Always remember all media texts are CONSTRUCTED. They are selective rather than totalising in nature. What is included and what is omitted can reveal a great deal about the motivations behind a text’s creation.
Manipulation of Meaning: Fixing Meaning: ‘Anchorage’
Example: A photo of Miley Cyrus crying. The meaning is given through a caption that could say ‘I need help’ which implies that Miley is distressed. However, the crying could have been caused by a number of things; the real meaning could be very different. In semiotics (the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation) meanings may not be fixed – after all language changes too.
- Analysis is not (just) description.
- Analysis is the consideration of meanings and effects.
- Analysis moves beyond simple description and into examination, interpretation and explanation.
Analysis: Meanings and Effects
- What possible meanings is this media text communicating and how?
- What possible effects is this media text generating for it’s readers and how?
By using formalised analytical tools, we can increase the credibility of our observations:
- Rhetorical analysis (effects)
- Semiotic analysis (meanings)