Media Audiences

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Media Audiences

I enjoyed he first reading by Nick Couldry, “The Extended Audiences”. He took other people’s theories, and case studies to come up with this own hypothesis of a contemporary extended audience. He talks about the three stages of audiences, simple (theatre and books), the mass audiences (newspapers, radio, films, etc.), and the final stage in which we find ourselves today, the diffused audience. The diffused audience blurs lines between time and space while blurring the lines between producers and actors. He argues that everyone becomes part of an audience all the time, being part of an audience is not longer a structured event; it is now part of everyday. He attributes this to the mobility of the audience. Say I am catching a taxi downtown and the cab driver has on the radio, I am not part of that radio shows audience, or I am waiting at the doctors office and a television show is on, I am not part of that audience. Couldry quoted a man named Schechner when he said, “The Street is the stage. You are the star of the show and everything is up for grabs”. He talks about how spectacle and narcissism feed of each other. When I read this I think of websites such as youtube where people videotape themselves, their friends, or their family members, and upload it to the web. I was watching a talk show host, and she was doing a segment on online stars. There was a little boy online that was videotaped by this father after getting a tooth removed; it had millions of hits, goes to show that anyone can be a celebrity.
He also talks about reality TV, which I am not going to lie, I absolutely watch. I love watching the real world. I think there is something more interesting in watching someone’s real life then a script of actors made up by a series of writers. It is funny however, because back in the states we have a friend who is obsessed with the show, The Hills. The show is a reality show based off of yet another reality show and is about the lives of a couple young women living in the city of L.A. and trying to make a name for them. The show is so clearly staged, but whenever we tell out friend that she gets really upset and refuses to believe it. I think that there is something about reality television that draws everyone in, real life people having real life problems. It allows us to relate to the characters, opposed to the distance that we can feel with actors, although in my opinion there is really no difference.
I wasn’t quite a fan of the second reading; it seemed to be talking about all the points we have already talked about. The author talks about the mobility of the cell phone and Internet and how it is changing out practices. The cell phone and the Internet is changing out audiences as well, as I used an Internet example in the first reading, the second reading introduces the cell phone and texting. By updating the way we communicate it creates a larger audience. On the train if you are on your cell phone everyone around out, even if you are speaking quietly can here you. I watched a girl in the Library use skype to talk to her boyfriend; it was weird because although she was engaged in her “private call” everyone around her was listening to the epic love that she shared with this fellow. I believe that the audiences is changing due to the vast types of media that are accessible to us, and I also believe that it is becoming the norm to use these medias in new settings. These new settings make everyone a member of some type of audience, and everyone the star of their own

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