The question of the week was “How do media industries shape media audiences?” and in my opinion the Oscars are a great example of how the industry can shape who watches movies. The Oscars are annual awards given out within the movie industry to honor the best of the best of various aspects of the movie industry. Every year, awards are given out for all levels of production, makeup, wardrobe, directing, sound, acting, and various other awards. These awards are voted on by the Academy, a group of roughly six thousand people who vote for the various fields related to themselves. Everyone within the Academy votes for the highly coveted Best Picture award. The people who watch the Oscars each year are usually those who know a lot about movies, or who might want more information about movies in general.
Throughout the years, the Oscars have changed a great deal. They have gotten immensely longer, with many more awards given out each year. The Academy Awards have become much more inclusive in who they give awards too, though this could be contested by the 2016 Academy Awards where there was a controversy because no people of color were nominated. Many winners also use the Oscars as a platform for things they are passionate about, such as environmental rights, human rights, women’s education, HIV/AIDs awareness, and various other issues over the years. In many cases, those films who win big are those ones who have a great audience opinion rating, and not always those who have a lot of critic approval.
In conclusion, my opinion is that those who watch the Oscars are those who want to know more about movies, and who use the Academy Awards as a placeholder for what films they might want to watch in the future. The audience opinion shapes who wins just as much as the industry shaping who watches the Awards and the movies they promote.
* Delbyck, Cole. (27 February 2017). Craziest Oscars in History Watched by Smallest Audience in 9 Years. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-craziest-oscars-in-history-watched-by-smallest-audience-in-9-years_us_58b44409e4b0780bac2b9438.
* Fahey, Mark. (25 February 2017). Oscar Nominees Please Audiences More Than Critics, Data Shows. CNBC. Retrieved from: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/24/oscars-please-the-audience-more-than-critics.html.
* McCann, Universal. (23 March 2000). PR Newswire: News Distribution, Targeting, and Monitoring. PR Newswire. Retrieved from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/who-watches-the-oscars-and-why-73219567.html.
* Nguyen, Hanh. (26 February 2017). Oscar Potiical Moments: A Timeline of Memorable Sacrifices, Protests, and Speeches Throughout the Telecast’s History. IndieWire. Retrieved from: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/02/oscar-political-moments-timeline-1201787227/.
* Rosenberg, Jennifer. (15 December 2014). Academy Awards Interesting Facts. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/academy-awards-interesting-facts-1779239.
* Roxborough, Georg SzalaiScott. (February 23, 2016). Oscars: How Many People Watch the Ceremony Worldwide?. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved from: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-worldwide-tv-audience-867554.
* The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy Story. Oscars.org Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from: http://www.oscars.org/academy-story