Monday, October 12, 2009

"Training People to Stay Inside the Truman Show"

Although McChesney and like-minded theorists presume that dominant corporations create what they can most greatly profit from and not what consumers want, I more strongly adhere to the beliefs of Deuz and the theory that individualized media consumption and participatory media production are “training people to stay inside the Truman Show and make the most of it.”

Katz and Liebes similarly tackle this issue of whether media reflects consumer desires or whether media ascription sets consumer demands. While Katz and Liebes admit that producers’ intended messages permeate media, the prevalence of active receivers has made them more responsible for media’s messages than the senders. Contemporary receivers control nearly every aspect of the media they consume, making each participant their own gatekeeper. Collaborative messages from consumers and creative industries increase transparency and revenue in a market that was traditionally stagnant with corporate-centric media assumptions.

Deuz highlights the market as a reflection of consumer demands through case studies on Bluffton Today, Counter-Strike, Amazon and CPB. Each company focused on diverse niche markets but all utilized networked individualism in both production and consumption to establish greater P2P (peer-to-peer) responsibility, identity, creativity, advertising and transparency.

Active receivers influence economics as much as cultural influence and should be regarded as co-producers in modern “convergent culture.” Deuz concludes that people must recognize their impact in the creation and consumption of messages and commodities in order to maintain collaborative control of the market and their own media gratification.

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