A metaphor for the primary function of the mass media as being catching and holding attention (McQuail). This involves more emphasis on form and technique than on message content (see alsomediatization). It is a focus which meets the immediate goal of attracting audiences, which, in commercial media, can be sold to advertisers (see alsoaudience share; ratings; reach). In such media, broadcast programmes, for instance, can be said to exist to support commercials. The publicity factor can thus be seen as underlying the competitiveness of the media. The audience is seen as relatively passive, seeking diversion or entertainment (seediversion function; entertainment function). The goal of attracting audiences has led to the accusation of the dominance of fiction values (see alsostory model; tabloidization). In ideological framings, this also facilitates agenda setting. Comparedominance model; manipulative model; reception model; ritual model; transmission models.
Subjects: Media Studies.