World Broadcasting: A Comparative View (Ablex Communication, Culture & Information Series)

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The early studies on the international flow of information were concerned with print media and news agencies, but it was not long before television was singled out from the diversity of media by national planners as well as communication scholars as a primary area of importance. The rapid technological advances of this medium contributed to its growth and the degree of interest generated. CQ Press Your definitive resource for politics, policy and people. Remember me? Back Institutional Login Please choose from an option shown below. Need help logging in? Click here. Don't have access?

Rethinking Audiences for Cultural Industries: Implications for Canadian Research

View purchasing options. Find in this title Show Hide Page Numbers. Demanding means that the program "made me think" Stewart, Based on their data, the authors find that the audience size for demanding programs tends to be lower than for relaxing programs, yet it is still often substantial. Viewers of demanding programs give higher appreciation scores 5 or 10 points higher than viewers of relaxing shows, where audience size is about equal.

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Lower-rated demanding shows are better liked than lower-rated relaxing shows. Most viewing is family viewing, and most viewers prefer programs produced within their own society. They developed 14 interest segments--based on attitudes and values--and applied these to analysis of a broad range of media behaviour.

The merit of this rare study was to position the user of media within an environment of options across the cultural industries. The authors found that cable subscribers were more likely to plan ahead and use program guides to select viewing options pp. Overall, non-planned viewing occurred two-thirds of the time. The authors found differences in the search strategies between cable and broadcast-only households. The former spent more time viewing, using a television guide, and demonstrated a more extensive channel search repertoire, in part reflecting the greater number of channels available p.

Areas requiring further research include the question of who controls the remote control, or makes the selection, in group viewing contexts p. Males seem to demonstrate more zapping quick channel changing behaviours than females.

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World Broadcasting: A Comparative View (Ablex Communication, Culture & Information Series) [Alan Wells] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying​. As mass communication is a major topic of interest in American colleges, This book is designed to put current practices in the United States in comparative perspective and thus shed new Ablex communication, culture & information series.

Another set of questions concern whether viewing styles persist as habits over the life cycle, or are age specific. Cableviewing needs to be examined in the context of the home viewing environment, argue the authors.

Questioning the nature of audiences

This study focuses valuably on the active decision-making process of individuals within the household in an environment of greater media options. They endorse partnerships between academic researchers and the commercial ratings services because market and cultural questions can be asked, while basic research can also be funded.

How much the findings on audiences summarized in these studies require modification within particular national contexts must remain open to empirical research. These findings cannot be extended in any simple sense to the Canadian case, due to the lengthier Canadian experience with cable and higher penetration rates. In addition, cable in Canada has served historically to introduce more choice of U. Dagenais reported contradictory socio-cultural impacts of the introduction of cable into a small community in Quebec, depending on the households and individuals involved.

Ang calls for improvement in "our understanding of the everyday realities of television audiencehood" p. The television audience cannot be taken for granted, she argues, despite the fact that typically the audience is an unorganized silent majority. Ang criticizes the academic research community for operating on a market model and adopting assumptions similar to those that motivate commercial researchers.

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Both use a "ratings discourse" she charges, by which she means a way of knowing that is exclusively preoccupied with measurable variables. This discourse is flawed, she concludes, because it leaves out the subjectivity of viewers pp. Watching television "should be seen as a complex and dynamic cultural process, fully integrated in the messiness of everyday life, and always specific in its meanings and impacts" p. Like other researchers critical of current knowledge of audiences e. An alternative approach is examined below. Bob Warrens of J. Walter Thompson reported that the combined prime time share of the three U.

Degree of audience fragmentation can also be measured in terms of average prime time ratings. On this measure, according to the J. Walter Thompson data, Canada is the most fragmented television market in the world at 6. The J. Walter Thompson study also reports that highly cabled Canada has the second highest average number of channels available per household 30 , while the U. The consequences of fragmentation listed by Warrens include proliferation of viewing alternatives, increased levels of commercialization or clutter , more channel switching capabilities, unplanned viewing, viewing alone, and decreases in average audience size.

One prediction is that multiple sets result in more viewing alone, which in turn results in more channel switching.

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The paper observes that a greater share of audiences for commercials is lost when viewers leave the room than to channel changing. The people meter permitted measurement of individual viewing, rather than households, which allowed more precise calculation and targeting of desirable audience segments Gannett Center, , p. Computer-assisted measurement systems are an integral part of the transition away from broadcasting to "mass" audiences towards narrowcasting to increasingly segmented markets Gannett Center, Warrens concludes that fragmentation means that "viewers will be more able to control the medium according to whim--they will have the means remotes, VCRs and the incentive more alternatives " n.

The Task Force on the Economic Status of Canadian Television observed that since television's product is its audience, fragmentation "resulting from greater viewer choice has had the adverse effect of diluting the advertising revenue available to television" , p. Much of this share is for U. The losers were the Canadian networks.

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Subsequently, BBM reports that the decline in network share has intensified. Audiences for specialty channels and independent stations have increased further. Another way of looking at fragmentation is in terms of time available and choice of time spent. In Canada, time spent with media and communications by adults has remained stable since the s BBM, Statistics Canada reports that child and teenage viewing has dropped more than two-and-one-half hours weekly , p.

The impact of increased choice on the tuning behaviour of television audiences has been substantial CBC Research, ; Ellis, Barry Kiefl of CBC Research argues that the established networks will likely continue to decline in audience share; however, their reach will remain high due to the fact that they offer core services that attract audiences.

He notes that underlying trends in viewing behaviour indicate regular need for immediate, daily information about one's own community and culture.

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In The Future of the Mass Audience , Russell Neuman concludes that the idea of audience fragmentation has been exaggerated and rejects the idea that fragmentation of the audience will result in a loss of a common American culture, as some have warned. Nor does he believe that the networks will disappear. Based on empirical studies, he argues that the cultural industries will battle for a share of the audience, cross over into one another's traditional territory, and some will go under.

But "fragmentation" has a different meaning when combined with a public model approach to regionalism and linguistic identity. Raboy writes:.

In one sense, all Quebec media have a certain emancipatory component, to the extent that they aid and abet Quebec's cultural resistance to the centrifugal forces of the great North American melting pot. At the same time, this very quality makes Quebec media an agent of fragmentation within the national entity known as Canada. Another prominent Quebec critic, Desaulniers, concludes that "television enabled the people of Quebec to recognize themselves as a totality for the first time in their history" , p.

See also Collins, , pp. Over the decade, public sector broadcasters struggled to "reposition" themselves to cope with global and domestic commercial rivals and a diminished claim on public funding and audience attention. Public sector broadcasters and the research institutions active in their employ can be seen to have two audiences, the viewers or listeners, and the governments or regulators which set policy objectives, legislate mandates, and provide funds.

Further complicating matters in regulated mixed systems, such as the Canadian case, advertising is also pursued, while private broadcasters may have access to public funds for production and be otherwise subject to regulatory mandates. The need to locate a more adequate public calculus is most acute for the public sector broadcasters, but has wider application in mixed systems. The global lingua franca for audience size remains the ratings and other quantitative measurements.

Academics who pursue empirical research are heavily dependent on these sources. Ang argues that public and private sector institutions alike are engaged in a desperate search for the audience, using common strategies. This leads to a way of viewing the audience as something to be captured, and a linear theory of communications with the objective of power and control.

She contends that this control is evident in a particular kind of knowledge of the audience--a ratings discourse.