Lesson 5 (The Comunication Therory) SA section communicating the message

The basic Idea of the communication theory is summed up perfectly by Lasswell Maxim:

‘Who? Saying what to who? In what channel (medium)? With what effect?’

Edward R Tufte’s job is to see how things can be communicated better, and what better thing could he criticise then a program designed to communicate like Powerpoint. He argues that powerpoint makes it difficult to communicate to an audience as it stops two-way communication, eg a response. It also incureges people to put information in short incomplete sentences and this can be miss interpreted.

Comunication is about context, as the same a picture of somthing to somone in China, may mean somthing compleatly different to someone in Africa.

Transmissional – The term use to discribe sending one message, from one person to another perso,n in this specific way stated bellow it the Cybernetic theory of communication by Shannon and Weaver Bell Laboratories. 1949

This description of transmitional data is relatively accurate, and sums up the process of how a message is sent from one person to another.The info source the person who wants to get the message to the other; the Transmitter the way in which they are doing that; the noise is the thing that could detract their attention an have them misinterpret the message; the receiver what ever  the message is displayed on (the actual poster itself); and the destination the person who looks at the poster.

Problems with this way of communicating 

This way of communication is not wrong but it does have its flaws.

Technical flaws – This is making shore the person I send my message to can receive it. There is no point advertising homeless shelters on sky paper view as it is very unlikely homeless people have sky paper view.

Semantic Problems -Precision of language , how much of my message can be taken away without the meaning being lost. If I walk in the room at the end of a tooth bush advert, and just see the last 2 seconds, where it advertises the brand and tooth brush do I still know it was a tooth brush advert.

Effectiveness – Does the massage affect the behaviour the way you wanted it to, has it done its job?

This way of communication only amuses the person who you are sending the message to understands what you are saying.  The one main issue is that without a response from the person we don not know if they have under stud the message. People like Edward R Tufte’s who study how communication could be made better then later updated the model to have feedback.

The Transmissional way of communicating is very effective but it still has its disadvantage, as for the feed back to be received it will follow the same or similar channel as what it has been sent with, which will in term have its own Noises.

This is the basic way communication works but there are seven theorys on how this can be used shown in the chart bellow.

Cybernetic Transmissional Semiotic Constitutive Phenomenological Constitutive Rhetorical Constitutive Socio-Psychological Constitutive Socio-Cultural Constitutive Critical Constitutive
Communication theorized as: Information processing Intersubjective mediation by signs Experience of otherness; dialogue The practical art of discourse Expression, inter-action, & influence (Re)production of social order Discursive reflection
Problems of communication theorized as: Noise; overload; underload; a malfunction or “bug ” in a system Misunderstanding or gap between subjective viewpoints Absence of, or failure to sustain, authentic human relationship Social exigency requiring collective deliberation and judgment Situation requiring manipulation of causes of behavior to achieve specified outcomes Conflict; alienation; misalignment; failure of coordination Hegemonic ideology; systematically distorted speech situation
Metadiscursive vocabulary such as: Source, receiver, signal, information, noise, feed-back, redundancy, network, function Sign, symbol, icon, index, meaning, referent, code, language, medium, (mis)understanding Experience, self &other, dialogue, genuineness, supportiveness, openness Art, method, communicator, audience, strategy, commonplace, logic, emotion Behavior, variable, effect, personality, emotion, perception, cognition, attitude, interaction Society, structure, practice, ritual, rule, socialization, culture, identity, co-construction Ideology, dialectic, oppression, consciousness-raising, resistance, emancipation
Plausible when appeals to metadiscursive commonplaces such as: Identity of mind and brain; value of information and logic; complex systems can be unpredictable Understanding requires common language; omnipresent danger of miscommunication All need human contact, should treat others as persons, respect differences, seek common ground Power of words; value of informed judgment; improvability of practice Communication reflects personality; beliefs & feelings bias judgments; people in groups affect one another. The individual is a product of society; every society has a distinct culture; social actions have unintended effects. Self-perpetuation of power & wealth; values of freedom, equality & reason; discussion produces awareness, insight
Interesting when challenges metadiscursive commonplaces such as: Humans and machines differ; emotion is not logical; linear order of cause and effect Words have correct meanings & stand for thoughts; codes & media are neutral channels Communication is skill; the word is not the thing; facts are objective and values subjective Mere words are not actions; appearance is not reality; style is not substance; opinion is not truth Humans are rational beings; we know our own minds; we know what we see. Individual agency & responsibility; absolute identity of self; naturalness of the social order Naturalness & rationality of traditional social order; objectivity of science & technology

The Systems theory – This theory uses common patters to try to comuicate to someone,using the basses  everything is connected together in some way, this is part of this which effects this.

Semiotics – this uses the fact that are brains are programmed to pattern recognition, so simple signs can give great meaning. This is used greatly in advertising as it is hard to convince someone to buy something though just words alone. So often signs and symbols are added subliminal the way the picture is laid out to indicate the product is fresh or organic, how it good quality ect. Now in these modern time we have got advertising on Television and also the new transmedia of the internet and video being used on there also, however with this new type of advertising has this taken away the media specificity of advertising and changed the roles of videographers or are the fundamentals sill the same.

go into history of radio advertising and how this is media specific different to tv

Transmedia environment overlaps meaning that the media is carried by different communication forms such as the TV, mobile devices ect. So as media is being crated for many different communication methods are we taking away the media specificity and creating a media generalisation. An example of this is how we can understand a photograph, the semiotics of photograph are still the same as a video in the terms of semiotic that are used, if we want to represent danger we could used the colour red ect. An essay  by Lars Ellestrom suggests that if you take somthing as simple as an X, the moment we decided it means something it becomes a sign, and if we then put it in some sort of context we then have a better understanding of what it means. He suggest that there are very many sign systems such as the greek and latin alphabet, the use of sign in mathematics, If I were to take the symbol X and put it in a word such as Mix instantly you will be able to know what this sign means in this situation. This can be said the same as if I put the X in 3 X 6, both 2 different sign systems that use one sign that overlaps. After reading this information it is very clear were the originations of semiotics come from not the film or media industry but the humans ability to create signs and symbols and this is not a new thing as they have been doing this since the ancient Egyptian times and even further back to simple cave paintings. As a development into Television and film are that a original film will use some sort of style not on purpose, as film were new so it was the people who were creating the films to decide what certain movements mean ect. So like Lars Ellestrom suggests these actions will not have meant anything until we made the decision they do, resulting in that the the next time this is used it becomes a sign. All that semiotics are, are the signs and symbols that are placed into a film/TV advertisement/ poster as a system of communication to the audience.

Were as other authors believe that meaning is carried by different communication formats as a still image is used to capture only that moment and to then be interpreted, were as a moving image can tell a story so th this is specific to the moving image.


Three basic concepts

Semantics  – What the signs stand for, a dictioary is a type of semantic it tells use what the signs mean eg latin alphabet and english language.

Syntactics – The relationship between signs as they really stand alone, they are almost alway part of a bigger sign system.

Pragmatics – studies the practical use and effects of signs.

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