Active and Passive Audience Definition, Theory, Differences & Examples

Active and Passive Audience Definition, Theory, Differences & Examples.  Difference between an active and passive audience. Example of Active and Passive Audiences. Finally, what is the Active and Passive Audience Theory?

Table of Contents

  1. Active and Passive Audience.
  2. Example of Active and Passive Audiences.
  3. What is the difference between an active and passive audience?
  4. What is the Active Audience Theory?

Active and Passive Audience

What is an active audience?

Active audiences: Active audiences are those people who receive media information actively as well as make sense of the messages based on their social and personal contexts. They listen to the media messages rather than hearing them only. However, active audiences receive media information actively but the act of receiving media information is unintentional. So, active audiences pay full attention to receive information and interpret them to give feedback.

Example of Active Audience

For example, people are the active audience who comment on social media content to express opinions.

Another example, based on the story shared in the example of the active and passive audience below, Ela is an active audience who scrutinizes the message before accepting them.

Characteristic of Active audiences

 Actively involved in listening to give an opinion therefore they are a complicated and critical thinker. Additionally, they have good schemata.

What is a passive audience?

Passive Audience: Passive Audiences are those people who watch and observe the media information without making sense. Hence, they are recognized as inactive receivers. Passive audiences have low motivation to process information, low ability to process information, and focuses on simple cues (e.g., appearances instead of content)

Example of Active Audience

For example, People who are active in social media but do not like to comment on social media content.

Another example, based on the story shared in the example of the active and passive audience below, Bela is a passive audience who accepts the message without challenging them.

Characteristics of Passive audiences

The Passive audience is inactively involved in hearing something rather than listening. Passive audiences merely observe the message therefore, they are cognitive misers who are lazy to think.

Examples of active and passive audiences

For example, Ela and Bela are siblings who are watching the news on television. At the same time, the news reporter is providing tips on how to stay healthy. Ela tries to listen to the news reporter’s tips actively to follow them. She asks her sister Bela to be confirmed that do these tips really work or not? In contrast, Bela accepts those tips easily. Here, Ela is an active audience who is a critical thinker. Therefore, she focuses on the news presenter’s dress, speaking style, as well as the meaning of messages carefully.

On the other hand, Bela watches the news without focusing on the content of the message. Here, Bela is a passive audience who is a cognitive miser. Therefore, she does not focus on interpreting the message rather she only focuses on the news reporter’s appearance inactively. She believes the news reporter’s tips easily and becomes manipulated.

Active and Passive Audience

Difference between an active and passive audience

2. What is the difference between an active and passive audience?

Active Audiences Passive Audiences
Interpret and respond to the media texts In contrast, merely observe the media text.
Actively involved with decoding message On the other hand, just accept the message without challenging
Forming opinions Accepting opinions
Paying full attention Paying little attention
For example, Ela scrutinizes messages received from the news reporter rather than accepts them directly. For example, Bela accepts messages received from the news reporter without scrutinizing them.
Not directly affected by the message Directly affected by the message
Difficult to manipulate them Easy to manipulate them
Critical thinker Cognitive miser
Have good schemata Lazy to think
Involve in listening Involve in hearing
5. What are the Active Audience Theories? 

Active audience theory explains that active media audiences do not just accept media information inactively rather they interpret the message based on their personal and social contexts.

The active audience theories are the Hypodermic needle model of communication, the Encoding/decoding model of communication, the Uses and gratifications theory, the Two-step flow theory, and so on. 

The hypodermic needle model proposes that the targeted and intended information are directly received and completely accepted by the audience or receiver.

The encoding/decoding model of communication represents that media information is created, distributed, and also interpreted through a theoretical approach.

Uses and gratifications theory shows a strategic approach to explaining how and why people or audiences actively find specific media to meet specific needs. UGT also represents an audience-centered strategy to perceive the process of mass communication.

The two-step flow of communication model argues that audiences accept information and believe media information more if the message is delivered by the opinion leaders. So, the audience gets influenced by mass media if the opinion leader supports the information.

TV Program Proposal: How To Write a Program Proposal for Television

TV Program Proposal: How To Write a Proposal For Television Program. The full instruction of Writing TV Proposal For Al-Hijrah Malaysian Television Program.

Table of Contents

  1. Instruction of Writing TV Program Proposal
  2. Name of Program
  3. Description of Program
  4. Execution of Program
  5. Justification of Program

Instruction of Writing TV Program Proposal

Instruction to write a proposal for the Al-Hijrah TV program
1 You are to form a group of five or six members to work on this assignment. Form a media company and organize your company structure.
2 Your company has been invited to submit a 10 minutes proposal to the management of TV Al-Hijrah.
3 You are to propose a magazine-typed (akin to a documentary but with a 15 minutes duration) program for TV al-Hijrah.
4 For the proposal you need to include the followings:
i. Name of program.  (make sure it is attractive and catchy enough to get ratings)
ii. Description of program. (A brief description of the program. What is the program about? What does the program focus on?)
iii. Target audience. (Who are your target audience? Why are you targeting the audience? Give statistics to support.
iv. Justification. (Why should TV al-Hijrah produce the program? What is the uniqueness of the program? What are the advantages of the program?
v. Execution of the program. (How do you suggest the program should be produced? Come up with a running order for the program.
vi. The team. (Who are and who in your company. Include their professional CV.
vii. The best three proposed programs will be invited to present at the Al-Hijrah station.
The Sample of TV Program Proposal For Al-Hijrah Television

Name of Program: Discover Student Talent (DST)-2020

Description of TV Program Proposal

The Discover student talent is an interesting inclusive television program targeted towards students who are studying in Malaysian top-ranked public and private universities. This program is will welcome students to explore their talents and help them to become famous by properly utilizing their cognitive knowledge. The door of participation in this program is open for all students who are studying in Malaysian top 10 ranked universities. These top 10 universities will be considered as per the ranking of QS (Quacquarelli Symonds). According to the QS ranking, the top 10 universities in Malaysia are:

TV Program Proposal: the top 10 universities in Malaysia

So, the student of these top 10 universities can participate in the Discover student talent program by enrolling via a specific mobile application or website. When they will apply for contesting the Discover student talent program, contestants will have to participate in level 1 and level 2 for securing a position among the top 20 students. The top 20 students from every university will go to the TV station in level 3 for contesting and securing positions amid the top 10. In level 4, the top ten contestants will compete for being the most talented student in the university. The top 10 contestants from the top ten universities in Malaysia compete to be the most talented student in Malaysia. It is considered that the winner will get a certificate and 10,000 ringgit as prize money following 5,000 ringgit for the runner-up and 2000 ringgit for the second runner-up.

Execution of the TV Program Proposal

Every student needs to create an account by providing a specific university name and student id number. When they will get their account activated, they can participate in question answering sessions two times a month. But, they must have to provide a student ID number for verification that he or she is studying at that university.

After getting an activated account, they will face 50 easy general knowledge questions in the internet system in level 1, and they have to answer those questions to get higher marks. They can participate in this session through mobile, laptop, or tab. Thus, students will get their first level marks in the system, and they will have to be prepared for the second level. The second level also the same 50 questions but could be more challenging than the first level. In level 2, the contestants will sit for an exam in university in the OMR answer sheet. The university authority will all-out effort into the television company to organize the level 1 and 2 activities. All questions of the first and second levels will ask in both English and Malay language. Students can choose their preferred language in the system.

The television company will pick up the top 20 contestants from every university for level 3. In level 3, the top 20 contestants will come to the television station stage to compete with each other for securing a position amid the top 10 students in the university. After that, the top 10 students of the university will compete with each other to be the most talented student in the university.

Grand final

Level 5 is considered as the final level of the program for discovering the most talented student in Malaysia. Therefore, in this stage, the top 10 talented students from each university will compete with each other for being the most talented student in Malaysia.

Questions Patterns Set For the TV Program

  1. General Knowledge
  2. Books and Authors
  3. Famous Personalities
  4. Geography
  5. History
  6. Science and Inventions
  7. Movies
  8. Politics
  9. Religious
  10. Sports
Full Process at a glance
  1. Create an account and login.
  2. Choose university name, provide student ID number for account activation.
  3. Level-1 (50 Questions).
  4. Level-2 (50 Questions).
  5. Level-3: Location at Alhijrah and a total of 20 top-scored students from every university will compete to secure a position within the top 10. (Transportation, Beverage, and 100 Ringgit for the participant).
  6. Level-4: Location at Alhijrah and the top 10 students from every university will compete to become the most talented student of the university. (Transportation, Beverages, and 200 Ringgit for the participant).
  7. Level-5: Location at Alhijrah and the top 10 students from 10 universities will compete to become the most talented student in Malaysia. .(Transportation, Beverage, and 500 Ringgit for the participant).
  8. Total Price –20,000 Ringgit, Winner will get 10000 Rm, Runner up 5000 Rm, and second Runner up 2000 Rm).
Additional event for audiences

The television authority will organize two additional events for audiences. First of all, the audiences who will participate in the program physically can get prizes by answering questions on the stage. These audiences are those who sit in front of the main competition stage for watching live programs. In addition to that, the audiences who watch this program through television channels can win prizes by answering questions through mobile.

Target Audiences for the TV Program

For this program, the target audience can be youth, adult, and senior people. Their ages may be between 15-65 years old. The prime target audiences of this Discover talent student program are students. Students are the main components of running this program because they will participate in the program. Also, it is going to be an interactive program, viewers in front of the TV can also answer questions and when the audience can answer the questions successfully, they will feel very happy. The contestants and audiences face a wide range of topics, such as general knowledge, common sense, literature, history, astronomy, geography, sports, entertainment. So, audiences can also increase their knowledge through our questions answering session, at the same time, they can win prizes.


The motive of choosing youth as the target audience because they have already received a part of the education and have a certain knowledge background. And our program can be a competition, youth could set up a team to answer questions together to determine how many questions can be answered in the end. In this way, they not only expand their knowledge but also enhance the relationship between friends.


Furthermore, here are two aspects which are unemployed people and workers. Unemployed people have a lot of time can watch TV or videos and they can learn something from our program. It’s because our problems are so wide that they can learn something from them and benefit them in the future. Besides that, the workers didn’t have more free time so they can watch our program to relax. When they are tired, they can watch our program. If they can answer the questions correctly, they will feel happy.

Senior people

Maybe not many o people watch our show, but we hope to have more older people to watch. Because they can learn and educate their grandchildren.


The reason why TV al-Hijrah should produce this program has been discussed here. There are two major reasons for producing this program. Firstly, there’s something unique about producing a program based on students and centering universities in Malaysia. So, It’s a whole new format. Secondly, because the nature of the show is not just entertainment, some common sense questions make the show educational. On the other hand, the program has a wide range of audiences because of its educational significance.

The uniqueness of the program

Firstly, The nature of this show is unique in Malaysia because Malaysian TV programs were mostly about travel, food reality shows, and music-related selection programs. People’s conformity, snooping, and curiosity all affect people’s attention to the TV program. Therefore, the new format will attract some viewers. On the other hand, previous reality shows were mostly celebrities but participants in this program are students from the top 10 universities in Malaysia. This kind of guest of the TV program makes the show more attractive. Finally, our intention is also to give some students who have talent but have not yet been got a chance to shine.

Advantages of the programs

Firstly, compared with the variety of entertainment programs this program has educational meaning. This program also can attract some primary and middle school and college students who interested to exercise their knowledge through competition. Secondly, the program can also raise social awareness among general people to focus on learning as well as participants obtain confidence. Finally, this program can increase the popularity of the television channel through increasing ratings.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, February 3). TV Program Proposal: How To Write a Program Proposal for Television. Educational Website For Online Learning.