Media in Australia

What effects do the need for ratings and circulation have on the content of Australian media?

'Advertising, while not a medium of communication in itself, historically is the force which sustains all commercial media'(Cunningham and Turner, 2000, P200).Therefore as most commercial media outlets rely on advertising revenue for their major source of income, and ratings and circulation figures will determine the level of advertising revenue they are able to attract, these factors combined have the greatest influence on the content of our media.This essay willfirstly analyse how the competition for ratings and circulation effects what is and what is not displayed in our media and secondly what effect this is perceived as having on the general public's'primary source of information' (Hutchinson, 1999, P35)

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In its simplest form ratings and circulation figures will display to media companies, current or prospective advertisers and the general public the number of people viewing or reading particular forms of media production (Terms and Definitions, OzTAM Online).In our current media climate though, just reaching the largest number of people is not enough, advertisers also want to reach the'right' kind of audience (Cunningham and Turner, 2002, P201).Through detailed consumer analysis this has effectively produced demographic specific viewing where media companies, particularly television stations, will tailor their programming to reach certain audience groups and likewise advertisers will concentrate on those media companies who are most able to reach their target audience.

The most obvious example of demographic specific programming within Australia is the Channel Ten network who, after struggling to compete against the television powers of Channel Nine and Seven on an overall programming scale, redesigned the network to promote and attract the lucrative and much sought-after, in …


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