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Transformations through Twitter: Television viewership and negotiations of power through media convergence

Bennett, Lucy 2011. Transformations through Twitter: Television viewership and negotiations of power through media convergence. Presented at: COST Action Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies, London, 31 August 2011.

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The growth and widespread use of social media is altering the viewing experience for some television audiences quite considerably. Viewers are increasingly integrating social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook into their TV-watching experience to collectively discuss programmes and live TV events as they happen. In sum, viewers are watching television with their laptops or mobile devices at hand, seemingly in an effort to transform their experience into a social, or community event (Makice, 2009). In this article, I will examine this growing intersecting media landscape of television and social media, considering the consequences of increased audience involvement within this convergence. Analysing the Twitter-led engagement of live viewers of a Channel 4 televised debate concerning the England riots of August 2011; I will unravel this cultural shift in television viewing, examining how audiences are collectively sharing their thoughts and comments, in synchronisation with the broadcast, and the important role that “liveness” (Auslander 2008) plays within this. In an effort to illuminate this process further and determine its effects on cultural industries, I will explore and question how TV networks and programmes are responding to this practice, through integration with this behaviour and their use of strategies to further engage audiences within this new paradigm. I argue that this collision of social media and television is working as a force of change for viewership, subsequently and powerfully influencing the ways in which audience and programmes engage with each other.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:57

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