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 (Unpublished)


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.

Impact and interest:

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:

1,088 since deposited on 15 Jul 2009
27 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: 26299
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
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
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Stephen Harrington
Copyright Statement: For copyright queries please consult authour.
Deposited On: 15 Jul 2009 04:58
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:54

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page