Course: Media Audiences (MKVN08)
Course OutlineThis course introduces students to the core concepts and ideas related to media audiences. Media audiences refer to people and their media practices. We focus on studies within media and culture that define audiences not as spectators, or passive subjects, but rather as people engaged in dynamic and creative practices, such as political activism, citizen journalism, fan activities, or television participants. The mantra on this course is 'assume less, investigate more.’ This means that empirical studies of audiences are significant for enhancing our understanding of what people do, or don’t do, with media in society and culture. We look at media audiences across various spaces, such as cross media content, hybrid genres, global and local audiences, and across various identity positions as viewers, readers, listeners, producers, participants, activists.
The intellectual architecture for the course is based on four areas: identities, engagement, contexts and methods. First, we consider theories of identities and subjectivities, including performance of selves, key concepts that are crucial to the study of individuals and social relations. The second concept relates to the study of media engagement, drawing on contemporary research on different stages of political and cultural engagement in social movements, news, or entertainment. Third, we examine the significance of situated audience research, where people’s practices are put into the context of fandom and intense kinds of engagement, or the context of everyday life and day to day routines. Finally, the course addresses qualitative methods used in audience research, specifically interviews. Part of this course involves conducting interviews with audiences for a specially designed project, thus including empirical research in your learning experience. The overall aim of the course is to highlight how the study of audience engagement is crucial to understanding the changing nature of contemporary media in society and culture.
Media audiences testimonials
"Assume less, investigate more" was the perfect mantra for Media Audiences, and one I won't forget! It is not only fitting to the KOM programme experience but undoubtedly suited to the course. I felt that key concepts studied were equally important including identity and subjectivity, everyday life, engagement, fandom, and the interview method.
The online structure unique to this semester included a live online lecture followed by an online seminar later in the day. This allowed for a break from online learning and to reflect on the lecture. Seminars provided a chance to really dive into concepts through discussions in smaller groups. Practicing the interview method together in a group project and then being able to do the method alone for the essay was extremely constructive as well.
Annette is an incredible professor and her passion for the subject areas was very apparent during Media Audiences which made taking the course an overall enjoyable experience. I can highly recommend this course.
What I liked the most about Media Audience course was the atmosphere of discussion, that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and you will always have to 'assume less and investigate more.' Annette is really passionate about audience studies, and her own interpretations were truly fascinating and inspiring. I enjoyed her lectures, her ways of delivering knowledge as she made abstract and difficult theories accessible for everyone. Moreover, I like her British humour that pops up during the seminar.
Overall, I think Media Audiences is a perfect introduction course for someone who does not have an academic background in media studies, and someone who wants to gain a more commercial and cultural awareness of media. It is challenging but rewarding and enriching at the same time.
Media audiences is a really intriguing course. This course provides insights and knowledge on how to understand media through audiences’ perspectives. This course offers relevant theories in media engagement from many topics, starting from everyday life to identity. It is practical and resourceful for those who want to study more about audience engagement towards the media, from TV shows to digital applications.
Furthermore, the tips and tricks to learn deeply about understanding the audiences’ perspectives through an interview were also learned from this course, especially during this pandemic. One can learn how to compose a useful interview guide consisting of questions related to the theories and research questions. It is helpful to get more empirical data. Therefore, this course is really applicable to a wide range of researches.
The teaching and learning activities were fun and engaging. Even though the class was conducted online, the lectures were not boring. Annette Hill, together with Hario Priambodho and Christine Sandal, gave us opportunities to dig more about the course, and they are really supportive. The seminars were lively, and one can get new understandings from other classmates who come from diverse backgrounds. Overall, studying in this course felt like sharing and telling about our own stories rather than merely reading and doing assignments.
The Media and Audiences course has been a challenging, fun, interesting, and mind-opening course that we, Lund University Media and Communication Masters students, will carry along the rest of our professional lives. This course was an excellent opportunity to bring many elements of media studies by ‘assuming less, investigating more’ as John Corner pointed out in his book Theorising Media (2011) and our incredible teacher Annette Hill pointed out countless times.
Apart from the priceless academic gain, this course taught us a lot about the new ways of learning and adaptability with assistance from our Professor Annette Hill, Christine Sandal, and Hario Priambodho. During the time of COVID-19, they have been incredibly supportive to provide us the best learning experience. I consider myself very lucky for having Media Audiences as the first course of my masters. I do recommend this course for students who are interested in learning more about the media from a unique angle!
The study of media audiences was an extraordinary experience. Professor Annette Hill is an educator who is intellectual, poetic, knowledgeable and attractive. She has a wealth of teaching experience, and you will get new inspiration from her considerate and enthusiastic encouragement.
Compared to my previous study experience in China, I was inspired to think more about the audiences and extend past insight by its dynamic and challenging course settings, interactions and group projects on various subjects, and abundant and in-depth reading materials.
More significantly, the spectrum of engagement theory not only allows me to use it in media studies but also provides new methods to observe daily life. Furthermore, I was exposed to qualitative research and fascinated by interviews and coding, which are full of unexpected challenges and passions. In short, if you are interested in media audiences, this is a course that you will benefit from it for the whole life.
As the first course in my journey for a Master's in Communication and Media Studies, Media Audiences is a fantastic course at Lund University. The subject broadened my understanding of media and their audiences. It imbued my knowledge with historical and theoretical frameworks of how media-audience relationships have been in the past and now. You will be left to critically think about how to situate the future of the media and audiences in an ever technologically advancing world.
It was a rare experience writing my first academic essay at Lund University about Media Audiences, just as it was an excellent opportunity to listen to Professor Hill and the teaching assistants. There are lectures; there are seminars and group assignments; there is one-on-one tutoring; then, there are the mentors helping everyone catch up. You can't afford not to pass the course.
As a media practitioner in Liberia for over a decade, I knew the importance of the media and their relationship with audiences, but not as profound as I learned in this course – media audience theories, types of audiences, spectrum engagement, transnational media, transnational audiences, identity in media studies, media in everyday life, media experiences, fandom, among others. You have to flip approximately 2,000 pages to get there! The course showed my pathway into the future. My result from the course serves as a springboard to get me going more in-depth into media studies.
"Assume less, investigate more". This is the central tenet of the Media Audiences course, and once you grasp that concept, you start seeing audiences in a strikingly different way.
Because audiences are not some monolithic, uniform entity - they are as diverse and in flux as everything else around us.
This course provides you with a toolkit to help you identify how audiences interact with - and, in turn, affect the production of - media products. You also address the relationship between media texts and their receivers, all within an interdisciplinary framework and anchored solidly on a theoretical foundation.
The 2020 course was, of course, impacted by public health precautions, but still consisted of a balanced mix of lectures, group work and individual work. The instructor, Annette Hill, had a great ability to present complex, specialized knowledge in a coherent, digestible manner. The academic level is high, but rewarding, the potential field of application is wide, and I can most definitely recommend this course to any and all postgraduate students who wish to broaden their horizons and strengthen their research and analytical skills, even if your background is not within the field of media studies. It is a most rewarding course.
Goethe says, "all theory is gray, my friend. But forever, green is the tree of life." But in this course, you can blend theory and practice very well. It is a valuable course for media and communication students to understand different approaches in media and communication studies and use them in the socio-political analysis of contemporary issues. This course will not only broaden your academic horizons but also lay the building blocks of better communication and a better analysis of what is happening around you in a society where the media is increasingly involved in our lives. In other words, it will change your "way of seeing". As a result of this approach, this course should also be considered as a cultural studies course. As Raymond Williams said, "[T]here are in fact no masses, but only ways of seeing people as masses."
If this is your first year in this program, this course provides an excellent base for getting into media and communication studies. At the same time, it is also significant for those who want to continue their doctoral studies or work in the field of communication or media. Annette, Christine and Hario's teaching style is quite delightful, stimulating and innovative. Considering that it is a lesson conducted under pandemic conditions, I have to say that this is not only a academic course but also a meeting and sharing place as a public sphere that empowers us.
Taking the course “Media Audiences” means you will have an incredible experience which combines theory and practice. The lectures are well summarized and can be used as a guide for going over your readings.
Since the beginning, you will hear about the “importance of investigating more rather than assuming” however, as the course flows, you will gradually comprehend the essentiality of it. Therefore, you are not merely finding out right or wrong answers, but you are being conducted to critically analyse concrete experiences as well as intertwine it with the knowledge you have been acquiring.
For me, the best part was carrying out my own interviews based on previous group work. Hence, when working together, you are given an opportunity to attempt, fail, and attempt again. You get to learn with your colleagues how to successfully complete the research process (sampling, methodology, analysis…). The challenges you face in the group work are kind of a springboard to your individual essay - a rewarding experience.
Another highlight is the opportunity to share ideas through seminars with peers who carry diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition, among the contents, I particularly have been highly interested in the engagement surrounding media, producers, audience and how a parallel can be made when perceiving engagement in everyday life, for example during our classes. All in all, it is a challenging and insightful course which allows you to improve a range of academic skills. Let yourself engage with Media Audiences!
As a first-year-student I was impressed - but also slightly intimidated - when I looked into the outline of the Media Audiences course. However, any uncertainties of mine vanished after the first few lectures. The attentive and kind teaching styles of our course leaders Annette, Christine, and Hario gave us space to explore new theories independently while simultaneously offering their support. Most outstanding to me was experiencing how much each of them cared about every student’s learning success.
While the COVID19 pandemic posed a unique challenge for the 2020 Media Audience course, the course leaders were able to make the best out of it and gave the course a new perspective - what better way to learn about media, while using the media?
We learned about new concepts like audience identities, media engagement, everyday life and fans – the schedule secured an optimal learning outcome as the theoretical knowledge obtained in the morning lectures could be put into use in the afternoon seminars. The days before and after the lectures provided enough time to digest the newly gained information and deepen your understanding of key concepts by reading the course literature.
Particularly the chance we were given to explore a topic of our choice for our final essay offered me to gain deeper insight into the culture of rewatching and enabled me to discover new approaches to academic research and qualitative data analysis in the field of media audiences. Most importantly, the course was the perfect start into the Media and Communications Degree, and I am very thankful for this experience.
Media audiences was a challenging and mind opening experience for me. The course gave me a complete and deep academic insight in studying audiences. In two months of media audiences our course leader Annette Hill put an enormous effort in teaching us the principles of audience research and motivated us to find our own voices and ideas in this field. Annette was eager to pass her knowledge to us and to help us evolve to competent researchers with our own ideas and visions.
The model of the course is perfectly designed in a way that readings, lectures and seminars complete one another and all the core concepts of the audience studies is covered. Despite zoom classroom and pandemic conditions, this course was successful in engaging the participants in group discussions and reading groups. Therefore, our learning progress grew extraordinary fast. I always awaited the lectures and seminars with great anticipation. I not only could improve my interviewing method but also feel a boost of motivation in my general research career. It was in particular Annette Hill’s supervision that helped me overcome common stereotypes in my research approach and grow a critical thinking for my future works on media studies.
Media Audiences is an integral module in media studies. Annette Hill brought to fore her experience in making complex theories and concepts extremely simple. I am impressed with the structure of the course, leaving out ambiguity and making sure you understand the empirical and theoretical approaches of researching media audiences within Media and Communication Studies.
The course is an eye-opener for me as the mantra “assume less, investigate more” is important in taking every detail you come across through thorough scrutiny not just for the course but in your everyday dealings. The seminars were quite important in applying the concepts to the case studies. The seminars will bring to life the lectures when you connect the concepts with practical examples. Learning from classmates with diverse backgrounds will widen your horizon.
The fun part is when you see yourself emerging in the concepts and you realise “oh, I am even exhibiting the engagement concept in relation to my positive and negative engagement with a TV series”. Annette does give everyone a voice as she is always open to new ideas so it is a very interactive class that you should not miss.
Media audiences helped me to explore variety main concepts about audiences in media research. It was beneficial for us to learn and read different underpinnings and theoretical paradigms from professional researchers. Whats' more, we also grasped qualitative methodologies and empirical data analysis skills to do a case study and write essays. It was a fascinating experience for me to share my personal ideas and listen to different concepts from our classmates coming from more than ten countries.
We also had a lot of free time to be immersed in reading thesis and books. Annette gave us chance to access profound theories and paradigms about media audiences. In my previous study, I forced myself to be objective and be rational to face my study and working. However, media audiences provided me with new sight which focus on the self, identity, media and our everyday life. It is worth mention that this course give us chance to know more about ourselves and also the world around us. Something we took for granted before are not as the same logic as we thought. I began to form the the habit of critical thinking and theoretical analysis. As John Corner said,‘assume less, investigate more’. In this way, as a student majoring in journalism before, I was very happy that we used one-on-one interviewing and coding which gave us practice to do qualitative research systematically. I believe these methods will also help me to thinking deeply and investigate more in the future.
At last, Annette always encouraged us to ask questions and she was happy to give us wisdom suggestions. Hario and Christine also always accompanied with us when we had seminars or took class. In a word, It is a such rewarding and memorable learning process!
MKVN08 Media Audiences is an inspiring course that provides you both theoretical knowledge and practical methods. You will gain an in-depth understanding of critical concepts in the field of audience studies, such as subjective and identity, everyday performance, spectrum of engagement, and fandom. During the learning process, you are able to practice qualitative semi-structured interview and coding approaches to examine the affective and cognitive work of the media audiences, which will lay a solid foundation for other course modules and master thesis.
There are various chances to participate in this enriching course, including lectures, seminars, group discussions, writing workshops, and individual essays. The course leader, Annette Hill, is really considerate and enthusiastic, and she values everyone's ideas and efforts. Also, it is attractive to share opinions and exchange experiences with your classmates from different cultural backgrounds. In a word, I strongly recommend this rewarding course.
Media Audiences was the first course in the master’s programme, which has laid a solid theoretical foundation for my future study. Due to the epidemic, the course was conducted online, but the quality of it was still good. The length of each lecture was not too long so that it was easy to concentrate. Annette elaborated the theory in combination with specific cases to make the key concepts easier to understand. The seminars were very interesting as well. What impressed me was “how to do a bad interview” and we learned from the negative examples to conduct an interview correctly.
Before starting the individual essay, there was a group assignment to make students familiar with the interview and coding process and it was a chance to make mistakes so that we were more confident when we wrote the essay independently. About 5 interviews are required to complete the essay, but there was a great sense of accomplishment after finishing it, which I could not imagine before. In the end, Annette’s evaluation of my paper was very personalized, clarifying my strengths and weaknesses, which is so helpful to my future academic writing. In general, this course makes me more confident to continue my studies.
Assume less investigate more ! This is the first thing you will learn in this course. This line will not only help you within the media audience module but will enable you to become a brilliant researcher. The media audiences module I believe is one of the main bases in becoming a great researcher. It has both a theoretical and a practical approach that will enable you to apply what you learnt in a research question of your choice. The professor and the teachers are with you in every step, I felt that they had my back while conducting my own research. Every email , question or concern was taken care of by the teachers. The confidence and experience that you gain from this course is huge. I can say I really enjoyed it!
Media audiences testimonials
The module includes a variety of methods of teaching, such as lectures, seminars, workshops, group work and individual work. There are chances to apply theoretical concepts to practical studies, which will effectively train you to be a researcher in the domain of audience studies. Both the lectures and the literature will inspire and motivate you to expand your horizons and investigate further in the field of media audience studies.
As the module leader, Annette Hill passed her specialised knowledge on to us and offered valuable insights based on her vast experience and outstanding academic achievements in media and audience studies. Overall, I strongly recommend this module to postgraduate students who have an interest in the uncovering of the hidden aspects of audiences and their affect on the production of media content.
There will also be assignments where you can carry out your own qualitative research. You and your classmates will be able to conduct interviews and learn from one another as a part of a group assignment. This will give you the confidence to explore a topic of your choice in the individual essay. Nothing is off the table for this final assignment as long as you make a strong enough case for it. In short, you do not want to miss this class.
During my bachelor, the course paid more attention to Frankfurt School and I arrogantly considered audience as passive and were manipulated by others, but this course really showed me how audiences empower themselves, that was seriously a fantastic learning experience. One of the most important things I learnt from the course is that a researcher should never take anything for granted, even those trivial and seemingly common ideas,. It is quite interesting and worthwhile to dig into something independently through your own analysis. In a word, I highly recommend this course!
Audience is an essential element that drives media research as well as media production, making it a key element of media studies. The course breaks down audience to its quintessential roots and explores its rapid evolution all the way to the digital media of today. The lectures and seminars are fun, contemporary, and involving, as you find yourself identifying the concepts and subject matter from the course in your everyday life. The readings prove captivating and well managed throughout the schedule, providing the core knowledge necessary for your research. The international aspect is a great boon to the course. It allows for highly charged, healthy discussions with a variety of views, in addition to a diverse pooling of different media from around the world, granting you the opportunity to really learn from the experiences of your classmates.
Annette Hill was a great instructor offering valuable insights as well as pure enthusiasm for the course content. In addition to being very approachable, she is eager to give feedback in addition to criticism that is always constructive. Having an instructor that is so clearly passionate about the course content, is only ever an energizing factor for the class. Her knowledge and experience for the field really showcase media audiences in its best possible light.
What I like best is the structure of three assessments. They are step-by-step which is a good learning process helping us to learn from classmates and apply those concepts in a professional industry. What I like about the group assessment is as members we help others and the class to have deeper understanding of the readings and with different backgrounds and cultures, we understand the concepts in very different contexts. However, the most important thing is how I can apply those concepts and knowledge in professional field as well as in everyday life. Annette is very supportive and delicate during lectures and tutorials. Two of the three assessments were quite stressful to me, however, with her clear and detailed guidance I felt much more confident and inspired to finish them. Phew! It was such a great learning process!"
I could develop myself through not only books and lectures but also group works. Whenever I wanted to persuade my group members, I needed to be prepared with logical thinking. Group members were helpful and beneficial. They encouraged me to broaden my ideas and perspectives by sharing their ideas with different cultural and individual backgrounds.
Media Audiences Testimonials
You truly feel like you’re a part of an
advanced and intellectually challenging course.
Not only did we read, discuss, and analyse about audiences and how they are changing in our contemporary society, but Annette also created the opportunity for us to practice some qualitative methodologies, hands-on. In the context of both group and individual work, we were allowed to practice the method of one-on-one interviews. These interviews provided us the opportunity to create data and urged us to practice our coding and analysing skills. This method made clear the importance of speaking to audiences and how crucial that could be in finding out their opinions, viewpoints, and concerns. I am very happy we were provided the tools and setting to learning to use one-on-one interviewing as a method for qualitative research. I am confidant that it will be a useful skill to have for years to come, both inside and outside an academic setting.
The Media Audiences course has been one of the most interesting and challenging courses in the Media and Communications Department.
Given my professional experience in journalism and communication, it was a rather challenging but enlightening academic experience to situate myself on the audiences’ side and try to analyze the concepts of engagement, participation, identity, fandom and performance. I had an opportunity to pick my own topic for my final essay. The qualitative research process helped me learn more about media audience research and postgraduate academic writing which will be of a great importance for my upcoming academic endeavors.
In countries like Ethiopia where the primary focus is on media access and coverage, the concepts of identity, participation and engagement are usually overlooked. This course was an eye opener in this regard as it helped me realize how the interplay of these forces within the existing media space can be tools to drive social and political change. The course not only helped me challenge the ideas and convictions I had but also gave me alternative ways to look at and better understand media audiences.
The course not only helped me challenge the ideas and convictions I had but also gave me alternative ways to look at and better understand media audiences.
The audience course is definitely worth taking because its core teaching relates to many brilliant concepts and ideas that you might learn in other media studies courses. Throughout the course you will meet the authors who bring marvellous insights to communication and media studies.
I had a wonderful experience on this course
To sum it up: the course content and concepts provoke critical analysis, in turn enhancing critical thinking skills; the way the course is modelled aids in the digestion of the complex yet intriguing and essential ideas and theories; Annette is a wonderful professor who skillfully guides her students through the journey that is Media Audiences.
Media Audiences made for a fantastic start to my postgraduate career
I liked that we were given an opportunity to really go in depth into what interested us during the group project and essay assignment. The assignments for this course really prepared us to not only be successful in this subject, but gave us tools to use in the future for thesis writing. I think the topic of media audiences is crucial when studying media and having an understanding of it would benefit anyone in further study or future career.
I think the topic of media audiences is crucial when studying media and having an understanding of it would benefit anyone in further study or future career.
The biggest learning outcome for me was to learn how to conduct interviews with audiences. First in a group project and later in the individual assignment we properly trained and learned how to include the audiences’ own voice by making them talk and listen to them in semi-structured interviews. This practical training proved highly useful for later projects, like the thesis.
Annette Hill constantly helped realize and improve these projects with her outstanding experience in the field. A well-chosen and helpful reading list alongside the course could be applied to the individual case studies, which ranged from news over TV shows to mobile applications. I warmly recommend this course for attaining a critical understanding of audiences in contemporary media environments. And interviewing is a lot of fun!
The committed and highly experienced teachers featured exciting case studies of people’s engagement with all kinds of media – from reality TV shows to right-wing populism and Donald Trump.
Thus, even though the course is just one month long I feel that I got the most important tools and directions to navigate through the variety of applicable literature, concepts and theories regarding not only media audiences, but also qualitative research. The opportunity to try constructing and applying the method in researching audiences was very useful. In this way we got to see how theory actually ‘works’, and ask what are the limitations and strengths of this kind of research. Most importantly, this kind of exercise lets us have better knowledge about methodology and qualitative research.
Methods are a crucial part of research because without it everything that we do might be discarded as our assumptions. As this course teaches us, we must ‘assume less and investigate more.’ In order to investigate with confidence what we need is good knowledge and experience in methods. We come from various backgrounds and our levels of methods skills varies, with a lack of knowledge and experience, or lack of confidence in the craft. Most importantly, it was useful to have a group project before dwelling on the method on our own in individual essays. Constructive critique and suggestions by the course leader and other students broadened the understanding of how a method should actually work. Honestly, it is an amazing feeling to go out and really find a research topic, recruit people, interview them, listen and hear amazing stuff, especially if it contradicts or re-enforces the things you read in theory, AMAZING. It is really unrepeatable experience. And it is applicable not only in academia, but in real life too.
The Media Audiences course was very eye opening and mind-expanding; we got an opportunity to apply various theories in action through the use of qualitative research.
Learning about methods on theoretical courses gives students various options regarding their master thesis and subsequently could result in the students having the advantage to write better theses within a wider scope of a mixed methods approach. Each individual course within the department has showed me new perspectives I sometimes could not even have imagined – but the media audience course also offered me some more practical research knowledge. I did not even realise I was missing this before I took this course, implemented my own research design and presented it within an essay.
The media audience course has been important to me
While this course is beneficial for beginning graduate work in media studies, the material is helpful for making sense of life outside of the classroom
If you want to gain understanding of conceptual building blocks upon which contemporary media industry is built and how audience analysis should be approached from multiple perspectives, then this course is for you.
It is inspiring to listen to other students' opinions that can make you understand one issue from different angles. The lectures, including the guest lectures, were fascinating. And finally, the individual course assignment is challenging but really good because I had the chance to practice the research method of qualitative interviews and coding.
It is inspiring to listen to other students' opinions that can make you understand one issue from different angles.
It is a course that truly provides graduate level quality
The best part was probably that we conducted real interviews which we used for our essays. For the interviews themselves it was exceptionally helpful to first do a “trial” within a group work. Group work can feel a bit burdening or random sometimes, but this project really fulfilled a purpose and I felt we learnt so much from each other in the process. Afterwards you could go confidently into doing your own interview guide and interviews for the individual essay. And although it can become quite stressful to find participants and get the interviews done in time it is a wonderful opportunity to actually try out a method for real and then analyze the gathered material with the concepts from the course and get a deepened understanding for a phenomenon you’re interested in. Personally, I was especially intrigued by the concepts of subjectivity and identity-work. All in all it’s a stimulating and challenging course that gives you wonderful insight into the truly fascinating world of media audiences!
It’s a stimulating and challenging course that gives you wonderful insight into the truly fascinating world of media audiences!
It was a fabulous experience, sharing ideas, discussing, criticising, struggling, with people from various cultural backgrounds.
This is particularly valuable having in mind that I am a second year student and preparing to do individual master thesis research and writing, and now with the knowledge I gained during Media Audiences course I know how to write an interview guide, how to perform semi structured qualitative interviews, and more importantly, I know how to do coding of obtained data, and how to connect all of that with the key concepts I'm going to explore. Overall, since the audience is inevitable part of any media related studies, this course helped me to get deeper insight into the theoretical concepts which could be used when inspecting media audience related research.
Since the audience is inevitable part of any media related studies, this course helped me to get deeper insight into the theoretical concepts which could be used when inspecting media audience related research.
The Media and Communication studies course Media Audiences hosted by Professor Annette Hill has been an enriching experience.
Annette Hill manages to illustrate how liminal the concepts of 'user' and producer' in audience research have become with an academic approach based on multidisciplinary research, building a course both diverse and stimulating... A great experience for any student interested in media studies!
The audience is a complex concept! This course helped me appreciate that, and encouraged me to explore it. I have learnt that it is not possible to study media without considering its audiences, at least if you strive for a full understanding of media's influence on society.
The course has been taught with emphases on both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as insight towards the dynamic interaction between presenters and audiences across various media platforms. With the reading materials even beyond there is always abundant support for those who look into continuing the audience research. I was able to acquire and use much specific knowledge towards media audiences even though this is a new field in my academic life. The essay tutorial designed by Professor Hill has further clarified the course and reading content individually for me in addition to giving a structural guidance regarding the final draft.
Even for newcomers to media audiences research this course excels with its thorough contemplation on the field combined with Professor Hill’s profuse insight from numerous research experiences.
The course is helpful because allows the students to go beyond clichés about audiences, by analyzing their critical understandings and participative skills in a mediatized world. But also, the good thing about the course was realizing that audiences are not passive things controlled by media, but participative, emotional and influential.
I was surprised – in a positive way – by how the course was conducted. Each lecture was divided into two parts. The first part was designed as a theoretical discussion on certain topics, for example audiences in documentary movie, drama, or roaming audiences. Then, the second part of the lecture gave students chance to discuss the theories in a small group by using a selected case. This process “forced” students to be critical. Moreover, I also liked the topic of “roaming audiences” in which trying to illuminate multi-platforms audiences, something that is unavoidable in the digital era.
Soon after I finished my master study at Lund University, I will return to Indonesia and then continue my work at a media house I have been working with since 2006. I hope I could make use knowledge from the course to contribute on my company´s effort to strengthen the company triple-M programs, which are multi-platform, multi-channel, and multi-media. Put it in another words, I want to contribute on how to manage a suitable and most effective ways of collaborating print, online, and TV products. In that sense, understanding audiences plays an important role.
My experience of the course made this last point very clear. I was initially stunned by the different possible theoretical approaches to audiences, and how demanding it can be. Among the vast production of theory, I finally arrived at one that ignited particular interest: the studies of fandom. I developed my research particularly around Lord of the Rings fan communities and found, armed with a theoretical and methodological framework, an intensely passionate and tumultuous form of audience participation, which moves away from the paradigm of passive viewers and turns the fan into an active, engaged producer.
Now armed with this acquired knowledge on fandom studies, I´m interested in visiting other fan communities to see if this model of resistance is replicated throughout other arenas and how fandom is conceived.
Both lectures and discussions deals with the concept of audiences and how this concept changes along with the media landscape, where new screens compete for the audiences’ attention and where digital, spreadable media opens up new possibilities for an active and engaged audience.
In media studies as well as in the media industry there tend to be a focus on effect, but instead this course deals with affect and practices - how people actually interact with media material from different genres and with different purposes. This course was truly inspiring and opened my eyes for new approaches on media audiences studies.