Public knowledge beyond journalism : infotainment, satire and Australian television

Harrington, Stephen Matthew (2009) Public knowledge beyond journalism : infotainment, satire and Australian television. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis examines the changing relationships between television, politics, audiences and the public sphere. Premised on the notion that mediated politics is now understood “in new ways by new voices” (Jones, 2005: 4), and appropriating what McNair (2003) calls a “chaos theory” of journalism sociology, this thesis explores how two different contemporary Australian political television programs (Sunrise and The Chaser’s War on Everything) are viewed, understood, and used by audiences. In analysing these programs from textual, industry and audience perspectives, this thesis argues that journalism has been largely thought about in overly simplistic binary terms which have failed to reflect the reality of audiences’ news consumption patterns. The findings of this thesis suggest that both ‘soft’ infotainment (Sunrise) and ‘frivolous’ satire (The Chaser’s War on Everything) are used by audiences in intricate ways as sources of political information, and thus these TV programs (and those like them) should be seen as legitimate and valuable forms of public knowledge production. It therefore might be more worthwhile for scholars to think about, research and teach journalism in the plural: as a series of complementary or antagonistic journalisms, rather than as a single coherent entity.

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ID Code: 26675
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Recipient of 2009 Outstanding Thesies Award
Keywords: news, journalism, television, politics, public sphere, media audiences, breakfast television, satire, cultural chaos, intertextuality, televisual sphere, Sunrise, The Chaser, The Daily Show, media ethnography, ODTA
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 05 Aug 2009 05:19
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 01:38

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