Seminiar Notes – “The Passive Audience”


When a media text is being planned, perhaps the most important question the producers consider is “Does it have an audience?” If the answer to this is ‘no’, then there is no point in going any further. Audience research is a major part of any media company, using questionnaires, focus groups, and comparisons to existing media texts, they will spend a great deal of time and money ascertaining if there is anyone out there who might be interested in their idea.  – Taken from the key concepts lecture blog.

What does it mean to be an passive audience ? A passive audience basically means that the audience members are not active and are not ingaging with the content. Its okay to have the television on and watching what ever program is on but are you interactiving with it? Chance are the answer is no.

Gaunlett (2007) suggested that media consumers are becoming media producers. This is due to the advance in new media technologies such as youtube, allowing everybody anywhere across the world to distribute their work on the internet where anybody can see it within seconds, giving them a mass audience for free. If you are an active audience member you engage with the media and produce your own work through the use of technology and distributing – changing you from a passive audience to an active audience.

Audience Reaction:


Shannon and Weavers Model Of Communcation. – Source : Shannon, C. E. A Mathematical Theory of Communication The Bell System Technical Journal, Vol. 27, pp. 379-423, 623-656, July, October, 1948.

Shannon and Weaver’s Communication Model has five basic factors, arranged in a linear format. The components in this model are:

  • The information source selects a desired message out of a set of possible messages.
  • The transmitter changes the message into a signal that is sent over the communication channel to the receiver.
  • The receiver is a sort of inverse transmitter, changing the transmitted signal back into a message, and interpreting this message.
  • This message is then sent to the destination. The destination may be another receiver (i.e., the message is passed on to someone else), or the message may rest with the initial receiver, and the transmission is achieved.
  • In the process of transmitting a message, certain information that was not intended by the information source is unavoidably added to the signal (or message). This “noise” can be internal (i.e., coming from the receiver’s own knowledge, attitudes, or beliefs) or external (i.e., coming from other sources). Such internal or external “noise” can either strengthen the intended effect of a message (if the information confirms the message), or weaken the intended effect (if the information in the “noise” contradicts the original message).


The Shannon and Weaver Communication Model is a very interesting theory. Once the transmitter selects the information source it is changed into a signal and then back into a message ready to be recieved at the destination. There is no room for changes to the message, as soon as it is send the information is just feeded through to the audience.

The hypodermic needle theory model implies that the mass media had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences.

The Hypodermic needle theory implies that the media injects information to the audience, controlling the thoughts, feelings and reactions of the audience through the mediums they consume on a daily basis.


About allyprentice2810

I am a young media proffesional, experimenting with different mediums of media to find my niche. Studying Media Production at Coventry University.
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