Media Audiences & effects-Students Notes ( Jan-April 2016 Sem)

Escapist needs are served by the diversion and

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escapist needs are served by the diversion and entertainment function; personal integrative needs are fulfilled by the personal identity function; and social integrative needs are served by the social relations functions. Mass media use Katz, Gurevitch, and Haas have listed and defined the mass media use variables that can lead to media gratifications. These characteristics are the following: 1) Media contents as, for example, news, soap operas, television crime drama, etc. 2) Media attributes as, for example, print versus broadcasting, and reading versus audio or audiovisual modes of reception 3) Typical situation as, for example, at home versus out of home and alone versus with others. 11
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According to the model, these media variables, or their combinations, can explain how audience needs are fulfilled. Research To build a theory of media uses and gratifications, we must be able to relate audience needs to media functions or gratifications and explain why these needs were fulfilled by a specific medium or media content and not others. Unfortunately, media uses and gratifications research has not reached this stage. There has been very little research connecting audience needs to media functions. Most studies have not gotten beyond describing audience needs and media functions. A few studies, however, have investigated pertinent theoretical issues. Case study Katz Gurevitch, and Hass interviewed 1500 respondents in Israel. Among their major findings were the following: 1) Respondents considered non-media sources to be more important than mass media in satisfying all needs examined by the investigators. 2) The mass media were more important sources of need gratification to the “alienated”, or to those who were more detached from self, family, friends, the state, and society as a whole. 3) Respondents who say that matters of the state and society are important to them consistently rank newspapers as the most important mass medium for information and for other needs connecting them to society and the state. 12
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Others in ranking are radio& TV. Books and film rarely mentioned 4) Some needs are better served by the media than others e.g. striving for higher standards of living, escapist needs in general, etc. 5) The need to “kill” time is best served by TV but not the need to “escape”. Movies and books are more helpful for “escape” than TV 6) Film and TV are the most useful for some social integrative needs, such as to maintain friendship and family solidarity 7) TV is the least specialized of the mass media. Respondents tend to mention TV as satisfying more needs than any other medium. Movies and newspapers are the most specialized. Movies serve self-gratification (enjoyment) and sociability needs while newspapers fulfil the desire to participate in society and the state.
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