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Pathology of"Audience Phantasm"in Media: Globalization and the Era of After Global Village

Abstract

In this paper, we first overview the evolution of the role phantasm on the so called “people who are exposed to the media”, and discuss the differences among the chronologically developed terms such as “audience”, “receivers”, “users”, and very recently “communicatees”. We argue that the ongoing developments towards the globalization requires thinking of “people who are exposed to the media” as active beings, rather than passive beings. In fact, we believe that the key characteristic of a communicatee is indeed its independence on making decision based on its own needs. In this regard, as the information and communication technologies (ICTs) advance in the upcoming decades, the ability of being selective and the range of choices to be selected by the communicatees, severely extend and indeed turns communicatees to “selective communicatees”. By further developing this theorem, we argue that since there was a delay for the developing countries to access to the modern media technologies (i.e., delay in entering the Gutenberg and Marconi Galaxies), the current viewpoint of the media authorities in the developing countries on the “people who are exposed to the media” is still “audience”-oriented. In other words, the evolution of role phantasm from “audience” to “communicatees” is not completed yet. At the end, by considering Iran in a case study, we argue that the “audience phantasm” (i.e., illusive imagination of having “audience”, rather than “selective communicatees” by the media authorities), can result in severe damage to the local media industry in some of the developing countries. In particular, “audience phantasm” may cause the local media authorities make no effort to address the real needs of the future selective communicatees, exacerbating people’s tendency to the oversea’s media.

Mehdi Mohsenian-Rad

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