Who Owns the Power to Control Communication

1760 Words Jul 12th, 2013 8 Pages
Some theorists seem to suggest that the power to control communication is held by the producers of messages whereas other theorists argue that the power to control interpretations of texts are held by the consumers of culture operating within specific cultural contexts. Which of these positions is true? Why?

It can be agreed to a large extent that the power to control interpretations of texts are held by the consumers of culture operating within specific cultural contexts. However, this is not to refute completely that producers of messages hold some power to control communication. Previous studies of the theories of communication provide the set of assumptions that the process of communication is actually one-way. On the other hand,
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345). He felt that while encoders, or the producers of texts, played an important role in communication, decoders, also known as the consumers who deduce the meaning of the texts, were marginally more prevailing. The encoding phase is where a common set of codes are used to put together a message but this phase takes note of the audience as both source and receiver of the message. An example would be the mindset of a journalist whose main purpose of producing an article is to provide the reader with something they desire to read. This implies that the consumers of texts heavily influence the producers into developing texts with messages that the reader wants to derive from them.
Another reason why the consumers of texts hold power over the producers is simply the copious amount of texts that are made available to them. This increase in the choice between media and within media has led to development of narrowcasting and niche audiences. With the advent of mass consumerism and technology, the production of texts have skyrocketed, leaving the audience spoilt for choice. Raymond Bauer (1964) placed an emphasis on choice that was anchored in and ensured by an independent, even obstinate, audience. “The active "individual" was a modern citizen-consumer patrolling the periphery of his or her consciousness with a vigilant consumerism” (Biocca, n.d.). Bauer (1964) felt that the consumers could not

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