Media Issues & Debates:

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The Effects Model. Media Effects. The media effects / violence in the media issue is probably the most prominent debate.. What . do we know about it?. . . The Uses & Gratifications Model. These are two of the main areas of audience . ID: 445667 Download Presentation

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Media Issues & Debates:

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Media Issues & Debates:

The Effects Model


Media Effects

The media effects / violence in the media issue is probably the most prominent debate.


do we know about it?



The Uses & Gratifications Model

These are two of the main areas of audience


They are quite different in their outlook and stance.

You will need to know these two models well for your exam. What are the fundamental differences between the two?


The Effects Model

You may see it referred to as the Hypodermic Syringe or Silver Bullet theory. These are the GCSE names!

Time to draw.



The Effects Model


Effects Model began in conjunction with the emergence of

radio as a powerful media tool in the early 20th Century


Orson Welles


The ability to confuse audiences en masse may have first become obvious as a result of one of the most infamous mistakes in history. It happened the day before Halloween, on Oct. 30, 1938, when millions of Americans tuned in to a popular radio program that featured plays directed by, and often starring, Orson Welles. The performance that evening was an adaptation of the science fiction novel

The War of the Worlds

, about a Martian invasion of the earth. But in adapting the book for a radio play, Welles made an important change: under his direction the play was written and performed so it would sound like a news broadcast about an invasion from Mars, a technique that, presumably, was intended to heighten the dramatic effect.


As the play unfolded, dance music was interrupted a number of times by fake news bulletins reporting that a "huge flaming object" had dropped on a farm near Grovers Mill, New Jersey. As members of the audience sat on the edge of their collective seat, actors playing news announcers, officials and other roles one would expect to hear in a news report, described the landing of an invasion force from Mars and the destruction of the United States. The broadcast also contained a number of explanations that it was all a radio play, but if members of the audience missed a brief explanation at the beginning, the next one didn't arrive until 40 minutes into the program.


At one point in the broadcast, an actor in a studio, playing a newscaster in the field, described the emergence of one of the aliens from its spacecraft. "Good heavens, something's wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake," he said, in an appropriately dramatic tone of voice. "Now it's another one, and another. They look like tentacles to me. There, I can see the thing's body. It's large as a bear and it glistens like wet leather. But that face.'s indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate....The thing is raising up. The crowd falls back. They've seen enough. This is the most extraordinary experience. I can't find words. I'm pulling this microphone with me as I talk. I'll have to stop the description until I've taken a new position. Hold on, will you please, I'll be back in a minute.”


As it listened to this simulation of a news broadcast, created with voice acting and sound effects, a portion of the audience concluded that it was hearing an actual news account of an invasion from Mars. People packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, even wrapped their heads in wet towels as protection from Martian poison gas, in an attempt to defend themselves against aliens, oblivious to the fact that they were acting out the role of the panic-stricken public that actually belonged in a radio play. Not unlike Stanislaw Lem's deluded populace, people were stuck in a kind of virtual world in which fiction was confused for fact.


The Effects Model

The earliest research conducted in the Effects Model was by the Frankfurt School.

They were trying to understand effects on audiences in terms of ideological influence rather then behavioural.



Who? Jewish, Marxist intellectuals.When? Formed in 1923 by Felix Weil.Where? The Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt.What? It is a school of thought, an ideology, and not a particular institution.Why? They wanted to explain: The lack of social revolutionary change, as predicted by Marx. The triumph of fascism in Germany and the across Europe. The effects of the emerging Western capitalist consumer culture in relation to the mass media.

Weil - Adorno - Horkheimer - Marcuse


The Frankfurt School

(est. 1923)

Key text: The Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944)

A group of Neo-Marxists whose pioneering research formed the basis of the Effects Model.

They argued that the media was a product of the “culture industry”, which kept the elites powerful and the masses passive.


The Effects Model – The Frankfurt School

They were opposed to the rise of Fascism and Communism and later the industrialised culture of the west popularised by Hollywood.


The Effects Model – The Frankfurt School

They were opposed to the rise of Fascism and Communism and later the industrialised culture of the west popularised by Hollywood


The Frankfurt Schools members developed a revolutionary variant of Marxism known


a time when “it seemed as though the possibility of radical social change had been smashed between the twin cudgels of concentration camps and television for the masses” (






Leni Riefenstahl – Triumph of the WillHow does the video attempt to influence the audience? How can we apply The Effects Model?


The Milgram Experiment

"The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act." –Stanley Milgram, 1974

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


The Milgram Experiment

"Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority" (Milgram, 1974).


Early Advertising

How can

The Effects Model be applied to this early advertisement?

Explain your answer with


reference to the text.

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