I really enjoyed Hall's article about encoding and decoding media messages. I'll be honest when I first read through the article it made very little sense to me and I had trouble grasping the general concept of the piece. However, once we discussed it in class and did the in-class activity it made much more sense. I especially liked the idea that each media message or text can be read in the three different ways (Dominant, Negotiated, and Oppositional). After class I went through some different media texts in my head to identify the three different views for multiple texts. One of the biggest ones I thought of was the show Toddlers and Tiaras. Yes, I'll admit I have watched an episode or two, but I'll just blame that on a friend who enjoys TLC a little too much. If you are unfamiliar with the show, mothers, and very rarely fathers, take their little girls to pageants and have them all dolled up and compete in pageants for money and prizes.
The dominant reading of Toddlers and Tiaras could be that these parents are trying to find something their child enjoys and can excel at, much like starting a child with sports or academic programs. These parents are simply looking out for their best interests by entering them in these pageants. The negotiated reading could say that while the pageants may not be the best outlet for their children's talents, the parents have their best interests in mind and are only trying to help them in the long run. The oppositional reading could be that we need to teach girls at a young age that if they aren't pretty enough to win a pageant they should change things about themselves. The contestants are often wearing copious amounts of makeup, wigs, fake teeth, and spray tans.
Whatever your reading of the show is, it is easy to see that it can be seen in many different ways and therefore it is a very compelling media text to analyze and examine.