How does ‘Newstainment’ actually work? : ethnographic research methods and contemporary popular news

Harrington, Stephen (2007) How does ‘Newstainment’ actually work? : ethnographic research methods and contemporary popular news. In International Communication Association (Creating Communication : Content, Control, and Critique), 24-28 May 2007, San Francisco, CA.

View at publisher


Much debate has taken place recently over the potential for entertainment genres and unorthodox forms of news to provide legitimate – indeed democratized – in-roads into the public sphere. Amidst these discussions, however, little thought has been paid to the audiences for programs of this sort, and (even when viewers are considered) the research can too easily treat audiences in homogenous terms and therefore replicate the very dichotomies these television shows directly challenge. This paper is a critical reflection on an audience study into the Australian morning “newstainment” program Sunrise. After examining the show and exploring how it is ‘used’ as a news source, this paper will promote the use of ethnographic study to better conceptualize how citizens integrate and connect the increasingly fragmented and multifarious forms of postmodern political communication available in their everyday lives.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

439 since deposited on 18 Jun 2009
32 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 25818
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Breakfast Television, Sunrise, Media Audiences, Ethnography
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 18 Jun 2009 05:47
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:50

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page