May 17, 2016

Let's Talk About Audience In Communication

In language, a synonym of the audience is an audience that is actually the absorption of words in the English language: the audience. Referring to the opinion of Wilbur Schramm, the word is a word familiar audience as a collective term for the recipient of the message (receivers) in the model of mass communication process used by the pioneers in the realm of media research. So to say, though audiences positions as a communicant in the process flow of communication, not necessarily the audience is the equivalent of the communicant. Audiences devoted communicant in the process of mass communication. Therefore, in the process of communication (intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, etc.) are not included in the komunikannya audience. Audiences certainly communicant, but not necessarily communicant audiences.

Referring to the history, the term used for spectator audience musical performances, sporting events, or theater at the time of the Greeks and Romans. On development, the term was then experienced extension of meaning. The audience becomes a representation as the recipient of the message of the mass media. Characteristics surrounding the mass media audiences are: the large numbers, are not physically present (but still receive messages), and choose the media voluntarily.

Last characteristic, ie selecting a media volunteer to be an important point in the capacity of the audience as active audiences. With the ability to choose, show that the public has complete power over the media. A fact which once had not heeded by the theories of mass media at the beginning. As in theory hypodermic finally gets a lot of criticism. In this hipotermik models, people considered to have no power over the media at all. Media to be 'god' who is able to enter any message into the minds of the audience and can not be resisted. In the model Hypodermic, audiences are easily influenced masses of ideas, thoughts, and attitudes. Of course, in its development, many theories about the mass media that broke this opinion. Until finally, we now believe that the audience is active much more likely than a passive audience.

Actually, when we talk about the relationship of the mass media and the public, can not be simplified as described above. Mass media and public relations is not limited to how the media affects the audience. Media theorists still at odds in an effort to conceptualize the audience. At least two public debates about the concept: the first is the idea of ​​the audience it was classified as a public mass (mass society) or community (community) and the idea of ​​the audience is active or passive.

Mass society has more or less the same idea with a hypodermic models described above. The audience as a mass society is positioned as a mass which can be influenced attitudes and thoughts through the powerful effect of the mass media. By placing the audience as a mass society, to say the influence of media on audiences considered very large.

While the audience considers the audience as a community made up of diverse groups diversified in accordance with the values, ideas, and his own interest. Richard T. La Piere in his book entitled "Theory of Social Control", argues that the core environment such as family, home, and friendship networks more influence values, attitudes, and behavior of individuals rather than media. From here, it is said that people are more likely to find the information they need, rather than presents itself as a mass to be influenced by the media. With so many mass media which has diverse interests, the audience as a community it is possible to find the information they want from the media they trust. The messages conveyed mass media was not necessarily directly trusted by the audience and get them to change their beliefs. Audiences here trust the messages in his social circle, so that the media message is not too strong.

To debate about the audience, including active or passive, can be fairly similar to the debate on the mass society or community. Passive audience has characteristics similar to the audience in mass society, where the message of the media can strongly influence the idea.

Active audiences have characteristics similar to the audience at the community, where the audience has the power to menela'ah messages from the media. Audiences are considered to be active in defining the messages given by the media (active interpreter) and not blindly accept the message intended by the communicator. At this audience, the meaning of which is taken from the same message, can vary from individual to individual.


[1] Denis McQuail. 1997. Audience Analysis. California: SAGE Publications. Hal.1

[2] Todd Gitlin. 2002. Media Sociology: The Dominant Paradigm. Dalam Denis McQuail (ed). McQuail’s Reader in Mass Communication Theory. London: SAGE Publications. Hal.29

[3] Stephen W. Littlejohn. 2002. Theories of Human Communication. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning. Hal.310.

[4] Jay W. Jensen, Theodore Peterson, & William L. Rivers. 2003. Media Massa dan Masyarakat Modern. Edisi Kedua. Jakarta: Kencana. Hal.41


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