and boat licence fees. The trusts partnership with the government is crucial if this scheme is to work, as they would not be able to fund themselves without the help of the government.

National press officer, Sarah Rudy, states, “Looking after the waterways is a huge challenge and the environment team play a crucial role to ensure that the canal is a safe place to visit for us and for wildlife”

By showing dedication along with growing the number of volunteers, the trust is hopeful that the waterways will be in a good shape for future generations to enjoy.

Image

 

Birmingham Canal, Brindley Place

Moral Panics

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Ross and Rose in the book ‘Microphone friends’ say the media plays an important part with moral panics happening. With the appearance of rock and roll and the use of drugs, a moral panic was created, which society did not know how to handle. Through flyers, events, posters, tv, music etc the youth culture were targeted however how responsive they are depended on the current scene.

 Moral panics are seen as a ‘PR stunt’ ,which is aimed to attract subcultures however Youths are seen as victims in moral panics. The authors suggest that  youths in subcultures are subversive until met by the mass media. In the conclusion the authors suggest that media acts as a way for subculture to get their views across to a larger media. Subcultures are seen as being active rather then passive, therefore not being influenced by the media as most would. What is seen as ‘popular’ is not of interest to youths in a group. I agree that the media is very mainstream and consumed with the popular mass media, therefore groups retaliate against the media to get their personalized views across. The reading also suggests that subcultures as a small phenomena to the media, which I agree with as both work hand in hand, even if that part is not admitted. 

A Summery of my 2 week placement

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I have officially completed my two week placement at a radio station, and it hasnt been easy! The world of work has been a long road, yet a entertaining one. I was part of a small team, which meant by the end of the two weeks i had a bond with people. i felt as if i had contributed to the station as an individual with creative ideas, rather than a student doing work experience!

Over the past two weeks i have done many jobs:

  • Admin jobs (sending emails, typing up, sorting through accounts and invoices) 
  • creating jingles
  • doing voiceovers
  • finding music for play on the station
  • recording music onto the station computer
  • learning how to use the decks in both the production and the live studios

And finally, how to make the perfect cup of tea 😉 

From this placement i have realised that i feel most comfortable in a studio where i am surrounded by music and creativity! Although i have ambitions to present in the future, it was beneficial to me to learn the production side- this also gives me an edge as i not only can present, but i can create and take charge!

I must have done a good job, as i have been asked to come back whenever i am available to do further work with the station! Hopefully, if i am to go back i will be able to begin learning more about the presenting and the studio side and how the shows are originated, which will give me the overall knowledge of what it involves to create a show, from adverts to concept to music to presentation!

Overall, i have met many people who will be future contacts for me and ive learnt a lot not only about the radio industry, but about myself also!

Placement, placement, placement

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As a part of my degree, it has been made clear that it is madatory to complete a 2 week work experience within the field of media. After striking out for over a month, one phone call finally garunteed me not just a work placement, but the possibility of getting into my second year and Birmingham City Uni! 

I have now begun a placement in Radio XL, B’ham, which was the first station to broadcast Asian Music, and i am just thankful to be part of an establishment!

I will be documenting my journey for the next two weeks so i, and all my readers can see how far i have come and all the opportunities i have been given! 

DAY 1:

Feeling nervous, i entered the building having no idea what was in store for me. I had no idea of what i would be doing, and it was clear when i met the lady who would be taking care of me while on placement, she didnt know either. After an hour settling period, i was given tasks to complete, which thankfully wernt as boring as i thought! what i found strange was that i was not making anyone tea/coffee, but others were asking me if i would like any! (i know i was in shock also)

The task i focused on today was to choose the most recent bollywood tracks from films and download them to be recorded onto the system. Although this seems easy, it takes lots of concentration and repetition to fill in the same form and have the same format for each song, however i enjoyed the fact i was trusted with my music choices.

I am very excited for tomorrow as i will be in the studio watching presenters and seeing how its really done, not just in a student radio station- but one that gets money!

Heres to tomorrow!