Theoretically speaking, the relationship between audiences and the media can be best represented with various different theories. The hypodermic needle effect is one which suggests the media is capable of 'mass manipulation', this is based on the assumption that the believe what they see, meaning they could spread the word to others. Another theory which i personally favour is the two step flow model, this allows a mass media to be channelled to the 'masses' through opinion leadership, the people with most access to the media, and having a more literate understanding of the media context, explain and diffuse the context to others. The theory which i believe shows more dominance towards the media over the audience would be the effects debate which allows the media to 'morally panic' and therefore panic is created through the use of press and other forms of media. An example of this theory would be the Jamie Bulger incident in 1993.
I believe 'surveillance' to be the main use of the media as a whole however there are other reasons people choose to use it, such as:
- Personal identity - Audiences like to compare themselves, or even dress like certain celebrities from newspapers or on the television for example
- Diversion - Media acts as a diversion, diverting audiences from a life of stress to some entertainment.
- Personal Relationship - The media is without a doubt an advantage when communicating with the public, as it allows advertising new movies or music for example.