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Chasing reporters : Infotainment, intertextuality and media satire

Harrington, Stephen (2009) Chasing reporters : Infotainment, intertextuality and media satire. In Australia and New Zealand Communications Association Conference, 8-10 July, 2009, Brisbane. (Unpublished)

Abstract

The Chaser’s War on Everything is a night time entertainment program which screened on Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC in 2006 and 2007. This enormously successful comedy show managed to generate a lot of controversy in its short lifespan (see, for example, Dennehy, 2007; Dubecki, 2007; McLean, 2007; Wright, 2007), but also drew much praise for its satirising of, and commentary on, topical issues. Through interviews with the program’s producers, qualitative audience research and textual analysis, this paper will focus on this show’s media satire, and the segment ‘What Have We Learned From Current Affairs This Week?’ in particular. Viewed as a form of ‘Critical Intertextuality’ (Gray, 2006), this segment (which offered a humorous critique of the ways in which news and current affairs are presented elsewhere on television) may equip citizens with a better understanding of the new genre’s production methods, thus producing a higher level of public media literacy. This paper argues that through its media satire, The Chaser acts not as a traditional news program would in informing the public with new information, but as a text which can inform and shape our understanding of news that already exists within the public sphere. Humorous analyses and critiques of the media (like those analysed in this paper), are in fact very important forms of infotainment, because they can provide “other, ‘improper,’ and yet more media literate and savvy interpretations” (Gray, 2006, p. 4) of the news.

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ID Code: 26299
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: The Chaser’s War on Everything, Satire, Critical Intertextuality, Current Affairs
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Stephen Harrington
Copyright Statement: For copyright queries please consult authour.
Deposited On: 15 Jul 2009 14:58
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 23:54

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