Communication Theory


Prior to this lecture, I have not heard of the model of communication developed by Shannon and Weaver (1949). In a nutshell the model describes communication through a diagramatic process of ‘transmitting information’ from a Transmitter (sender) to a Receiver. What is useful in this model is that we can analyze, discuss and plan acts of communication.

There are a number of issues in this analysis of communication such as:

  1. How accurately can the message be transmitted by the sender?
  2. How preceise is the meaning conveyed on the receiver’s end?
  3. How effectively does the received message affect an intended behaviour?

Also, it is best to be aware of this weakness of the model as it is a gross over-simplification that can be misleading to the representation of the nature of human communication. Within the context of the study of media and communication, the model needs flexible reframing.

Thus important considerations from the Transmitter would include:

  • Understanding the Receiver’s cultural, religious, generation background
  • Them as individuals, and collectively
  • Their connections and relations to other societies


Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture compels us to geek out for democracy, being passionate about the different popular cultures. To see the potential of translating fantasy to mobilize today’s world issues. A vehicle to think politically through these insterest driven networks such as Andrew Slack’s Harry Potter Alliance. Through this, Slack explored the intersection between politics and popular culture. It was all based on the thought of having the “Dumbledore’s Army” realised in our world’s current events. This idea encouraged and captured the imaginations to motivate the minds of young Americans. The group made podcasts and used Facebook to capture the attention of over 100,000 people, mobilizing them to contribute to the struggles against genocide in Darfur or the battles for workers rights at Wall-Mart and so on.

Another important point that Jenkins had made was that without adult guidance, engagement and skill validation to get to higher levels would leave a lot of students behind. Therefore, where there is an intention to bring this concept of creative online communities into the educational process, there needs to be sensitivity and well rounded considerations to predict the response of behaviour with the Receivers.

Some Transmissions are better than others. Some ideas are ‘redundant’ or clear to understand, whereas other ideas are ‘entropic’ that is unclear stimulating a variety of questions. Controlling the amount of noise and disruption can be useful in methods of conveying the clarity of message in order to provoke and challenge thoughts.


David O’Reilly’s work in the few clips that I had selected seems often dark and mysterious. Some events seem quite random, and the disruptive nature of his work that produces the alienation effect (a.k.a. Verfremdungseffekt, v-effect) is successful in making different types of scene transitions as well as demonstrating thought processes. “Please Say Something” demonstrates the relationship between the two characters the cat and the mouse and the alienation effect truly brings out and highlights the particular thoughts of the characters, spatial boundaries such as outside and indoors.

Having the Shannon-Weaver model of communication thus can be useful in the way of having different manipulatings between transmitting a message to the receiver to stir up questions and thoughts about certain topics whether it be political, relationships or attitudes.



Module: Media Discourse


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s