Models of Media Effects

1st page: 1st report Reflection of Reading: (NOT summary)
Perse, E. 2001. “Models of Media Effects” in the Media Effects and Society, (pp. 23-52) Mahwah, NK: LEA
3-4 paragraphs with 6-8 sentences each. Reflection needs to be exploratory tentative and personal. Must include in text citation and 1 reference. Need 2 questions at the end for discussion

2nd page 2nd report Reflection of Reading: (NOT summary)
Valkenburg, P.M and J. P. (2013). “Five Challenges for the Future of Media-Effects Research” in International Journal of Communication, 7: 197-215.
3-4 paragraphs with 6-8 sentences each. Reflection needs to be exploratory tentative and personal. Must include in text citation and 1 reference. Need 2 questions at the end for discussion Both reports is NOT a summary but a report to invite our response in a musing questioning and probing way.

For eg. This stood out because I hadn’t thought of this and explain further. DON’T SUMMARISE !!!! 90% should be own reflections

Balnaves and O’Regan (2002, 33) stresses the importance of media research companies being independent and separate from both media content providers and advertisers alike. Personally, I think this is an effective strategy that prevents conflicts of interests between the research companies, content providers, and advertisers. If media research companies such as Nielson Corporation were to be subsidiaries under large conglomerates like News Corp, how can we ensure that there is a fair-playing field for other media content providers? Take Singapore’s two largest media companies – MediaCorp, and Singapore Press Holdings – for example. Without an independent media research company to tabulate television ratings and radio listenership, advertisers would find it difficult to determine which platforms have the most suitable media reach for their products. Hence, the establishment of independent media research companies is very important to ensure credibility.

With the independence of these research companies established, we must also look into how these companies collect data. Sullivan (2013, 88-90) points out multiple errors when media research companies conduct their sampling and data collection. One interesting example cited by Sullivan (2013, 88) that stood out to me was how major media research company Nielson did not include college dormitories in their research sample for U.S television viewership up until early 2007. This was due to Nielson’s old operational definition that did not consider college dormitories as “television households” (Sullivan 2013, 88). Although the definition was revised amidst complaints from television networks, it brought to my mind the possibility that there are still many more groups and communities that are not represented in research samples across the world. For example, in Singapore, are segregated communities such as foreign worker dormitories, and nursing homes for the elderly represented in media audience research samples? What about restricted areas such as army camps and hospitals? I was unable to find Nielson’s operational definition of a television household in Singapore, but my assumption is that these communities and areas are most likely not included in the sample as they would not constitute as typical Singaporean households.

Even if these communities were represented in media research, does this coincide with what the advertisers and media content providers want? In essence, an advertiser’s job is to decide what media platforms work best for their campaigns, so why would advertisers be interested in finding out the interests of people outside their target audiences? Additionally, if the advertisers did show a lack of interest in researching these “alternative” communities, content providers like television networks would follow suit too, since they are largely dependent on advertising income. Looking from a researcher’s perspective, such inclusion of other communities increases the representativeness of the population sample. However, this may in turn adversely affect the working relationship between the research companies, advertisers, and content providers. I close this report with the following statement: Although the establishment of independent research companies ensures credibility in research, the boundaries between ensuring accuracy in sampling, and serving the needs of corporate clients (i.e. advertisers and content providers) are still very much blurred today.

Questions:

1. Should media research companies acknowledge and count media audiences that are not considered “households” in media ratings research? In Singapore’s context, think of segregated communities (e.g. foreign worker dormitories, and nursing homes for the elderly), and/or restricted areas (e.g. army camps, and hospitals).

2. Should media research companies sacrifice research accuracy to meet the needs of their corporate clients?

References:

Balnaves, M. and O’Regan T. “The Ratings in Transition: The Politics and Technologies of Counting.” In Mobilising the Audience, edited by M. Balnaves, T. O’Regan, and J. Sternberg, 29-64. St. Lucia, Qld: UQ Press, 2002.

Sullivan, John L. “Media Ratings and Target Marketing,” In Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power, 77-104. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 2013.

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