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CMNS6060

Learning Journal Activity 1

Location! Location! Location! By Maria Tan

It’s the phrase real estate agents swear by like some unspoken sales creed of official truth. Although ‘location, location, location’ is advice generally applied in a literal sense when, for example, purchasing the ideal business property to attract customers, the concept behind this capacity to influence certain people by analysing the spaces they occupy, can also be applied to audiences drawn to the media production of intellectual ‘property’ such as magazines, newspapers, TV and radio programs.

By considering spaces as a key factor in audience research, media producers may then generate content to target the “inscribed reader” who O'Shaughnessy and Stadler (2008) defines as “an ideal reader who is constructed by the text or who is imagined or intended by the producers of the text” (p.100) .

When the geographic space where media is consumed is taken into consideration, it creates quantitative and qualitative parameters which can attempt to describe who the audience is. This description of the audience can then be used by the media to produce content which assumes a particular style which may appeal more so to their inscribed reader.

This stylistic approach is evident in the many newspapers available within Sydney which differ in content based on their target demographic. The content in a metropolitan newspaper will vary significantly from a community newspaper based on spatial reach alone without considering audience socio-economic factors.

Maria Tan

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8th February, 2009


CMNS6060

Learning Journal Activity 1

What news may be deemed significant to local residents in the suburb of Campbelltown such as this week’s front page story, “Bulldozer Cure”, in the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser (Marchetta 2009), a follow up news article of recent violence in the local area, is not necessarily news of national interest and was not mentioned in any Sydney metropolitan paper this week.

However, during January, the violent event was reported in national, metropolitan and local print, web and broadcast news for approximately 2 weeks with headlines such as: “Elders called in to calm Sydney 'ghetto'” (ABC News 2009), “Life in a suburban warzone” (The Daily Telegraph 2009), and “Local member won't visit Rosemeadow” (AAP 2009).

The local news coverage of the event titled “Two shot and four stabbed at Rosemeadow” (Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser 2009) had ongoing follow up articles such as “It’s time to shake off an unfair reputation” and “Is Campbelltown as bad as what the media makes it out to be?” (Macarthur Chronicle 2009). This week’s edition of the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser also includes the article “Campbelltonian and proud of it!” by its Editor (McGill 2009).

The style in which this story was presented to the audience by the media is an example of the role spaces play in how messages are positioned to the perceived audience. It also outlines some disadvantage to this spatial analysis of a mass audience by the local community itself declaring misrepresentation in the eyes of the nation.

As highlighted by this example, it seems the resulting content from the spatial perception of a mass audience by media producers is as McQuail describes: ranged from simple prejudice and snobbery to sophisticated exercises in media analysis.

Maria Tan

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8th February, 2009


CMNS6060

Learning Journal Activity 1

REFERENCES Elders called in to calm Sydney 'ghetto', 2009, ABC News, viewed 6 February 2009, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/09/2462049.htm> Is Campbelltown as bad as what the media makes it out to be, 2009, Macarthur Chronicle, viewed 6 February 2009, <http://macarthur-chroniclecamden.whereilive.com.au/news/story/is-campbelltown-as-bad-as-what-the-mediamakes-it-out-to-be/> Lee, H. 2009, ‘Life in a suburban warzone’, The Daily Telegraph, viewed 6 February 2009, <http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/opinion/story/0,22049,248846585001031,00.html> Local member won't visit Rosemeadow, 2009, AAP General News (Australia), viewed 6 February 2009, <http://news.theage.com.au/national/local-member-wont-visitrosemeadow-20090110-7dur.html> Marchetta, I. 2008, ‘Bulldozer Cure’, Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser, 4 February, p.1 McGill, J. 2008, ‘Campbelltonian and proud of it!’, Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser, 4 February, p.4 McQuail, D 1997, Chapter 2 ‘The audience in communication theory and research’, Audience analysis, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, pp.12-24. O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J 2008, Chapter 6 ‘Texts, meanings and audiences’, Media and society, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp.94-110. Perrin, M 2009, It’s time to shake off an unfair reputation, Macarthur Chronicle, viewed 6 February 2009, <http://macarthur-chronicle-camden.whereilive.com.au/news/story/it-stime-to-shake-off-an-unfair-reputation/> Ramachandran, A 2009, Two shot and four stabbed at Rosemeadow, Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser, viewed 6 February 2009, <http://campbelltown.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/two-shot-and-fourstabbed-at-rosemeadow/1401577.aspx>

Maria Tan

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8th February, 2009


Location! Location! Location!  

An essay by Maria Tan CMNS6060 - eCulture and Audiences Masters of Digital Media The University of Newcastle

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