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Being With the Media

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Abstract:

Notwithstanding renewed interest in ‘non-fans’, paratextual encounters, and habitual or routine forms of media reception, the theorization of audiences has yet to emerge fully from the shadow of engagement and reciprocity as dominant tropes. The very suffixes employed in the category labels used – inattention and non-fans – signal the continued reign of a dichotomous model based on an implicit idealization of attentiveness and investment. Even the productive notion of the ‘diffused audience’ becomes harnessed to a characterization of ubiquitous receptivity and performance that is both reciprocal and highly invested: spectacle and narcissism.
This paper attempts to think through ‘reception’ and ‘the audience’ beyond the paradigm of reciprocal engagement (or its negation). It does so by interrogating the notion of ‘address’ and by proposing that the extreme case of ‘inattentive’ relations to media – where media are to hand but are not attended to, like the television left on in an empty room - is actually the key to reconceptualizing relations with media as forms of (increasingly perpetual) accompaniment and companionship. Under the aegis of companionship, media become cultural and social agents whose power, appeal and significance is associated less with the directness and intensity of our engagements with them, and more with the ground of their constant company – and through them the company of multiple others and distant worlds.

Paul Frosh is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. His books include 'The Image Factory' (2003) and 'Media Witnessing' (2008).
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p404903_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Frosh, Paul. "Being With the Media" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p404903_index.html>

APA Citation:

Frosh, P. "Being With the Media" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p404903_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Notwithstanding renewed interest in ‘non-fans’, paratextual encounters, and habitual or routine forms of media reception, the theorization of audiences has yet to emerge fully from the shadow of engagement and reciprocity as dominant tropes. The very suffixes employed in the category labels used – inattention and non-fans – signal the continued reign of a dichotomous model based on an implicit idealization of attentiveness and investment. Even the productive notion of the ‘diffused audience’ becomes harnessed to a characterization of ubiquitous receptivity and performance that is both reciprocal and highly invested: spectacle and narcissism.
This paper attempts to think through ‘reception’ and ‘the audience’ beyond the paradigm of reciprocal engagement (or its negation). It does so by interrogating the notion of ‘address’ and by proposing that the extreme case of ‘inattentive’ relations to media – where media are to hand but are not attended to, like the television left on in an empty room - is actually the key to reconceptualizing relations with media as forms of (increasingly perpetual) accompaniment and companionship. Under the aegis of companionship, media become cultural and social agents whose power, appeal and significance is associated less with the directness and intensity of our engagements with them, and more with the ground of their constant company – and through them the company of multiple others and distant worlds.

Paul Frosh is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. His books include 'The Image Factory' (2003) and 'Media Witnessing' (2008).


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Perceptions of Media and Media Effects: The Third-Person Effect, Trust in Media, and Hostile Media Perceptions


 
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