The Media Sphere, There Exist Producers And Their Audience

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Prompt 1 In the media sphere, there exist producers and their audience. Producers are responsible for encoding meaning through a set of codes embedded in a media text, and the audience is then responsible for decoding these codes and turning otherwise unnatural correspondences between colors, images, and sounds into something meaningful and comprehensible (Hall 130-131). Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding model is essential in understanding the reasons why sometimes, media texts are embraced by an audience, while other times, they are criticized and interpreted in negotiated or oppositional ways. My essay describes how the encoding/decoding model can be applied to Dove’s polarizing #ChooseBeautiful campaign. It will ultimately show how the relationship between producers and audiences in determining meaning of a media text is volatile and dynamic due to the tension created by producers’ inherent proclivity to control their audience by imposing cultural hegemonies upon them, and the audience’s innate tendency to play an active role in decoding media texts. Producers of Dove’s #ChooseBeautiful campaign aimed to empower women by encouraging them to accept the idea that being beautiful is a “personal power… all [women] have the right to embrace” (“Dove Choose Beautiful”). This campaign was a reaction to a statistic Dove found that stated 96% of women between the ages of 18 and 64 in 20 countries did not see themselves as beautiful (“Dove Choose Beautiful”). The company wishes its
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