Semiotic Textual Model



Regarding the Mathematical Theory of Information, the semiotic textual model represents a more accurate instrument to interpret specific problems of mass communication.

 

In particular, and unlike before, it is now stressed that talking about a message that arrives, formulated on the basis of a certain code, and decoded on the basis of receivers' codes, constitutes a terminological simplification which may lead to error. Indeed, the situation is as follows:

 

a) Recipients do not receive private recognizable messages, but textual sets;

 

b) Recipients do not compare messages with recognizable codes as such, but with deposited sets of textual practices (inside or in the basis of which it is possible, without doubt, to recognize grammatical rule systems, but only at a further level of metalinguistic abstraction);

 

c) Recipients never receive a unique message: they receive many, both in synchronic and diachronic ways.

 

The mass media's speech can no longer be conceived as an isolated message that goes from sender to recipient. In mass communication said speech is characterized by being embedded in a social system made of speeches, a public space in which mass media's speeches circulate, generating complex relations with other speeches.

 

In the words of Octavio Paz: "Society's word is not a unique and homogeneous speech, but multiple and heterogeneous. The mass media can hide this original word under the mask of unanimity or, au contraire, can rescue and show us, in the thousand new versions delivered to us by literature, the old image of the man-creature to a particular and universal time, unique and common." (El País, 11/4/1986).

 

Authors / References: Umberto Eco, Paolo Fabbri, D. Mc Quail, Mauro Wolf. 


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