Media Theory – Uses and Gratification

Uses and Gratifications model represents a change in thinking, as researchers began to describe the effects of the media from the point of view of audiences. The model looks at the motives of the people who use the media, asking why we watch the television programmes that we do, why we bother to read newspapers, why we find ourselves so compelled to keep up to date with our favourite soap. The underlying idea behind the model is that people are motivated by a desire to fulfil, or gratify certain needs. So rather that asking how the media uses us, the model asks how we use the media.

The model is broken down into four different needs, the need that I’m focusing on is:

Diversion

The diversion need describes what’s commonly termed as escapism – watching the television so we can forget about our own lives and problems for a while and think about something else. This can work with positive programmes, such as holiday shows or the constant happy endings.

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