Active & Passive Audience

Audiences and there participation with a media artefact or text is something of which to consider in the design of an artefact. In previous post I stated my intention to assess the ambient noise of an environment of which some people would interact and some would not. The concept was to incorporate the two together. To engage as many audience participants some consideration needs to be give to them and how they engage with media text.

Uses and gratifications theory is the idea behind the significant and interaction of audience to media. Audiences participate with media constantly as stated previously but why do we do this? This could be considered an effect of active audience participation. “the social and psychological generates expectations of the mass media or other sources, which lead to differential patterns of media exposure (or engagement in other activities), resulting in need gratifications and other consequences, perhaps mostly unintended ones.”(Blumer, Katz and Gurevitch, 2015)

McQuail, Blumer, Katz and Gurevitch all argue in support of the “Uses and gratifications theory” that there needs to be a reason for an audience to engage with a media artefact/text. According to the research, goals for media use can be grouped into five uses. The audience wants to:

  1. be informed or educated
  2. identify with characters of the situation in the media environment
  3. simple entertainment
  4. enhance social interaction
  5. escape from the stresses of daily life

(McQuail 2010, pp.420-430)

They assess many audience to be active of which they are free to reject, use or play with these media. It’s the audiences choice to if they see fit use the media artefact as suggested that this is usually to obtain one of the media goals. If a Media goal is clear and simple for them to achieve this could make them more likely to participate. This thought process of assessing the value of the artefact is one of an active audience of that use the media, In opposition to this a passive audiences. These are normally effected or influenced by a media artefact of which normally provides a negative effect upon them.

Installation Brief

In relation to the installation brief and presenting a media concept, Ambience of the media space is one I want to conceptualize in an information graphic design. This will be by combining the types of audience passive and active.

  • The ambience of the environment will be provided by the active audience which disregard the artefact creating a increase in in ambient noise
  • The other active audience, which do engage with the artefact, will hopefully play and try to directly affect the ambience. Also it will proved some response for these people in the form of understanding, entertainment and enhance social interaction.
  • The passive audience will be providing ambience to the environment unknowingly however, when they become active and realise they will theoretically do the opposite to the engaged participants and remain quite attempting not to interact.


The aims of the piece is to engage both active and passive audience knowingly or unknowingly. In terms of ambience its what we do continuously to change the environment were in that is going to be measured and present back to us. Going Forward I need to start to consider how this is going to be present to the audience in a graphical form

Blumer, J., Katz, E. and Gurevitch, M., 2015. JSTOR: The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Winter, 1973-1974), pp. 509-523. [online] Available from: [Accessed 20 Jan. 2015].

McQuail, D., 2010. McQuail’s reader in mass communication theory. London: Sage Publications, pp.420-430.

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