A Shift from Active Audiences To Media (Digital) Citizenship
Media consumption has seen many substantial changes in the last one-decade or so. With the proliferation of mobile devices and Internet to various parts of the world, more and more people are catching up with the digital media everyday. The digital media has changed the way media operates in more than one ways. First, the media has become much more fragmented and the audience’s average attention span has dropped to a much lesser amount. The number of alternates for sourcing information is so high that it is up to the consumer to keep the information he or she perceives as relevant and credible and debunk the rest. Secondly, increasing digital media channels give audience a platform to be broadcasters as well. Every blogger, every person on social media is a source of communication too and hence the media houses are not the only sources of information anymore. Thirdly, with the markets becoming more and more competitive, companies are consistently trying harder to communicate their messages to the audiences and digital is proving to provide a much larger ROI than any of the traditional channels of communication. For this reason, all forms of media are now being integrated into digital space slowly. We have seen this trend for newspapers as well as television and this trend is likely to become more prominent in future. In this digital space there is bound to be a tussle between the conventional media houses, the epicenters of information outflow and the media audience who have more power than ever before. This paper will throw light on the current trend of increasing active audiences in the digital domain and its effect on the power shift from the broadcaster to the audience.
Active Audience theory is a media theory that states that audiences don’t merely receive information but also process it and give meaning to the received content. This meaning is dependent on their values, belief and the cultural context they come from. Stuart Hall proposed a model that
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