Communication and Culture- Media Q 3

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Encoding & Decoding


  • What goes out: Gatekeeper's choice. Preferred reading-denotation


  • What goes in: Audience interpretation- connotation
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  • Physical/ Technical (Text Size etc)
  • Language/ Semantic (Words and Language used on text)
  • Psychological
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  • ICON- Signs that look what they are- a photograph. Easy to decode
  • SYMBOLS- Made up signs that represent real thing. They do not look like the things, but we have learnt the meaning. 
  • INDEX- The sign does not represent the thing. The audience must cross reference to other signs, to understand the meaning. (INTERTEXTUALITY) 
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Media Language (what are its 'codes' and 'conventions'

Institution (who made it? Why?)

Genre (What type of text is it? What else is it like?)

Representation (What does it tell me about the world?)

Audience (Who is the text for?How does it 'address' them?)

Narrative (How does it tell its story?)

Everything else

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Media Terminology

  • Signified- Concept
  • Signifier-Symbol/Icon
  • Referent-Real Object
  • Denotation- Is when a sign refers to the 'literal' meaning of the signified referent or concept
  • Connotation-Is when a sign refers to the meanings associated with the signified referent.
  • Myth-Is the 'taken for granted' or 'given' ideas attached to the referent or concept.
  • Polysemy-'many possible meanings' Many texts, particularly those that contain icons.
  • Anchorage-'preffered' or 'dominant' reading.
  • Montage-When two or more images are put together to form a sequential or combined 'whole'
  • Juxtaposition- When two or more images are bought together to change each other's meaning.
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