Media Audiences

This assessment item assesses your understanding of the material covered in the first six weeks of the unit. Please answer  TWO  of the following questions with each answer approximately 750 words in length.

1.      Ross and Nightingale argue ‘audience research is a vehicle for monitoring the impact of both the mediatisation of human senses and the industrialisation of the productive capacity of the media’ (2003:13). Using examples, briefly discuss the term mediatisation.

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2.      Briefly define and compare the ‘magic bullet’ or ‘hypodermic’ model of media research with the ‘encoding – decoding’ model of media research. Please use examples in your answer.

3.      What does an ethnographic approach to audience research involve? Briefly discuss how this approach compares with other approaches to audience study and briefly outline the strengths and weaknesses of this approach in audience research.

4.      Briefly discuss arguments for and against using television ratings to measure television audiences. Use examples to substantiate your argument.

5.      Marxist media theorists discuss the media in terms of their role as ‘ideological apparatuses’. Explain the key notions behind this research, paying particular attention to the concept of hegemony and the media’s role within it. What is ‘hegemony’, and why is it important to media audience studies?

6.      To what extent are our ideas about the audience dependent on technology, and how are new technologies challenging traditional models of audience research?  Use examples to substantiate your argument.


Remember to cite all sources, to reference your work and to place one list of all references used at the end of your paper. Please access the Griffith University ‘Referencing Tool’ via the Griffith University library and follow the AGPS Harvard style.

At this level of study we expect students to include a range of scholarly sources including peer-reviewed journal articles, text-books and reputable websites.

File type and Format:

Please use Microsoft word document: doc or docx

Use 12pt font or above (Arial or Times New Roman)

Double line spacing

Include page numbers

Include header or footer on each page with your name, course code and date.

Use italics for titles and bold for headings.

Use the AGPS Harvard referencing style (refer to the Griffith University library referencing tool)

Short Answer Responses Assessment includes the following criteria:

The Student has:

· demonstrated a clear understanding of key terms, concepts, theories and methodologies and has applied them appropriately with relevant examples;

· acknowledged the word limit of 750 words per question;

· answered articulately and clearly expressed their ideas;

· used correct grammar and spelling; used complete sentences (no sentence fragments);

· underlined or italicised book, film, TV, and Internet titles;

· enclosed article titles within inverted commas;

· clearly identified new paragraphs by spacing;

· referenced direct quotations and paraphrased material;

· listed references cited.


Marking Criteria for ‘Short Answer Responses’

For a (4) Pass or better

· evidence that you have read and understood the main definitions, arguments, concepts, examples relevant to answering the question

· an attempt to apply that reading to the question asked.

For a (5) Credit or better

· a more analytical, critical and exemplary interaction between materials read and questions asked

· discussion of debates over key issues

· discussion of subsidiary points and arguments

· a use of relevant examples to demonstrate points

· no major spelling, grammar or organisation faults

· no or little redundant material, i.e. material which does not extend or develop argument.

For a (6) Distinction or better

· accurate comprehension of both major and subsidiary arguments and good coverage of these arguments

· no or few spelling, grammar or organisation faults

· structure which synthesizes arguments from the readings to answer the question asked.

(7) High Distinction

As well as the above criteria, the answer should be outstanding in every way. There should be very little in this answer that could be faulted. Examples of outstanding work include: innovative arguments, critical commentary. In addition:

· commendable presentation

· evidence of wide reading in course study material and understanding and deployment of that reading to answer the question asked

· advanced level of critical ability

· ideas clearly expressed, with no problems of ambiguity or lack of clarity.

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