Stuart Hall is a modern British
communications researcher, his most famous study being his work on the "Model of Communication
Hall believed that all texts (any piece of media or art including aspects of video, audio or written information) are embedded with meaning by the creator of such a text. The "meaning" is what the creator wants people to understand from the information- what the point of the piece is. The creator is titled the "encoder".
The "decoder" is the audience member/members who view or read the text. Hall proposed that the audience/decoder will interpret the information given to them in one of the following three ways:
- With a PREFERRED reading- this means the decoder will take what is presented to them and not bring any of their own ideas to the text.
- With a NEGOTIATED reading- where the decoder understands what the encoder (media producer) is trying to say but contributes their own ideas and experiences to tailor the facts to existing ideologies while also taking the encoder's ideas onboard.
- With an OPPOSITIONAL reading- the decoder will not take the encoder's facts as intended, but will mould them to suit their own beliefs with no intention to change their ideas according to the information given to them.
The model was originally made up in a diagram like so:
Encoder---> Text---> Decoder
In time, Hall came to the conclusion that the decoder (audience) influences the encoder (media producer) as well as vice versa as the journalist/writer/artist endeavours to suit their piece to the audience and their beliefs. As a result the new model resembled this more:
Encoder < -- > Text < -- > Decoder
For more information on Stuart Hall visit http://www.brocku.ca/commstudies/courses/2F50/csdiag.html