Shifting Positions to the Media Discourse on Terrorism: Critical Points in Audience Members' Meaning-making Experiences
In his essay on encoding/decoding, Hall (1980) acknowledges that events in the broader socio-political context influence the way audiences position themselves in relation to the dominant hegemonic discourse. This article reports on an investigation into how Australian audience members continuously reviewed and shifted their positions to media texts that contributed to an over-arching evolving and changing discourse of terrorism in the Australian popular media. The findings of the study illuminate critical points in meaning-making in relation to the evolving discourse on terrorism. These critical points are not single moments, but rather a series of determinate moments where messages are decoded, subsumed into the range of cultural codes and discourses available to the audience, which are then implicated in the decoding of other messages, and then also subsumed into the cultural codes of the audience.