HOW DO MEDIA AFFECT AUDIENCES?
For a fun way to help you remember several theories referred to in this chapter, see Quizlet's flash cards. The definitions are quick and to-the-point.
To find out a bit more about communication theories, check out this helpful overview of lots of them, compiled and offered by the University of Twente.
And for a better understanding of several prevalent theories about how audiences and media interact, see this concise overview (from media educator Brett Lamb). There's also a comparison chart you can download.
FORCES BEHIND THE SCENES
Free Press offers an amazing amount of data on media ownership as of 2018 in a series of charts you can download.
This is an interesting list because, although companies have bought and sold since this was published in 2016, you can get a sense of the international players (from Business Insider).
Another way to get a glimpse behind the scenes is to look at a company's board of directors, the people who steer the ship as opposed to running day-to-day activities. Some companies post their board information online like CBS, Disney and Sinclair. You can see what other affiliations board members have and how they might overlap.
The Columbia Journalism Review also publishes a guide that lists the holdings of major media company. At the bottom of each list, it will tell when the list was last updated.
Harvard University's The Future of Media Project includes a U.S. Media Index, which lists ownership of major media companies.
“America’s Highest Earners and Their Taxes Revealed”
This ProPublica interactive graphic helps tell a complicated story by breaking the story down into smaller chunks. One set talks about who the highest earners are and where their wealth comes from, for example. Another talks about how much the wealthiest people make per year compared to a typical American—and how many years it would take for that American to earn what the high earner did in one year. At the end of the piece is a methodology section where ProPublica describes how it arrived at its numbers, which is a good example of transparency.
Representation of Reality: a Complicated Idea
Stuart Hall has had an enormous influence on how people think about culture and media. He died in 2014, but you can still see and hear him speak in videos of his lectures. Here, you can see a snippet of a lecture he gave about representation (the video is a bit old but still watchable). The whole video is about an hour long, and it connects the dots among stereotypes, meaning and power. Your campus library can get you access to it. Worth watching.
"...most of all, stay true to the values of journalism, which is that there's an audience out there that relies on you for information that will help them get through their lives, on large issues and small issues. That will not change," says Tom Brokaw, a former NBC News anchor in this video clip with Brian Williams, another former anchor (from the duPont Talks at Columbia Journalism School).
We like journalist Ana Marie Cox's point that good journalists bring a hunger and passion to their jobs—much like musicians who love the work for itself.