The concept of reader-response theory discussed in class is emphasized in Jean Baudrillard’s Requim for the Media. Reader-response theory emphasizes the importance of an individual interpreting the text as a whole based on personal experiences, emotions and knowledge. As the life experience and cultural code varies between individuals, different meanings are derived from the text. In a sense, readers are completing the text by drawing from it one’s own significance. To reduce a work of art to one meaning is to kill it. Application of different interpretations is possible when viewing both mainstream and fake news.
In Requim for the Media, the communication theory process is formulated by Roman Jakobsen as transmitter (encoder), message, receiver (decoder). Baudrillard states, “Each communication process is thus vectorized into a single meaning, from the transmitter to the receiver: the latter can become transmitter in its turn, and the same schema is reproduced” (Baudrillard). Comparable is the theoretical approach of semiotics, the study of signs, in which some believe that a recipient of the sign is required, a chain-like reaction takes place. When a message or sign is communicated by the transmitter, then interpreted by the receiver, the recipient becomes the giver causing the process to remain constant. What happens if an individual fails to understand an intended message? When all individuals derive one’s own meaning from a message, is failing to understand an intended message possible?
Baudrillard, Jean. “Requiem for the Media.” 6 April 2008