Excerpt from A statement on the arts for Australian schools.
Media technologies are used to construct representations about real and imagined experiences. Media production (for example in radio, film, television, print, computer technology and photography) can involve and is shaped by a multiplicity of media forms, technologies, values and discourses. A wide range of media texts varying in style, structure and purpose, is produced and circulated. Each text or media product involves the selection, ordering and presentation of words, sounds or images, either alone or in combination, in order to represent ideas, people, objects, feelings and events. Electronic and mechanical means are used to communicate these representations and to engage audiences. In the production of representations, media both shape and reflect the culture of which they are a part.
Audiences receive and respond to the media in a range of ways radio talk-back programs, viewing the television, attending a premiere of a film in a cinema. Members of an audience use the media for different purposes, which include entertainment, information, education and companionship. Audiences make sense of media texts in the context of their experiences and understandings, responding to the same text in different ways. Some may take pleasure from its expressive qualities, other may read it ironically or even reject it outright.
The media produce their products in specific historical and institutional conditions. These conditions may be modified by changes and innovations in technology, organisational practices, financial matters and legal requirements. This, in turn, affects the nature of the media texts produces, how audiences are engages, the ideas and perspectives circulated, and the cultural values represented.