Directions for Paper #1: How Marketers and Media Companies View You 

One of the topics covered in Chapter 3 is the idea that media companies work to generate adequate revenue from the materials they create. In order to do this, they seek to define a specific target audience for their products and then shape the products so that they’ll be appealing to that audience. However, because their ultimate goal is usually generating adequate revenue to cover their costs plus an acceptable amount of profit, they think about audiences differently than audiences think about themselves. This fundamental principle is going to be important all semester long.     

 This paper allows you to draw on what you’ve learned so far to consider how media companies and marketers think about an audience you already know well: you. To complete this assignment, you must first research how several different types of companies define an audience segment that you belong to. There are several ways to do this. Please choose two options from the list provided below. Don’t skip over this part; the more you learn about how you are seen as an audience the more you will have to say when it comes to writing your paper.

Then, write a 4-page paper about what you found out about how media and marketing companies characterize you and compare it to how you see yourself. You should apply the principles and tools of media literacy in your analysis. Specifically, your paper should do the following:

▪  Include a brief introduction that previews your main points.

▪  Describe which perspectives on you as an audience member that you investigated (that is, which of the options you selected) and what you found out about how you’re seen and categorized.

▪  Since you know yourself better than these media and marketing companies, evaluate the accuracy and comprehensiveness of how they portray you. What did they get right?  What did they get wrong? What did they miss? That is, what do you think is important about yourself that these companies don’t know or don’t focus on? 


How Marketers and Media Companies View You
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