Comment paper – 1: What about communicology?


An overload of communications

An overload of communications (Photo credit: windsordi)

Былтыр Alternative Media деген курсты таңдаған едім. Сол курста медианың түрлерін талдағанбыз. Әр сабақта 4 ғылыми мақала оқып, соған қатысты пікірлерімізді жазу тапсырылатын.Alternative Media курсында жазған пікірлерім жоғалып қалмасын деп, блогыма жариялап отырмын. Ескі жазбаларымды сараптау арқылы ағылшыншамды одан әрі жетілдіре түсермін деп үміттенемін.

Alternative Media курсына арнап жазғандарым (15 жазба ғой деймін) әр сейсенбі күндері жарияланбақ.

Compared with other fields of science, communication is a young field and is known as a multidisciplinary subject and does not have the suffix “logy.” By reading the articles about the traditions of mass media theory and research, I found the main problem with communication research is that we cannot talk about communicology (Bryant, J. & Cummins, R.G., 2007).

Communication scholars form the research basement mainly by media theory. That is why I was confused by finding the difference between mass media and communication research. Even if they have the same object to research, communication can apply different theories and present them in qualitative and quantitative ways. On the other hand, media research struggles with theories and mostly relies on the qualitative methods. I think we can bring communication and media perspectives together and focus on media communication’s effect or just use the term communication effect.

The media literature clearly shows that media research does not rely on theories, while communication scholars are “dependent on journals outside of the communication” (Potter, W.J. & Riddle, K., 2007). Communication scholars can explore the wide vision of the problem. Media scholars should revise their definition of the “media” term, because technology is establishing new ways of delivering the content. Scholars may focus on the influence of technology in delivering or aggregating the content in the medium. Regarding the media effect, I agree that we should focus on the content and not on the form. Thus, “content is the king.” Despite new technologies, the content will be more valuable, even in a future where we have technologies which will give us the smell and test of the news.

Why do I need to revise the way of researching the media effects? As I mentioned it would be better to focus on content’s effect. Yes, I do agree that methods for the consumption of media are changing, but the content has not changed. Technology only changes the channels of information and tries to make the news accessible to everyone. Compared with old media, new media is more interactive, more data based, and more visual. I think this is also one of the attributes of the media which is not mentioned in William P. Eveland’s article. Research suggests six attributes to define the media: interactivity, organization, control, channel, textuality, and content (P. William, Jr. Eveland, 2003). I can add data to these attributes. Data defines the new media if someone looks at the media effects from the quantitative research method. However, I still think the research on media effects can be explained in the qualitative way much more productively, because the quantitative method can test only one portion of the effect. The result of the statistical data explains how it is affected, but not why.

I am also confused about the term “media,” as medium is not only the content, but also the content makers (Berger, 2012). By studying the communication theories, I found that I can apply theories in new media platforms too, for example, Cybernetic theory could be viewed in traditional media as feedback from readers or their response to any kind of information. In new media, the Cybernetic theory is visible in algorithms created by the social media networks when it suggests a friend by interest. By reading the article, I see that western communication scholars deal with the medium of information, while in Kazakhstan there is no media. For example, the term mass-media literally means, “information tools to the masses” or “different methods of delivering the information to the people.”

All in all, communication scholars should not hesitate to apply different theories in media research to analyze the communication effect. Medium plays crucial a role in society, and we still need to revise some definitions and adopt theories to present reality in communication research. I think in the near future integration between other scholars will be more dynamic, and media or communication research will be done in a single system.

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