You are on page 1of 62

CEDAR - Consortium on Emerging

Directions in Audience Research

Imagining a Future
for Audiences
Book of Abstracts
Audiences 2030
Imagining a Future
for Audiences
28-29 September 2017
Universidade Católica Portuguesa,
Lisboa, Portugal

Conference organized by CEDAR, in association with the ECREA
Audience and Reception Studies section and YECREA, with funding from
the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK

Book of abstracts edited by CEDAR network

September 2017

An electronic version of the book of abstracts can be downloaded from

Table of Contents


Booktubers, Bookstagramers and Goodreaders… An ecological aproach to
literary reception in the digital age .................................................................................................. 7

Why so quiet: Exploring different forms of silence in the digital public sphere .. 7

Exploring user agency in participatory journalism: How users are making use
of comment fields? ....................................................................................................................................... 8

“You live through that because your real life sucks” – Social network sites and
urban low-income youth .......................................................................................................................... 9

Commodifying the audience or challenging the mainstream? The audience as
provider of legitimation for curvy fashion bloggers ............................................................10

INTERPRETATION ON DIGITAL INTERFACES ............................... 11

Uses of Digital Social Networks: motives and strategies ...................................................11

Audience attitudes towards news personalisation: A multi-level study of
individual and national differences................................................................................................12

The Everywhere Museum of Everything: Audiences in Ubiquitous Blended
Urban Spaces .................................................................................................................................................13

Changes in researches about reception in the digital context: new ways of
observing the practices of the subjects.........................................................................................13

PUBLIC SERVICE AND PUBLIC CONNECTION ............................... 15

The fragmented audience: The televised debate as source of information and
engagement in election campaigns .................................................................................................15

From Public Service Media to Public Service Broadcasting ..........................................16

Vuka Sizwe (!): Participation Theory, Public Interest and Public Broadcasting
Audiences ........................................................................................................................................................17

The ¨Deep Story¨ about Journalism ................................................................................................17

Public service media in search of the elusive active audience ......................................18

INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH” ....................................................................... 19

Is there room for audiences? Primetime punditry in Portugal .....................................20

Holding to what is left: the telenovela in free-to-air Portuguese television..........21

A Cultural Conversation: dialogue about engagement across television industry
and academia ................................................................................................................................................22

Challenging people in and around memory institutions ...................................................22

Speaking to Stakeholders on the Ethics and Practices of Machine Mediation ...23


What Matters Most in Satisfying Theater Audiences?.........................................................24

How can you recognize the emotions of social media audience? .................................25

A proposal of an online methodology technique for researching quantitative
variables and qualitative aspects in young people’s audio-visual media use.......26

Texts and audiences: connection possibilities now and in the near future...........26

 .................................................. 28

Engaging with The Bridge: cultural citizenship, cross-border identities and
audiences as ‘regionauts’ .......................................................................................................................28

Stand-up, Ridicule and Struggles for Value: ‘Essex Girls’ in the Comedy
Audience ...........................................................................................................................................................29

Audience Engagement with Multi-Level Fictional Universes: The case of Game
of Thrones as a Comparative Study between Italy and New Zealand .......................29

Reality TV fame reloaded: The Bachelorette, fans, and subcultural celebrities
online ..................................................................................................................................................................30

Fiction as the arena of audiences to cope with politics .....................................................31

Watching Prime time Hindi serials with Gujarati- speaking Indian Hindu
diasporic women from the North-West of England. ..............................................................32

Skam: A teen serial where adult fans look for gratification ............................................32

British television dramas and its thriving Chinese online audiences ......................33

The fans on TV: how transmedia contents are changing and creating new
challenges to the media industries and to the own public ...............................................34

 ............................. 35

Mediatized Realities: searching for the individual’s algorithmical identities .....35

Media audiences imagining themselves in relation to future living ..........................36

Social impact of AI/Robots in Japan: the complexity model of communication in
the age of smart ...........................................................................................................................................37

Seeing Future Audience Practices Philosophically ..............................................................37

Thick-Big Descriptions ...........................................................................................................................38

 ..................... 39

Memories of Media Practices and of the Portuguese Empire: the case of
Portuguese Muslim of Indian and Mozambican origins ....................................................39

Affording unification and segmentation: dynamics of cross-media news
consumption in Kenya .............................................................................................................................40

Parasocial interactions and relationships in the social media’tized [sic!] world.
A theoretical and empirical contribution to parasocial activities ..............................41

The Mediatized World of Lisbon Folk Communities: a perspective by
themselves .......................................................................................................................................................41

Generations as audiences: perceptions of social acceleration in the context of
information society ...................................................................................................................................42

CULTURAL CITIZENSHIP ....................................................................... 43

Play the news. Unlock the next level of politics ......................................................................43

Audiences, expressive culture and public connection ........................................................44

Leveraging voice: What does academic video offer? ............................................................45

Offended Audiences in Britain and Germany: Disgust, Distinction and
Strategies of Displacement ...................................................................................................................45

Young people as creative users of new media in Latvia (2013- 2017) .........................46


Fan culture, cultural industry and cultural appropriation: exploring new
audiences through cultural multiverse ........................................................................................47

Games for Media and Information Literacy (MIL) – Developing MIL Skills in
Children through Digital Games Creation .................................................................................48

Old media, new audiences –New media, old audiences? Audiovisual media use
in the 21st century .....................................................................................................................................49

Content creation and dissemination in social networks site among youth
audiences .........................................................................................................................................................49

....................................................... 51

Assumptions for the investment in news formats aimed at younger audiences.51

News portraits among youngsters and adult groups ...........................................................52

Explaining low news consumption ..................................................................................................52

Introducing news media: approaching young audiences via YouTubers ...............53

Populous, peery, loyal, lingering? An analysis of online, overseas audiences for
UK news brands ...........................................................................................................................................54

AUDIENCES ACROSS PLATFORMS ..................................................... 55

Power transfer to the consumer or the ambivalence of control? .................................55

Persistent negative media experiences – new media, new challenges? ...................56

Iberian Radio Morning show Audiences: Portuguese and Spanish listeners in
2016/17 ................................................................................................................................................................57

Gender identity on Youtube.................................................................................................................57

The measurement of the television audience in the European context ...................58

Cross-media practices and meaning making from audiovisual fiction: Initial
findings of a case study in Brazil ......................................................................................................59

They Tube, I watch, we talk: YouTube's relevance in the lives of Portuguese
teenagers ..........................................................................................................................................................60

Seeking for a sense of place: beyond the digital space .......................................................61

The Possible Change in Audience Measurement ....................................................................61

The Blue Whale Online Game and its impact on Romanian mediatized world ...62

Participation: Consolidation and Rejection

Booktubers, Bookstagramers and Goodreaders… An
ecological aproach to literary reception in the digital age
José Miguel Tomasena - Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

The digital media ecosystem is changing how readers relate to their
literary consumption. This paper, based on a digital ethnography among
spanish-language booktubers, uses an ecological perspective to examine
how literary vloggers are using social media to build communities around
books, to reconfigure their own identity as “readers” and to change the
cultural prescription mechanisms of the literary field.
Eventhough the booktube phenomenon is based in video-sharing, this
paper argues that it wouldn’t be possible without other practices on the
digital media ecosystem, like publishing quotes on Tumblr, sharing
reading goals and book ratings in Goodreads, making literary memes in
Facebook, uploading photographs of books or underlined paragraphs in
Instagram or using Twitter to engage with their followers.

Why so quiet: Exploring different forms of silence in the
digital public sphere
Hilde Sakariassen - University of Bergen, Norway

Social networking sites have been theorized as a new generation of public
spheres, where technology offers citizens new platforms for public
deliberation. However, this does not mean that the full potential for civic
or political deliberation on these platforms is being utilized. Many users
rarely or hardly ever participate actively in discussions, and their reasons
for such silences merit further investigation. This paper will explore
patterns of non-participation in order to detect why social networking sites
do not live up to their potential as vibrant digital public spheres. The

findings are based on fresh empirical data from Norway, combining a
quantitative survey conducted spring 2017 with qualitative in-depth
interviews conducted in 2016. This material will be analysed using
background data to look for patterns in those who avoid participating and
those who speak out. Findings will be analyses in light of the theory of the
spiral of silence, which argues that people will evaluate the opinion
climate and be more inclined to keep their opinions to themselves if they
do not perceive to have the support of the majority. The resulting debate
will then again affect what people understand to be the “normal” opinion
climate, making the dominant opinion more visible and minority opinions
less visible, providing a skewed perspective. Recent findings from other
studies suggest that users of social network sites particularly evaluate the
tone of the discussion climate, meaning that they self-censor to shield
themselves from harsh reactions. This paper will investigate how this
form of silence works in conjunction with the spiral of silence theory.

Exploring user agency in participatory journalism: How
users are making use of comment fields?
Lia-Paschalia Spyridou, Konstantinos Vadratsikas, University of Cyprus,

Participation has become a key issue in contemporary journalism studies.
Both academic and broader industry debates have scrutinized this
development under labels such as ‘participatory journalism’, ‘audience
material’ and ‘reciprocal journalism’. These concepts may vary in
particular nuances, but agree on the premise that journalism is
witnessing new combinations of professional, participatory and
technological intermediation which have the capacity to erode the
established sender–receiver relationships and disrupt the monopoly of
well-rooted functions of professional journalism, namely agenda setting,
gatekeeping and framing. From a political participation standpoint,
participatory journalism departs from and builds upon a new paradigm of
civic power grounded in the promise of increased engagement and
participation bringing to the fore new opportunities of opinion formation
and deliberation.
Against this background the study aims to answer the question of “how
users are making use of comment fields?”. The study attempts a
methodological contribution by offering a way to analyse users’ comments
in reference to: (1) message characteristics, (2) nature of the discussion (3)
relation to the journalistic text and (5) communication purpose. The study

also offers empirical evidence based on approximately 2,700 comments
(168 articles) collected from four news organisations of different format
(alternative, legacy-neutral, mainstream-conservative and web-native-
detached) in Greece in 2015. Preliminary findings indicate the
normalization of commenting as a practice of opinion expression rather
than a discussion with deliberative characteristics. Also, the type of the
news organization proved a significant predictor of increased
argumentation and civility in news commenting.

“You live through that because your real life sucks” – Social
network sites and urban low-income youth
Marina Micheli, University of Zurich, Switzerland

In highly developed countries, the vast majority of youth are now on social
media notwithstanding their socioeconomic status, gender or ethnicity
(Hargittai 2007; Lenhart et al. 2010). Some research has shown that less
privileged youth might even be more likely to use or participate in those
sites than their more privileged counterparts (Correa 2016; Ahn 2011;
Micheli 2016). However, so far little is known about the implications of the
widespread adoption of social network sites by disadvantaged young users.
This paper contributes to the scholarship on “youthful audiences” through
a study about social media use by urban low-income youth. It moves
beyond deficit-based approaches and aims at gaining insights into the
experiences of marginalized young people (Alper, Katz, and Clark 2016).
The study adopts a qualitative methodology and investigates the topic
from a holistic perspective. Twenty-six young people aged 15 to 25 were
interviewed by the author in a large metropolitan area of Northern Italy
in 2016. Many respondents were unemployed and all came from low-
income families and working-class neighbourhoods. The research looked at
respondents’ subjective perspectives as a lens through which they identify
meanings and outcomes of participation on social media. Findings show
the “dark sides” of low-income youth participation, mainly deriving from a
profuse investment in social relations and self-presentation. Results also
show that no or little participation does not necessary signify less agency,
at the contrary it is often a conscious choice that leads to more favourable

Commodifying the audience or challenging the mainstream?
The audience as provider of legitimation for curvy fashion
Marco Pedroni, eCampus University, Italy

Over the past few years, there has been a growing academic interest in
fashion blogging and digital influencers. Much of this scholarly attention
appears to be justified by a concern about the way bloggers are
transforming the field of fashion by engaging readers and consumers as
already established players -such as fashion journalists and professionals-
are not able to. Fashion blogging, after an initial stage characterized by
independence and a second stage marked by a higher degree of
participation in the key activities of the fashion business (Findlay 2015),
has entered a new phase in which bloggers continue to play the role of
influentials, but in a less naïve manner, with a stronger entrepreneurial
approach and a more institutionalized role (Pedroni, Sadaba and
Sanmiguel 2017). The success of fashion bloggers would have not been
possible without the engagement of broad audiences. As to this point, the
question is how the audience contributes to the construction and
legitimation of bloggers-celebrities. It does so in two ways: directly and
indirectly. In the former case, audience provides ‘traffic’ to blogs and other
social media. The fan base is quantifiable in statistics, which in turn can
be used to compile classifications. The indirect way, on the other side,
relates to the fact that the traffic is read by institutional agents
(companies and media) as a form of legitimation and generates an ‘act of
faith’ in the blogger’s power.
This paper investigates the role of audience in curvy bloggers’ work. Plus-
size fashion influencers are paramount in this arena as they convey an
alternative ideal of beauty and body. Drawing on the analysis of a corpus
of 20 curvy blogs, compared to the results of a previous research based on
45 in-depth interviews with ‘mainstream’ fashion bloggers, I will argue
that, despite their counter-hegemonic potential as narratives of an
alternative ideal of body and beauty, many curvy blogs are not
significantly different in comparison with the ‘classical’ female outfit
blogs, where audience is commodified as a source of material income and
symbolic capital.

Interpretation on Digital Interfaces

Uses of Digital Social Networks: motives and strategies
Raquel Ferreira and Rita Espanha, UFS and CIES-IUL, Brazil and

The present article presents part of a qualitative-inductive study about
the reasons for the exposure of young people to advertising messages on
digital social networks. To do this, it was necessary to understand the
reasons and gratifications of young people for the use of their own
networks. One of the conditions that make this research relevant is the
possible identification between the reasons for the use and exposure to the
networks and the advertising messages that circulate in them. In a study
based on the Grounded Theory (Data Based Theory), thirty-eight young
people aged 18-24 were interviewed. The focus of this text is on the results
that reveal the motives, uses and gratifications of young people with
digital social networks, namely: 1. Identity Construction; 2. Vigilance; 3.
Social interaction; 4. Memories; 5. Learning/Counseling 6.
Entertainment/Humor Management. The text also shows some strategies
of interaction with the networks, when these were especially evident.
Although the WEB environment brings new possibilities of socialization
and cultural mobility, especially in social networks, where the
construction and maintenance of the ties are possible through
multidirectional communication, the expectations about the patterns
recognition of connections between its users are less evident. On the basis
of this recognition is the fact that the basic principles that drive
behaviours in these new media are the same as those of traditional media
and/or are inherent in their own functionalities. Thus, we can conclude
that looking at the scenario of the media consumption in the future is

possible if we understand what motivates the audience to use these new

Audience attitudes towards news personalisation: A multi-
level study of individual and national differences
Neil Thurman, Judith Moeller, Natali Helberger and Damian Trilling,
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and University of Amsterdam,
Germany and The Netherlands

The personalisation of media content is already an important
characteristic of digital media interfaces, and is likely to grow in
importance in the future. However, audiences’ attitudes towards
personalisation, and any differences at the individual or country level, are
relatively poorly understood. We address this lack of knowledge via a
multi-level regression analysis of data from a survey of online news
consumers in 26 countries (N=53,330). The results show some
demographic differences, e.g. younger audience members value automated
personalisation more, a trait shared by those who regularly access news
via social media and mobile phones. Our analysis also indicates that
audiences regard personalisation technology as a relatively neutral
arbiter: where there is reduced trust in institutions such as the
government or the media, audiences view algorithmic recommendations as
a viable, and even preferable, alternative. However, our study reveals the
concerns that surround the technology too. Audiences—particularly the
less well educated—have relatively little confidence that data on the
behaviour of their friends is a good basis for predicting their own news
interests, believing that such peer-based personalisation could mean
missing out on important information. This study’s results have relevance
for a variety of stakeholders in audience research. Its findings show more
work is needed to understand: the role of algorithms in audiences’ news
repertoires, and how they shape behaviour; the values embedded in
technology, and the societal role of recommenders; and how to produce
personalisation that meets audiences’ desire to be free of filter bubbles of
their friends’ making.

The Everywhere Museum of Everything: Audiences in
Ubiquitous Blended Urban Spaces
Pedro Alves da Veiga, CIAC-Centro de Investigação em Artes e
Comunicação, Universidade Aberta, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal

The globally aestheticised society thrives on the addiction to the
spectacularisation of reality in everyday situations, centred on seduction
and celebration. Everyone is expected to have an aestheticised life, like an
artist, and share aestheticised pieces of evidence – of the carefully posed
self, landscapes, food, or social and cultural gatherings, among many other
topics. Experience is now intimately linked to onlineness and social
recognition. If virtual reality tried to create a virtual world inside the
computer, the paradigm has now shifted to the computer that extends and
amplifies the material world, making it anachronistic to think about the
real/virtual dichotomy. Embodied virtuality places people in the centre of
interconnected and permanently accessible networks and location becomes
important once again through mobile devices and interfaces. Physical
experiences are increased, rather than hampered or cancelled, by
technology. Through networked devices that have become so ubiquitous,
the scanning process of culture is comprehensive. Creation, curating and
enjoyment intertwine, and geo-referenced artworks, images, videos, music
and sounds hover like virtual echoes wherever there is mobile network
coverage and GPS signals throughout the world. People feel they are
physically within the system, as opposed to being outsiders. The
individual feels empowered and is relentlessly lead towards creativity and
innovation. “The Everywhere Museum of Everything” is the new urban
space, where each corner of every street is filled with data, layers of
spontaneous and curated content, digital photos, comments, videos,
artistic creations or holiday memories, are waiting to be exhibited on any
visitor’s mobile device.

Changes in researches about reception in the digital context:
new ways of observing the practices of the subjects
Fernanda Chocron Miranda and Laura Hastenpflug Wottrich, Federal
University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Even though there are changes in the ways of investigating audiences, one
of the characteristics that still define such studies is the construction of
knowledge through empirical researches with subjects. In this sense, the
expansion of Communication and Information Technologies and the

augmentation of technology as a cultural form pose new challenges as
regards this type of research, traditionally developed in Latin America.
This text focuses on one of such challenges: changes in the ways of
observing and collecting data about the practices of individuals, especially
when interacting in digital and online contexts. Such reflection will be
based on two on-going researches about: (i) practices of contesting
advertising carried out in social network sites; (ii) reconfiguration of the
“television”, considering the consumption practices in multiple screens.
We sustain that such investigations will evidence the possibility of
accessing data in a diachronic manner and the role of the presence of the
researcher. One of the specificities of the contemporaneous consumption
practices are that they are registered in the networks, enabling the access
to data and data capture after they occurred. The diachronic contact based
on communication interaction of subjects widens the possibility of
analysis, but it demands the capacity of the researcher regarding
systematization and treatment of a greater volume of information. Such
process also has ethical implications concerning a “silent” observation,
without the occurrence of the previous contact with the individuals.
Therefore, the presence of the researcher may be conceived as a research
decision that affects the forms of data capture and analysis.

Public Service and Public Connection

The fragmented audience: The televised debate as source of
information and engagement in election campaigns
Eirik Vatnøy, University of Bergen, Norway

This paper explores how Norwegian voters use televised debates as
sources of information in election campaigns. Findings are presented from
nine focus group interviews with television audiences across different age
groups. The interviews are conducted during the Norwegian
parliamentary election campaign in the summer of 2017. Traditionally,
televised election debates are prominent in Scandinavia and have played
an important role in political debate. The debates have ensured that
different voter groups have a common knowledge base and a collective
basis for political discussion. However, this position is threatened as the
media campaign becomes increasingly fragmented. New media challenge
the news media’s role in providing a common campaign arena. Like other
western democracies, Scandinavian countries are experiencing increased
political polarization and declining voter turnout. New voter groups, like
youths and immigrants, show low participation in democratic
organizations and processes. These same groups tend not to follow the
televised election campaign. In order to better understand how the
fragmentation of the audience affects political discourse, we need more
knowledge of how different audience groups interact with different genres.
Here, various techniques are used to stimulate group discussions, which

give us an insight into the kind of information that the voters get from the
debates, as well as insight into what characterizes engagement in this
audience setting. In particular, the informants are asked what kind of
information they expect to get from the debates and how the debates
match these expectations.

From Public Service Media to Public Service Broadcasting
Mercedes Muñoz Saldaña and Ana Azurmendi, University of Navarra,

1. Introduction and current status: Last December the EBU (European
Broadcasting Union) published the Public Service Media (PSM) roadmap
in the document "Vision 2020. Connect, Grow and Influence". Its Director
General Ingrid Deltenre argues that the PSM have never played such an
important role in public discourse before. However, the debate on the
conversion of the PSB to the PSM is still alive with bitter opposing
positions. At the core of the discussion it seems indisputable that the
future of the PSM demands an active citizen participation.
2. Research objective: To study the role of citizen participation in the
Spanish PSM. Specifically, in the case of the national public audio visual
service (RTVE) and a sample of regional services (Catalonia, Basque
Country, Andalusia and Galicia).
3. Methods: Performing three types of analysis:
- Legal: an assessment of how the audio visual legislation, national and
regional (of the chosen sample), regulates the issue of citizen participation
in the PSM.
- Professional: a study on how this regulation is defined in the
professional, daily work, of: RTVE (as a national PSM) and regional public
- Social: survey of 1,500 people with questions about what they know
(existence and use) and what they expect (demand) of the channels of
participation in Spanish PSM.
4. Results: Proposals for the improvement of citizen participation channels
in national and regional PSM.

Vuka Sizwe (!): Participation Theory, Public Interest and
Public Broadcasting Audiences
Viola C. Milton and Winston Mano, University of South Africa and
University of Westminster, South Africa and United Kingdom

“Vuka Sizwe (translation: Nation Arise!) is the second part of the South
African public (service) broadcaster - the SABC’s - slogan. Ostensibly
addressing the South African nation, the first part reads, “This is your
SABC”. This slogan ostensibly alludes to the importance of public
participation in broadcasting. Public service broadcasting, it is argued,
should at the very least serve a public interest role. Through a focus on
participation theory – in particular as envisioned through the lenses of
Afrokology and Ubuntism – the aim of this paper is to reconstruct public
interest theory according to the life worlds of public service television
audiences. The overarching goal of this paper is therefore to let Southern
African television audiences tell their public narratives and to connect
these narratives to both social practices (engagement with public service
broadcasting) and discursive practices (media policy and public service
broadcasting). Our aim here is to give voice to audience’s public narratives
and their sense-making of social reality in relation to public broadcasting
in Southern Africa. The empirical material comes from our interview
research on Southern African broadcasting audiences in South Africa and
Zimbabwe, including assessments of their engagement via social media.
To this end then, the paper places Southern African public service
broadcasting audiences at the centre of an exploratory approach towards a
retheorised understanding of public interest in a postcolonial, post-
analogue broadcasting environment, which emphasizes a bottom up and
African-centred approach to participation.

The ¨Deep Story¨ about Journalism
Ruth A. Palmer, IE University, Spain

The recent increase in populist anti-media rhetoric in the US and Europe
makes understanding how the public understands and views journalism a
matter of urgency. This paper explores three “folk theories2 of the press
that emerged in interviews with 83 ordinary people who were named in
mainstream news stories in the US. Study participants were asked to
describe their interactions with journalists and their reactions to the news
coverage in which they had appeared. However, many interpolated their
remarks with comments about journalism more broadly and compared

their own immediate experiences with expectations they had formed based
on their experiences as news consumers. Thus, their folk theories about
how journalism does and should relate to citizens emerged naturally.
First, many interviewees felt ¨good¨ reporters should never seek out
subjects or quotes to fit into stories that had largely been written already.
This is noteworthy because doing so is a fairly common reporting practice.
Second, interviewees believed that journalists should feel at least
somewhat responsible for the outcomes of their stories, which contradicts
many journalists´ perceptions of ethical reporting. I conclude by describing
a broader narrative about the relationship between the news media and
the citizenry that emerged in interviews - what Arlie Hochschild would
call a “deep story”. I found that subjects consistently spoke not of
journalists and the media as on their side against powerful people and
institutions, but as powerful people and institutions in their own right,
who were just as likely - if not more - to be against them.

Public service media in search of the elusive active audience
Alessandro Nanì, University of Tartu and Tallinn University, Estonia

Television is adapting to todays’ reality by exploiting the possibilities
offered by cross-media in the attempt to address the evident loss of
audiences. Media scholars have recently been reflecting upon this,
resulting in the proliferation of terms, like public service media (Bardoel
and Lowe, 2007), pointing to media that has as its core practices of
crossmediality seeking to include audiences in various forms of
participatory behaviour. The shift from a classical broadcasting approach
to multi-layered productions brings with it challenges in the relationship
between producers and audiences.
The aim of this study is to explore the differences and similarities between
the ‘model reader’ and the actual reading made by audiences that
sometimes result in forms of “aberrant decoding” (Eco, 1968) The
empirical work combines in-depth semi-structured interviews carried out
with the creative teams of three different programs, that have aspirations
to be crossmediatic, produced by the public service media of Estonia and
Finland; and focus groups both with the imagined audience, defined by the
producers, and actual audiences of the considered productions. The
findings indicate that the dichotomy between the ideal decoding and the
expected one, it is often the result of a twofold issue. First, producers and
their creative teams tend to position themselves as media gate keepers
failing to truly embrace the participatory promises typical of crossmedia.

Second, the aberrant decoding of texts is the results of forms of cultural
practices that, in certain cases, are opposite to the to the participatory
elements presents in cross-media productions.

Panel “Bridging the divide between academic
and industrial research”

Is there room for audiences? Primetime punditry in Portugal
Rita Figueiras, Catholic University Lisbon, Portugal

Holding to what is left: the telenovela in free-to-air Portuguese
Eduardo Cintra Torres, Catholic University Lisbon, Portugal

A Cultural Conversation: dialogue about engagement across
television industry and academia
Annette Hill, Lund University, Sweden

Challenging people in and around memory institutions
Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Malmo University, Sweden

Speaking to Stakeholders on the Ethics and Practices of Machine
Lizzie Jackson, London South Bank University, United Kingdom

This panel critically reflects on bridging the divide between academic and
industry research, exploring the value of dialogue across television
industry and academia for the future of audience research. It takes as a
starting point reflection on industry-academic collaborative research,
using examples of research in the television industry in Portugal, the
museum sector in Estonia, journalism and public service media in Europe,
and international commercial television industries. The authors examine
their experience of research, balancing on the one hand stakeholder
concerns, and the value of research that speaks to commercial production
practices, policy sectors, and public institutions, and on the other hand
academic research concerns, and the value of this work for enhancing
understanding of audiences, past, present and future.

Each of the presentations addresses the personal, professional and public
values of research across industry and academic institutions. Figueiras
and Cintra Torres address Portuguese television from public and
commercial perspectives, including research on elite political figures in
punditry on television, which minimise audiences as stakeholders in
public dialogue, and research on the success of telenovelas in
entertainment television within the constraints of commercial pressures
and fragmentation of audiences. Hill reflects on the relationship work of
collaborative research with an international production company and the
value of dialogue about the changing semantics of engagement for the
future of audience research. Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt and Jackson reflect
on enhancing citizen participation in the museum sector, and journalism
and European public service media, looking at the interplay between the
physical place, technological and mediated spaces of these institutions and
participatory opportunities for civic cultures.

Is there room for audiences? Primetime punditry in Portugal
Rita Figueiras, Catholic University Lisbon, Portugal

The Portuguese media sector suffers from the heritage of a close
relationship with politics at different levels – organisational, economic,
and ideological –, but also from a legacy of aversion to media
instrumentality among journalists and a dependency on market
mechanisms. Between confrontation and consensus news media are
subject to potentially conflicting prescriptions, as they have to navigate
through convergent and divergent interests. This paper explores the

dynamics of this constricted site of struggle through the looking glass of
punditry, but thinking about the public. How much attention is given to
public needs and rights to diverse and plural opinions is a key question in
this study grounded on qualitative data drawn from interviews with
journalists and television news directors.
Mainstream politicians with past and present top political positions
dominate primetime punditry, and in spite of the adversarial attitude of
journalists towards politicians, both in the news and interviews,
commentary is not a site of struggle. When journalists conduct opinion
slots they deliberately hand over control to pundits. The paper argues that
punditry is primarily used as a way of balancing the multiple interests of
political stakeholders for mutual gain – as a strategic mechanism to cope
with the multiple demands in the political environments in which media
industries operate and to bridge the divide between stakeholders inside
and outside of the media companies. Hence, if the news media have the
responsibility of serving the public, when it comes to primetime punditry
audience seems to be a neglected stakeholder.

Holding to what is left: the telenovela in free-to-air
Portuguese television
Eduardo Cintra Torres, Catholic University Lisbon, Portugal

The continuous erosion of generalist television channels and mass
audiences implies that programmers have to choose carefully the content
that may still attract the largest number of viewers whilst at the same
time having meagre budgets at their disposal. This causes a vicious circle
of repeat programming, a reliance on formats, and programming for older
generations who still watch television in Portugal. In this time of change
and fragmentation news and telenovelas are the only daily genres present
in the three national FTA networks that still attract large although
diminishing audiences. This presentation deals with the production of
telenovelas, the only steady fictional content production of cultural
industries in this country. The research draws on a six month in-depth
research of the production of a telenovela in 2015, including interviews
with producers, directors, technicians and actors, and a focus group with
frequent viewers. The main objective was to analyse how programmers
craft a telenovela, from meetings to filming to postproduction, balancing
the concerns of the broadcaster and commercial sponsors with the creative
demands by loyal viewers. The second objective was to analyse if
commercial pressures placed barriers on the creative practices of
producers and writers and actors. The presentation reflects on the

research, its impact within the industry and responses by the public to the
book (Torres 2015), and considers the value of bridging the divide between
the academy, the industry research and viewers’ concerns.

A Cultural Conversation: dialogue about engagement across
television industry and academia
Annette Hill, Lund University, Sweden

This paper critically reflects on the value of dialogue across television
industry and academia in enhancing understanding of engagement and
disengagement with screen culture. It takes as a starting point reflections
on an industry-academic collaborative project between Lund
University/Endemol Shine. The Media Experiences project conducted
production and audience research on a range of drama and entertainment
during a three year period in several countries (2014-2016). The method of
a cultural conversation was designed in order to highlight the value of
listening and respect (Sennett 2003) across creative production/audience
practices. We listened to the voices of producers and the values they
created alongside the voices of audiences and their experiences. As such,
academic researchers became a bridge across the industry-audience
divide, humanising audiences so that alongside ratings performance and
social media analytics, producers could get a sense of engagement as
cultural resonance.
The research enabled an internal understanding of creative values in
Endemol Shine production practices (Macintyre, Fulton and Paton 2016);
it also highlighted a revaluation of audience engagement with content
across a spectrum of platforms, including formal and informal media
economies (Lobato and Thomas 2012). From a more theoretical perspective
the intense relationship work of the research suggests a new semantics of
engagement to understand the cultural resonance of television for future
audiences (Hill 2016, 2017). For industry stakeholders, an engagement
strategy needs to have a portfolio of connection points in order to capture
the interplay between varieties of audiences and their spectrum of
engagement with cross media content.

Challenging people in and around memory institutions
Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Malmo University, Sweden

With the developments of society, onslaught of neoliberalism, changes in
technological landscape, etc. memory institutions like museums and
libraries are in a position of having to re-evaluate their place in society.
That means also to re-evaluate their relationships to people outside the
institutions. Having conducted research experiments in Estonian National
Museum with a team of fellow researchers’, the experience shows that the
change of understanding as to what is the museum’s relationship to the
people outside is slow to come. This paper, while mostly theoretical, will
draw on the experiments, studies of the University of Tartu Library as
well as the works of the research team (Tatsi, 2013; Lepik, 2013; Lotina,
2016; Einasto, 2016) to discuss the evolving relationship between
museums and other memory institutions like libraries and their
audiences, visitors, patrons, users and participants. Shifting power-
relations from participatory initiatives and changing societal expectations
to the institutions place the memory institutions in a difficult position
where they need to lose some of their authoritarian position to in order to
accommodate the changing needs and expectations from some of their
audiences. At the same time, other audiences expect the authority and
truth claims of the institution to remain the same, thus the memory
institutions need to navigate the conflicting interests and expectations.
This puts pressures on the staff of the institution as to whether the old
practices are sufficient or do we manage to challenge them in a
meaningful way to all parties involved. Technologies (2014, Peter Lang).

Speaking to Stakeholders on the Ethics and Practices of
Machine Mediation
Lizzie Jackson (London South Bank University, United Kingdom

The digital media landscape is concerned with the diffusion of digital
goods through networks of computer networks in a public sphere that’s
increasingly mediated by machine. Predictive Analytics and Behavioural
Targetting process audiences into prospect groups to enable eCommerce.
Stakeholders engaged in such audience analysis for commercial gain are
likely to have risen by the year 2030. Overall, the gift economy associated
with digital media often commodifies audiences and introduces risk; “Free
means more ads, and that means less privacy” (Anderson, 2010). Media
firms and other influencers who are investing in the control of message
flows through mediation by machine without suitable counter measures
could cause the narrowing of information, the lowering of quality
discourse, fake news, and filter bubbles. How can audience researchers

monitoring the ethics and practices of machine mediation engage with
stakeholders such as policy makers, audience advocacy groups, and
industry in order to ensure the quality and independence of civic discourse
can be maintained going forward?

Methodological innovations and challenges

What Matters Most in Satisfying Theater Audiences?
Angela Chang, University of Macau

Understanding audiences’ purchase intentions is a key area of focus for
marketers, given its effect on survival and growth in competitive
environments. The performing arts represent a leisure market sector that
provides educational, entertainment, and experiential services. In this
study, four types of relationships based on satisfaction, preference,
positive emotions, product involvement, and repurchasing behaviours are
modelled to illustrate how purchasing/consumption influences the
repurchase intentions of performing arts audiences. A questionnaire was
adapted to an east-Asian cultural performance to a sample of 671
audiences and evaluated relationships using structural equation
modelling techniques. The result indicates that audiences’ satisfaction was
not the most direct determinant of their own repurchase intention, as
initially theorized. Although consumer satisfaction was also a predictor of
repurchase intent, this relationship was mediated by several factors. We
show that audience preferences and involvement are the most proximal

predictors of repurchase intent. Three factors of involvement were
identified to act as triggers of repurchase intent: audiences’ enjoyment of
the performances, their familiarity with the actors, and their identity of
perceiving themselves as fans. Moreover, results indicate a negative
relationship between repertoires induced emotions and future repurchase
intent. The limitations and implications for theory-building and
managerial practice are concluded.

How can you recognize the emotions of social media
Anda Rozukalne, Riga Stradins University, Latvia

In 2011, in a faculty of Communication at Riga Stradins University
(Latvia) an Internet aggressiveness index was established by which
comments section content of largest news sites of Latvia was analysed in
online mode. Using keywords and machine learning approach, the level of
audience’s aggression is analysed daily using the index.
However, aggression and hate speech are not the only vivid
manifestations of online communication. How to collect data on mediation
of emotion that Joanne Garde-Hansen and Kristyna Gorton (2013) call an
online 'emotional noise'? In 2015, using the database of aggressiveness
index, RSU researchers in collaboration with specialists of RSU
Psychosomatics clinic created the Internet audience emotion recognition
Its structure is based on the assumption that emotion of Internet users'
can be recognised by the language. The model combines various groups of
emotions: sadness, anxiety, aggression and positive emotions. To recognise
them, researchers used both - specific words describing emotions (interest,
shame, curiosity, grief, resentment, envy, jealousy, guilt, fear, shock etc.)
and synonyms, idioms, epithets.
With a help of emotion detection model, several different discussions
devoted to various topics on Facebook were analysed. A pilot study data
show that the analysis of Facebook users’ language in discussions does not
correspond to the emotional evaluation that is given by the "Emoticons".
The audience frequently expresses sadness, anger, shame, much less
common are interest, love, joy.

A proposal of an online methodology technique for
researching quantitative variables and qualitative aspects in
young people’s audio-visual media use
Carmen Rodrigo Jordán, University of Navarra, Spain

People from 18 to 24 years old constitute the audience segment with the
lowest television penetration rate and with one of the highest rates
concerning Internet consumption in Spain. Methodologies developed so far
to study young people’s audio-visual media use have traditionally
consisted in quantitative methods (like surveys or electronic measuring),
qualitative methods (as ethnography or focus groups), or the combination
or triangulation of both kinds. This paper proposes an online methodology
technique to study quantitative variables about this audience segment’s
audio-visual consumption and also to delve into their perceptions about
the media landscape in the digital context and about their own media use.
Such proposal belongs to a PhD research methodology in development. It
has been conceived to gather data online and to complement it with
information obtained from in-person focus groups. Based on literature
review of social research methodologies via the Internet, surveys and
other participative methodology techniques, this work tries to answer the
following questions: 1) Is it viable to design an online research
methodology that combines quantitative variables and qualitative
questions following the purpose of this PhD research? 2) Is it appropriate
to introduce participative elements or gamification in such online
methodology that researches young audiences? 3) Which is the most
suitable way of combining online and offline methodologies so that focus
groups will help to complete and interpret data gathered by means of the
online technique? Last, a draft of the design for the online methodology
technique is presented.

Texts and audiences: connection possibilities now and in the
near future
Antonella Mascio and Piergiorgio Degli Esposti, University of Bologna,

In the current mediascape, the text is taking on new meanings and
configurations. These forms of "expansion" (Caldwell 2004) determine the
emergence of more ancillary joints, scattered on different platforms,
connected in most cases to the network environments. This kind of
"textual amplification" is forecasted to increase in the near future, as a

consequence of the development and diffusion of new devices and
applications. Monitor and understand the attitude of the audience means
therefore also consider the different and possible uses that may result
from the fruition and consumption of a medial product.
In the study of audiences-users is crucial to consider the most current
developments affecting texts and technologies, uses and logics. And it is
important to investigate the developments of the spectacle/performance
paradigm developed by Abercrombie and Longhurst (1998), and the
changes that text-medial fruition causes in the general daily practices
(Couldry 2010; Ito 2010). It can be said, in fact, that the scope of the
interests of the media is more and more the entire social scope: "the media
are no longer just what they see, hear or read - the media are now what
people do." (Graham and Young, 2012, p.10).
Based on these premises, what we intend to investigate concerns in
particular the observation of the audience online activities, in specific
digital environments (such as Facebook and Instagram), connected to a
panel of Quality Dramas (Stranger things, Netflix 2016-; House of Cards,
Netflix 2013-; Black Mirror, Endemol 2011-). Our analyse includes infact
the observation of the communicative practices used and shared in these
spaces, as well as the type of discussions and activities related to the
television texts.
Key questions driving our survey in progress are:
• For the audiences, what are today the required skills in order to benefit
fully of media texts?
• What kind of practices are used by the audience / users in their Quality
Dramas fruition?
• Does the Quality Drama view include also its daily monitoring and
developments on social network pages?
• What kind of relationship is taking place between audience and texts in
the new media environment?
• According to data collected, is it possible to hypothesize for the future an
ideal type of "fruition" of quality dramas?

Television Reception Studies

Engaging with The Bridge: cultural citizenship, cross-border
identities and audiences as ‘regionauts’
Tina Askanius, Lund University, Sweden

This article explores civic engagement with the Danish/Swedish crime
series The Bridge (SVT/DR 2011-) based on qualitative interviews with
113 audiences and drawing on the notion of cultural citizenship. The
perspective of cultural citizenship, as understood and operationalized
mainly by Hermes (2005) is married with critical perspectives on the
crime drama genre and its audiences along with cultural analysis of the
construction of and engagement with the cross-border region in which the
drama is set. The analysis shows that civic engagement with the crime
series is prompted through the building of community and allegiances
through which audiences feel connected. This argument unfolds in three
main analytical sections detailing how articulations of community are
focused around distinct yet overlapping dimensions of community as 1) a
national social ritual, 2) a sense of Nordic community and finally 3)
community as regional identity and a sense of belonging to a borderless
utopia of Öresund – the integrated region between the two countries in
which the drama is set. In so doing, the article offers rich insights into

how audiences shape civic identities as members of nation states,
historical and cultural regions and as border-crossers between these geo-
cultural entities in dialogue with popular culture and around the
boundary-work of the different imagined communities offered by such

Stand-up, Ridicule and Struggles for Value: ‘Essex Girls’ in
the Comedy Audience
Adam Carter, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

This paper presents findings from a qualitative study carried out on how
audiences of stand-up comedy are entangled in ‘value struggles’ (Skeggs
and Loveday, 2012). It focuses in on a group who through classed and
gendered ridicule are often drawn as valueless – women from Essex, or
‘Essex Girls’. Using material from a video observation of a London comedy
club and a subsequent focus group discussion, the paper explores how a
group of women from Essex negotiate their value in the face of Essex girl-
based ridicule, experienced whilst they were part of a live comedy
audience. The analysis reveals an ambivalence in how the group utilise
and view their ‘Essex Girl’ status that at times challenges the view that
this is a valueless identification. During their audience experience, the
women appear to revel in the Essex girl role, playing along with the
ridicule to become ‘the funniest bit’ of the night, and garnering value from
this. In the focus group discussion, however, the women disidentify from
their own behaviour in the comedy club. Shame takes over, and their
exuberant Essex-ness, allowed in the context of a comedy audience,
becomes a threat to their person-value. The paper concludes by
considering if the identifications and valuations performed in the audience
have any hope of escaping into everyday life, easing future value
struggles. It suggests the possibility, but that this rests on comedians
taking seriously their powerful role in validating and revaluing subject
positions and identifications.

Audience Engagement with Multi-Level Fictional Universes:
The case of Game of Thrones as a Comparative Study
between Italy and New Zealand
Carmen Spano, University of Auckland, New Zealand

In the current multi-modal environment rich in on-demand content,
audiences operate as active users of media content by exercising control
over their viewing schedules, and by integrating media texts into their
lives according to new patterns of consumption.
My analysis is structured as a comparative study between two countries -
New Zealand and Italy – and focuses on the relationship between national
audiences and the transmedia structure of the popular television series
Game of Thrones. The show’s imaginary universe has been conceived in a
way that allows complex and diverse forms of audience engagement.
Indeed, Game of Thrones’ trans-media narratives constitute a “world-
building experience, unfolding content and generating the possibilities for
the story to evolve with new and pertinent content” (Gambarato 2012,
p.4). Game of Thrones’ multi-level architecture offers audience members
different venues of consumption, as well as the possibility to appropriate
original media content in order to produce and distribute new content as
the result of individuals’ free labour. This means that convergence
(Jenkins 2006) can become a ‘field of struggle’ between media
conglomerates and empowered consumers.
The investigation of national audiences’ engagement with Game of
Thrones’ trans-media framework, therefore, aims at identifying audiences’
practices as determined by their exploitation of the universe of the text
and their ability to re-work/re-use original material from that universe in
alternative ways, outside of the established paths provided by traditional
media producers in the first place.

Reality TV fame reloaded: The Bachelorette, fans, and
subcultural celebrities online
Florencia García-Rapp, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

This research project examines processes of celebrification aided by digital
media (social media) engagement of and interactions with audiences and
fans. Theoretically, it considers previous works on reality TV fame and
views them in light of new media affordances for popularity development.
Empirically, the study looks at two cases of dynamic, accelerated paths to
fame, where reality television participants turn into popular personalities
and the process is influenced by fan interaction and engagement through
social media technologies. The analysed processes of celebrification are
enabled in this case by the original show “The Bachelor”, and its spin-offs
“The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise”. Chosen female members of
the audience turn from regular viewers of The Bachelor, into one of 22

contestants during the following season (participant) and one reaches the
peak of attention and pinnacle of popularity by taking the role of
protagonist (lead role), the leading figure of the next Bachelorette season.
Members of the audience develop into contestants who then become
“subcultural celebrities” (Hills, 2006). To assess the workings and
reworking of these fame cycles, as well as fans’ reception of these
personalities, the contestants’ Facebook and Instagram profiles are
analysed performing qualitative visual and textual analysis.

Fiction as the arena of audiences to cope with politics
Beatriz Inzunza-Acedo and Tanía Lucía Cobos, Universidad de Monterrey
and Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Mexico and Spain

House of Cards is a TV series that became internationally popular after its
launch in 2013 through Netflix. Its controversial narrative along with the
evident interaction between audience-followers in social media and the
production team have achieved a strong engaged community.
The study that will be partly presented in this abstract had the objective
to analyse the Facebook page @HouseOfCardsLatinoamerica from
January/2016 to January/2017. A total of 44 publications were collected
from the Facebook page, as well as 38,127 comments by followers. A third
part of the comments done to these publications were from Mexico,
followed by Argentina, Spain, Chile and Colombia.
Three types of comments were identified: 1) Related to the narrative,
characters or production of HOC; 2) Political discussions; and 3)
Conversations between users. An important subcategory was the
comparison between characters and events from HOC to real politics of
US, Mexico, Argentina, Nicaragua and Colombia. A lot of the comments
had a response from the Facebook page, which show a “dialogue” between
HOC and its audiences.
Preliminary conclusions lead to discuss about how followers seek for a
dialogue with their favourite TV shows, whether they acknowledge the
fictional element of it or not. Some of the comments showed a relationship
with characters (“I love the Underwoods”, “Underwood for President”),
while others appreciated the production (“Great show”). Also, the using of
HOC as an arena to discuss politics, since frequently the followers
compared characters to politicians in different countries, or their
manipulative or corruptive behaviours with different governments.

Watching Prime time Hindi serials with Gujarati- speaking
Indian Hindu diasporic women from the North-West of
Mita Lad, Edge Hill University, United Kingdom

Feminist television scholars, such as Ien Ang, Charlotte Brunsdon and
Christine Geraghty played a vital role in developing our understanding of
what and how women watched television in the 1980s – particularly
women’s consumption of soap operas. However, there are groups of
women, for example, Black and Asian women, whose consumption at this
time was overlooked. Therefore, my research has focused on an
understudied and largely overlooked television audience – older women
from the Indian Hindu diaspora living in the UK. I build on the
foundations established by television scholars of the 1980s and bring in
scholarship from India help understand the viewing practices of Indian
diasporic women in the UK.
This paper is a discussion of the viewing habits that have been observed
amongst a small group of Gujarati speaking Indian Hindu diasporic
women living in the North west of England. The research focuses on the
women’s daily consumption of prime time Hindi serials on transnational
digital networks like Zee TV and Star. The observations reveal, on the one
hand the traditional manner in which television is still being viewed by
these women but on the other hand, the influence of other technologies on
their viewing practices.

Skam: A teen serial where adult fans look for gratification
Synnøve Lindtner and John Magnus Dahl, University of Bergen, Norway

The Norwegian web-series Skam, produced by public broadcaster NRK,
originally had «girls 16» as target group. While having connected
teenagers from all over the world, and arguably succeeded with its
didactic goals, Skam also has acquired a large adult fanbase. This
escalated during the third season, treating a gay romance.
Adult fans are visible in Facebook groups, where they create social
communities and express fan gratifications quite far from Skam’s stated
intention. There are for instance strong wishes for more idyllic scenes
between the romantic couple, and alluding to sexual themes. Writing,
reading and discussing fan-fic is an important activity, and it is likely to
entail gender-conservative narratives.

Why has a different audience than the target group embraced Skam, and
how do they find gratifications in the show so different from the creators’
intentions? This highlights an oppositional reading of popular culture, and
how the Internet makes this possible. Our hypothesis is that Skam
embeds an untraditional relationship within a traditional high-romance
narrative that the fans use as a self-help tool. Furthermore these
interpretations, from a sociological angle, give insights to contemporary
norms of couplehood among adults.
We will conduct textual analysis and audience research: analyzing
conversations on Facebook and interviewing some of the more active
participants. The aim is to understand what makes Skam fascinating for
adults, what functions this fan community has and the norms that govern
it – and ultimately how a teen series can have a social function beyond its
target group and the creators intentions.

British television dramas and its thriving Chinese online
Rui Xu, Aarhus University, Denmark

Contemporary British television dramas such as Sherlock, Black Mirror
and Downton Abbey are enjoying a surging popularity in China, in spite of
the fact that they were virtually unknown just a few years ago.
Commentators on global television are observing a massive demand for
British Television dramas in China with a 40% year-on-year rise to 17
million GBP in 2014, which makes China the most intriguing market for
UK producers.
This strong position as reflected in the surging popularity of British
television dramas has, in turn, benefitted significantly from the
advancement of Internet technology. Since 2012, a number of major video
websites including,, and Tecent among
others, have launched streaming television channels dedicated to
broadcasting British television dramas (NetEase 2013). As the popularity
of British television dramas continues to soar, associated fan groups are
becoming increasingly active on numerous, different social media
platforms, which attract thousands to millions of followers almost on a
daily basis. Wide-ranging and impassioned online discussions about the
viewed British television dramas in particular, and British popular
culture in general are taking place at an unprecedented rate.
As such, drawing on studies on transnational television and online
audience, and using virtual ethnography as a crucial method on Chinese

microblog Weibo for data collection, this paper seeks to examine the
perceived influence of British television dramas on the social and cultural
reality of thriving Chinese online audiences.

The fans on TV: how transmedia contents are changing and
creating new challenges to the media industries and to the
own public
Renata Cerqueira, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil

The ways that public has been participating of TV programs have been
changing along the years, and some pioneers experiences have been
happening in Brazil. The telenovelas, a serial fiction format which
episodes are released while the next ones are being written, have been
showing signs that the TV will be more open to fans participations on the
content exhibited on the media. In that way, the telenovela Malhação,
produced to the youngers and known by experimentations on its
broadcasting channel (Rede Globo), had some inaugural experiences in
2014 related to the digital media. Malhação launched transmedia contents
that stimulated the fans participations, inviting them to produce contents
that would be integrated later to the narrative or that it would allow the
own fans to be part of the cast of an episode. As part of an on going
doctorate´s research, this paper intends to understand the challenges of
the creative and productive processes related to initiatives like these, that
impact not only the way broadcasting channels have been operating, but
also the researches about the way public can and will be able to engage to
the media content through the transmedia´s evolution. Furthermore, as
part of Malhação´s transmedia project (that has one digital case running
for the Emmy Kids 2016), this paper will approach the following case:
when fans were invited to record themselves dubbing a song from the
telenovela and those contents were combined as a music video exhibited in
an episode on TV.

Researching the future of audiences

Mediatized Realities: searching for the individual’s
algorithmical identities
Paulo Martins, CIES – IUL, Portugal

People bow to the realm of Web 2.0, “disguised as free”, exchange. Instead
of inter-defined social situations individuals “run after the” never-ending
fluxes. Experience is being restructured through material and immaterial
processes, in an overwhelming part, autonomous of human creators.
In neoliberalism, capitalism is not simply another media, capitalism is the
media, and mediatization becomes the pivot of social ordering, strongly
decreasing the demos’ transformative action possibilities.
There is a new code in the social configuration we live by/in/on. It roars,
rarifies and reifies social realities, from sender-through channel-to
receiver; from production-through distribution-to consumption.
Communication became too noisy: “my message” is everyone else’s noise,
as the messages to them are my deafness. Listening is hard in roaring
environments. Communication returns to unidirectionality: a specialty of
some who have literacies, access and resources, the medium becomes
exclusive of a few. Voice becomes rarified. Communication modulates
individuals, reifying conventions of legitimacy, colonizing attentions and
guiding intentions, closing us in refeeding fluxes and facilitating the
unending iterations. Blinding us alternative ways of existing. Senses

become, thus, colonized, leaving us only with the ability to “think-it-
trough” in our “inner-conversations”.
Deep mediatization and mediated construction of reality that derive from
a datafied/interconnected materiality/ecosystem imports in a multiscale
new ordering. Rather than Media Effects is the “digestion” and its
absorptions/eliminations/reframings of intense Media Reflections on the
structures of cognitive system that are the core: the reflexivity of
identities. For it is its pivotness, as an inexorable gate of this process,
which primarily keeps feeding the new order.

Media audiences imagining themselves in relation to future
Pernilla Severson and Sara Leckner, Linnaeus University and Malmö
University, Sweden

Audience studies have a history of studying people reading, listening and
watching mass media at home. Domestication, as Silverstone and Haddon
(1996) describe it, is an understanding of the design/domestication
interface implying a process of mutually shaping. This study contributes
to an awareness of how the future of audiences still takes place in a home
where connected media becomes integrated.
By using a survey of students (n=1287) a study was made of the
implications of a youthful audience and connected audience focusing what
media selection was considered to be important to have access to in a
future student accommodation.
Results show that students use and highly value access to both old and
new media content and services, and want to gain access to general as
well as particular content and services (like sports or TV series). Hence,
youthful audiences self-perceived attitudes towards being and becoming
connected audiences imply domestic access resembling the value of public
Understandings of connected media in relation the interplay of youthful
audiences and accommodation illustrate a socio-political challenge of the
domestic sphere as configuring and offering a universal service. In the
structuring of future connected audiences, what connections are actually
made possible by access? By studying attitudes to as well as actual
inventories of access in the domestic sphere, media usage patterns and
perceptions can be understood as taking place within set frames. These
frames are set by various actors, like owners of apartment buildings, more
or less in a dialogue with and agency of potential audiences.

Social impact of AI/Robots in Japan: the complexity model of
communication in the age of smart
Toshie Takahashi, Waseda University, Japan

After Rio, Japanese government and companies seriously began to discuss
how they make the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020
“innovative” and “sustainable”. It is against this background that I shall
talk about what is going on in terms of new technologies in Japan and how
can we understand its social impact.
The theoretical framework I use is an adaptation of my earlier model for
understanding media audiences. I had called that “the complexity model of
audience” (Takahashi, 2003) earlier and now I rename it as “the
complexity model of communication” (Takahashi, 2016) in order to expand
its scope and understand the social impact of AI/Robots in the smart age.
At the level of the individual, there are two types of interactivity: intra-
personal and interpersonal. In the smart age, we have both more
interaction with things such as IoT, AI, and Robots and more
transnational interaction via multi-language voice translation systems. In
Macro-level, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan
announced the smart Japan ICT strategy in June 2014. How this power
from national level will impact on Japanese people in micro-level?
At this juncture, I would like to introduce my on-going two projects as they
are aimed at answering such a question. The first one is “Global Self-
creation” project with my in-depth interviews with top computer scientists
and Neuroscientists. The second one is “Youth and digital media” project
by my recent research on 301 young people and their engagement with
digital media.

Seeing Future Audience Practices Philosophically
Tony Wilson, LSE Media and Communications, University of London,
United Kingdom

This proposed paper distances itself from empiricism (Locke, 1689),
drawing instead on hermeneutic philosophers (from Aristotle’s discussing
phronesis onwards), and the contemporary practice theorists Reckwitz
(2002), Schatzki (2001), and Warde (2005). An account is outlined of
audience ‘understanding’ as an embodied, equipped process, emplacing

perspectival ‘horizons of understanding’ (Gadamer, 1975) with which an
audience aligns or, alienated, establishes distance. Understanding
‘prefigures, configures and refigures’ narrative identity (Ricoeur, 1988).
Hermeneutic philosophy shaped reception theory (Iser, 1974: Jauss, 1982:
Wilson, 1993) analysis of reader and media audience interpretative
ludicity along with substantially informing qualitative consumer and
health studies of communication (Thompson, 1997: Smith, 1996). It is able
to resource 'non-media-centric theory' (Moores and Morley, 2014),
furthering emphasis on audience embodied understanding, Give its
argument for essential or transcendental aspects of 'understanding',
hermeneutic philosophy addresses positivist claims that qualitative
research is subjective. Hermeneutic theory can contribute to accounts of
media narrative generic (Das, 2011: Livingstone, 2004) interaction
between text and audiences as 'prefiguring' content. More widely, looking
philosophically at audience engaging with media, their practices assume
tacit enabling by technological ‘tool’ (Heidegger, 1962) or ‘affordance’
(Gibson, 1983), so emplacing an embodied habituated ‘horizon of
understanding’ (Gadamer, 1975) or ‘habitus’ (Bourdieu, 1977).
Reflecting upon a ‘non-media-centric media studies’ (Krajina et al., 2014)
philosophically oriented future, questions are prompted. How are
hermeneutic practices manifested through multi-cultural audience
activity? Is such structuring of subjectivity politically progressive? Does
delivery of algorithmic content by corporate bodies constrain audience
interpretative practices?

Thick-Big Descriptions
Signe Sophus Lai, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The paper discusses the rewards and challenges of employing commercial
audience measurements data – gathered by media industries for
profitmaking purposes – in ethnographic research on the Internet in
everyday life. It questions claims to the objectivity of big data (Anderson
2008), the assumption that bigger is always better, and the many legacy
decisions and rules that ultimately govern how audiences are ‘made’ in
commercial measurement companies.
As such, the paper extends the discussions of a previous empirical study
(Lai 2016) on how media organizations imagine their audiences (Ang 1991;
Napoli 2010; Webster 2014). This study evolved around industry
stakeholders resisting and negotiating changes, as they are happening, in
media consumption dynamics and measurement standards, which

inevitably reconceptualise future institutionally effective audiences
(Ettema & Whitney 1994).
With digital communication systems, language and behaviour appear as
texts, outputs, and discourses (data to be ‘found’) – big data then
documents things that in earlier research required interviews and
observations (data to be ‘made’) (Jensen 2014). However, web-
measurement enterprises build audiences according to a commercial logic
(boyd & Crawford 2011) and are as such directed by motives that call for
specific types of sellable user data and specific segmentation strategies. In
combining big data and ‘thick descriptions’ (Geertz 1973) scholars need to
question how ethnographic fieldwork might map the ‘data not seen’ (Baym
2013) in big data, and of how web-measurement practices expose
significant cultural and political aspects of the contexts they operate in.

Mediatized realities and fluid identities

Memories of Media Practices and of the Portuguese Empire:
the case of Portuguese Muslim of Indian and Mozambican
Catarina Valdigem, Portugal

The role of the media and popular culture in forging the late Portuguese
Empire has only recently gained scholarly attention. The press and the
radio, together with the great exhibitions, colonial schooling and varied
forms of popular culture, to name but a few, have been acknowledged as
important means of propaganda of the Portuguese New State Regime
(1933-1974), aiming at engendering an Imperial Nation and constructing
colonial identities (Ribeiro, 2005; Ribeiro, 2014; Cairo, 2006; Errante,
2003; Matos, 2006; Domingos, 2013; Martins, 2012). However, little is
known regarding how these tools have actually been appropriated, and
how they have had an impact on the perceptions of the Empire and on the
senses of Imperial Portuguese-ness among those who have actually lived
alongside them. This paper aims to contribute to this reflection by
drawing on data collected for my PhD research on postcolonial objects of
collective re-membering among different generations of Portuguese
Muslims of Indian and Mozambican origins. It addresses the significance

of the remembered media practices (Couldry, 2004), namely of radio
broadcasts and print media back in colonial Mozambique, as well as their
role in the constant negotiation and construction of a gendered Imperial
Portuguese-ness among those who have been brought up in colonial
Mozambique, and who have migrated to Portugal after 1975. Such a
reflection not only aims to stress the importance of examining memories of
media reception when conducting media history research, but it also aims
to demonstrate how memories of media practice (Couldry, 2004) provide
valuable insights in the discussion of postcolonial subjectivities.

Affording unification and segmentation: dynamics of cross-
media news consumption in Kenya
Norbert Wildermuth, Roskilde Unversity, Denmark

My paper is based on research (and two dozen qualitative interviews)
conducted in Nairobi and Eldoret in April 2015. It will focus on
interpretative communities, namely four distinct groups: Kalenjins in UG;
Kalenjins in Nairobi; non-Kalenjins in UG and non-Kalenjins in UG, and
how their interaction with local and national content across various media
contributes to the construction and performance of multiple collective
identities. In this context, I have looked at the medialization of three
issues, namely: 1. The on-going ICC proceedings (now that Kenyatta is off
the hook, but Ruto still stands accused and the Jubilee coalition’s truce
between Kikuyus and Kalenjins is challenged); 2. the on-going process of
devolution which counters the Nairobi-centric dominance of a post-
presidential system headed by Kenyatta; and 3. the external threat to all
(Christian) Kenyans that is constituted by the detoriating security
situation caused by the terror of Al Shabab and Mombassa Republic Army.
I have directed my attention at ‘events’ and their media representation
that address the above-mentioned groups, as (1) different from each other,
constructing and re-emphasizing particular ethnic identities against the
background of a continued animosity in past and recent history; and (2) in
the sense of a common enemy, the Somali/coastal Swahili/Muslim other,
which creates a ‘we’ (non-Muslim) Kenyans (who hold currently political
power in a contested coalition of interests).
In specific, I’ll discuss how these articulations of competing collective
identities are discursively imagined and articulated in the (national)
mainstream news media, how they are received by the four distinguished
groups of ‘audiences’, and to which extent they are confronted and

countered by user generated media production in online spaces of
deliberation and political debate.

Parasocial interactions and relationships in the social
media’tized [sic!] world. A theoretical and empirical
contribution to parasocial activities
Sonia Robak, University of Erfurt, Germany

In the times of social media[tization] and the Internet integration with
human beings daily routines the concept of parasocial interactions and
relationships (developed by Horton and Wohl in the late 50s) needs being
broadened, because an additional form of parasociality can be recognized,
i.e. its manifest and public demonstration in the social media platforms
like Twitter, Facebook etc. via likes or comments on media stars’ posts (pl.
personae; sing. persona sensu Horton/Wohl 1956). The interaction
proceeds without (any) status gap and in consequence, the persona itself
and its frame of existence changes (social media persona, c.f. Robak 2016).
The challenge that comes to the fore is what the actual frames of
parasocial activities are in the times of social media. Are the activities
with media figures still parasocial or are they just social activities that are
Furthermore, it should be asked what steps need (re)doing to research
audiences that experience parasociality. Many studies analyse this
phenomenon via a paper-pencil-questionnaire and content analysis is very
rare, although the personae interaction with their followers is manifested
on a daily basis. Additionally, hardly few studies focus on the dependence
on the personae and their followers. A link is missing between those two
Based on an innovative quantitative content analysis of personae tweets
and the comments of their followers (three-parts-analysis) the digital
parasociality is being analysed and empirically verified. This paper
includes changes and challenges for an old media audience concept and
delivers new implications for research, which will be presented and
discussed in the presentation (hopefully) to-be.

The Mediatized World of Lisbon Folk Communities: a
perspective by themselves
Élmano Ricarte, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal

The concept of mediatized worlds (Hepp, 2013) is pivotal in this research
that fallows a social-constructivist perspective. Under this perspective and
anchored at a micro-level of research, this project aims at analysing the
communicative practices of Lisbon folk communities - defined by strong
ties, face-to-face interaction and proximity - and how they (1) have
adapted to the current polymedia environment, (2) have integrated media
practices in their daily activities, and (3) how folk communities can be
understood as mediatized worlds.
In order to do that, this research focuses on the Folk communities of
Lisbon and specifically in the preparation of the Lisbon Popular Marches,
a highly symbolic moment of self-(re)presentation of the identity of
neighbourhoods. This annual event started in the beginning of the 20th
century and constitutes also a media event as described by Katz and
This is a very important period in their lives and a privileged one to
understand the dynamics and practices of a local community as result of a
bilocation interaction - the relationship between the communities and the
media are both «physical» and «digital».
The methodology we undertake combines: observation, photography and
interviews. Specifically, observation is presential, including visits to the
collectivities headquarters, as well as, to their digital spaces on Facebook.
Photographs help to register communicative practices, and face-to-face
interviews to capture the perceptions of the members about how they deal
with media and technology in their daily neighbourhood practices and
Our participation in «Audiences2030: Imagining a future for audiences» is
an opportunity to discuss the concept of mediatized worlds in the interplay
between folk culture and media and technology culture, especially on topic
«Digital interfaces and their implications for 'audience' studies».

Generations as audiences: perceptions of social acceleration
in the context of information society
Signe Opermann, University of Tartu, Estonia

The paper will address the acceleration of social time (Rosa 2013) due to
the evolution of technologies and the wider process of mediatization
(Lundby 2014, Couldry and Hepp 2016). The focus of this paper lies on
social generations (Mannheim 1928/1952), defined as groups of people that
have come of age in the similar socio-historical and cultural setting

(Spahiu 2016). In the study, social acceleration and its implications for
social groups (incl. generations) are studied not only from the viewpoint of
‘time wealth’ and ‘time poverty’, caused by the technological acceleration
and increasing pace of life, but also examined as a challenge of how to cope
with time-based competitiveness and increasing complexity of society’s
mechanisms and challenges with which some groups struggle (or benefit
from) more than others. First, the paper presents data from a
representative population survey ‘Me. The World. The Media’ (n=1503)
carried out by the University of Tartu (Estonia) in 2014; and second, the
paper discusses results of a series of focus groups conducted in Spring
2017, in order to more thoroughly examine the perceptions of social
acceleration from both the inter- and intra-generational perspective. The
focus groups will include representatives of various areas of specialty, e.g.,
academic people from various generation groups from different
universities in Estonia. Although the paper is still a work in progress, the
preliminary findings of the quantitative analysis suggest that people’s
perceptions about acceleration can be empirically explained, among other
factors, by their generational affiliation as a component of their
generational habitus.

Cultural Citizenship

Play the news. Unlock the next level of politics
Santiago Peribañez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

The expansion of the video game as a narrative (Pérez Latorre, 2010;
Peribañez, 2013; Juul, 2014) has changed the reader's conception,
adopting a more relevant role. This evolution was already present in web
2.0, when new reading patterns emerged, and the prosumer as a key
figure in mass self-communication (Aladro, 2011; Castells, 2009). The
videoludic narrative leaves no space for the passive spectator.
It is worth noting the special strength of newsgames or informative video
games in recent years (Frasca, 2003; Bogost, 2010). It is a new way of
reading the news that connects with those sectors that are more detached
from traditional news (Hermida & Truman, 2007; Scolari, 2011) and
allows the visualization of complex conflicts that escape the traditional
press (Peribañez, 2015).
In the clickbait era, we can see all kinds of tests and riddles designed to be
shared in social networks (Boczkowski, 2013). Along with them, media

such as The Guardian, The New York Times or RTVE have developed
complex games, which illustrate the tragedy of evictions, invisible poverty,
the exodus of refugees... Changes caused in the reader are evident
(Serazio, 2008; Peribañez, 2017): profound impact, greater memory,
conceptual framework changes...
The potential of newsgame is clear: given the hyper-normalization of the
current society and the infoxication we live in, video games are presented
as a valuable tool for social change, especially effective in one of the most
complex sectors of society: adolescence.

Audiences, expressive culture and public connection
Torgeir Uberg Nærland, University of Bergen, Norway

How may audiences’ engagement with expressive forms of culture (from
the novel to video games) enable them to act as informed and critical
citizens? Or conversely, does such engagement involve pacification and
detachment? Focusing on the genre of TV-series, this paper explores such
questions from the perspective of “public connection”, what Couldry et al
(2010) conceptualise as “a shared orientation towards a public world
where matters of common concern are addressed”. The key idea is that for
democracies to work, citizens need to have a minimum of orientation
towards, and knowledge about, issues or problems that are of political
significance – in that these require collective solutions. Although the
concept of public connection in its initial application was primarily geared
towards news and media use, this paper argues that it is a concept apt to
capture also the ways in which audiences’ use of forms of expressive
culture may elicit or support an orientation to issues of public and political
Empirically this study is based upon interviews and media diaries
conducted in Norway, exploring and charting informants’ use of media and
culture. Fifty informants, split across age, gender and social background
were interviewed twice, intercepted by a four-week long diary phase. This
study explores the ways in which audiences’ habits and experiences of
watching of TV-series may work to sustain, support or elicit public
connection. Or conversely, how the watching of TV-series may be
integrated into media habits and repertoires that involve detachment from
the space where issues of public and political relevance are addressed.

Leveraging voice: What does academic video offer?
Lisbeth Frølunde, Roskilde University, Denmark

This paper speculates on how researchers share research without diluting
our credibility and how to make strategies for the future. It also calls for
consideration of new traditions and practices for communicating
knowledge to a wider audience across multiple media platforms. How
might we researchers improve our practices and how could digital online
video help offer more positive stories about research and higher
education? How can academics in higher education be better to tell about
our research, thereby reclaiming and leveraging our voice in a post-factual
As higher education continues to engage with digital and networked
technologies it becomes increasingly relevant to question why and how
academics could (re) position research knowledge in the digital and online
media landscape of today and the future.
The paper highlights methodological issues that arise in relation to the
use of digital online video in research communication in particular the
researcher's positioning vis a vis the representation of knowledge. A
spectrum of positioning possibilities for the researcher on video is
proposed – as facilitator, storyteller, and/or dialogist. The spectrum is seen
as related to genre and is accompanied by a taxonomy of “academic video”
genres and review of exemplary online publishing venues for academic
videos. A methodological toolbox with considerations on planning and
producing research communication on video is presented. The discussion
concerns the methodological and ethical challenges of addressivity on the
part of researchers as well as answerability in terms of audience

Offended Audiences in Britain and Germany: Disgust,
Distinction and Strategies of Displacement
Anne Graefer, Birmingham City University, United Kingdom

This paper draws on an audience study conducted in Britain and Germany
in 2015 with over 90 participants from various social- and ethnic
backgrounds, gender and age. The study explored how audiences in
Britain and Germany react to television content they find offensive. We
suggest that in times of heightened nationalism and populism across
Europe and the US we need to better understand the role of ‘offence’ in
media and society more widely. Analysing audiences’ responses to content

that offends them (and we complicate the terrain of offence further on)
challenges assumptions about the nature of offensive material that is
taken for granted by policy makers, politicians, educators and the general
In this paper we will explore how audiences use offensive television
content to produce themselves as ‘subjects of value’ while distancing
themselves from the rest of the audience. The affective responses that our
participants demonstrated were boundary forming in that they created a
divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’ i.e. those ill-informed, tasteless, and gullible
others for whom these programmes are made. Through different
displacement strategies, the tasteless ‘other’ who can enjoy offensive
television was always already placed somewhere else in society. By
drawing closer attention to these (affective) displacement strategies we
demonstrate how instable the boundary between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is, and
how audience members, in their talk and affective performance, slip in
and out of the carefully guarded boundaries. The paper aims to stress also
how these affect laden responses operate to explain the ubiquity of
provocative television content as the result of supply and demand: ‘These
programmes are produced and distributed because people like this i.e. the
mindless masses want to see it!’ Such a neoliberal understanding of
audience power is damaging because it does not recognise the role of
competitive media production in neo-liberal media environments. This, so
we argue, works as a damaging dislocation of responsibility in terms of
media content production. Overall, our paper contributes to a more
nuanced understanding of ‘offensive media content’ in a cross-national

Young people as creative users of new media in Latvia (2013-
Ilva Skulte, Riga Stradins University, Latvia

The history of media shows that the actual usage of a particular medium
in the given system of media and sociocultural context is shaping the
profile of a medium itself – its place in media system , role in society and
variety of cultural habits forming around the new medium are often ad
hoc formed, case bounded and unpredictable even for careful analysers of
determinating social contexts even if the medium is a source of a subtle
intervence into culture and forms of social life, as well as in the way
people think, feel, function biologically. Contemporary reorganization of
media systems around a life world of a human being pushes for new

models of understanding of the strategic and tactical uses of the diversity
of technologies and forms of communication, the old and new habits,
values, norms and cultures, rising subjectivity of post-media age as
conceptualized by Félix Guattari. By combining theoretical work and
research from fields such as creativity study, media and information
literacy and new media artistic research as well as study of audience uses
of new media, in my paper, I will discuss results of the research of young
people as creative new media users in Latvia. The accent will be on both
the lack and the need of creativity development in the framework of media
education at school.

A converging and cross-media landscape

Fan culture, cultural industry and cultural appropriation:
exploring new audiences through cultural multiverse
André Pequeno dos Santos and José Manuel Azevedo, Universidade do
Porto, Portugal

The digital universe of internet has made even more evident a complex
structure of content production and dissemination, on the one hand
coordinated by traditional means of cultural production, and on the other,
a dense network of individuals recognized by identification factors, a fan
culture, a rich universe of a social dynamics of fans and cultural
production and dissemination. The objective of this work is to present the
impact of the agents of fan culture and how, from the intersection between
their universe and that of traditional cultural production, conditions are
created for the systematization of a cultural multiverse in which, among
other factors, consumer orientation and cultural appropriation of the

means of production and distribution media help to extend and formalize
new cultural publics, hybridized from the sociocultural impact of this
multiverse. A brief literature review and field observations will be used to
systematize a cultural multiverse model and identify the role of producers
and public consumers. Among the results, we highlight the hyper-
commercialization of fan culture, the role of intermediary agents as a
consuming public and how they sediments, strengthens and validates two
universes; also, it revels transmedia narrative as a superstructure of re-
interpretation of cultural (canonical) manifestations. Therefore, the
cultural multiverse is presented as a new approach in the attempt to
understand and identify different audiences, especially with respect to the
forms of interaction and production from the socio-cultural appropriation
of the means of production.

Games for Media and Information Literacy (MIL) –
Developing MIL Skills in Children through Digital Games
Conceição Costa, Kathleen Tyner, Sara Henriques and Carla Sousa,
CIC.Digital-ULHT and The University of Texas at Austin, Portugal and
United States of America

The developments during the last three decades within the fields of both
media and education studies have encountered controversy, yet "point
toward a common ground of shared interests around people, practices, and
processes in using digital media in different contexts and for different
purposes" (Drotner and Erstad, 2014, p. 10).
In this proposal the preliminary findings of the on-going GamiLearning
project (2015-2018), a research project that aims to promote critical and
participative dimensions of MIL in children through the creation of digital
games, will be presented and discussed. The project presents an
innovative approach by arguing that, not only games can promote
learning, but also the process of creation and development of videogames
can promote MIL, more particularly operational, editorial, organizational
and sociocultural skills as well as digital identities managing skills.
Children aged 9 to 14 years old from Portugal and Austin participated in
the study that included an experimental phase at schools where game
design and development was taught, and students created their own
games on issues as online security and digital identities in a constructivist
perspective. Fieldwork was conducted in four schools and pre and post-test
were applied. Results indicate an increase in some of the variables

analysed promoting a discussion on the potential of digital games creation
as a reflexive tool to enhance MIL and promote critical thinking and
participative skills.

Old media, new audiences –New media, old audiences?
Audiovisual media use in the 21st century
Lothar Mikos, Filmuniversität Babelsberg, Germany

The advancing digitalization and media convergence demands TV
broadcasting companies to adjust their content to various platforms and
distribution channels. The Internet, as convergent carrier medium, is
increasingly taking on a central role for additional media. Classical linear
TV is still important, but for some audiences it has been developing from a
primary medium to a secondary medium.
The paper will summarize the results of three different, qualitative
audience studies that I have conducted during the past three years. Film
and television shows are meanwhile distributed online via Video-on-
Demand platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. The first
audience study has dealt with the use of VoD-platforms in Germany
investigating user rituals, user motivation to watch films and TV shows on
those platforms, and the meaning of VoD in everyday life. Most of the
participants in this study reported that they mainly watch TV drama
series at Netflix or Amazon Prime. Therefore the second audience study
has focussed the online use of television drama series of individuals and
couples elaborating the phenomenon of binge watching. The paper will
argue that the new distribution and production structures facilitate
audience practices such as binge watching. The third study looked at the
use of audiovisual content in different age groups to cover the experience
of the digital change. The results shed light on the way users develop
individual patterns of media use and how they adapt the use of
audiovisual content on the various platforms to their diverse life

Content creation and dissemination in social networks site
among youth audiences
María Cruz López de Ayala, Beatriz Catalina and Pedro Painagua, Rey
Juan Carlos University, Spain

The exponential growth in the use of social media has transformed the
communicative ecosystem and it allows audiences to take on a more active
role, not only in the selection of the messages to which they are exposed
but also as content creators and disseminators. Users become prescribers
able to issue ratings and recommendations that have influence on the
behaviour of other users, in competition with traditional media that have
been losing credibility, compared to the reliance generated by contents
from social networks (Edelman, 2017).
In 2016, 66.8% of Spaniards participated in social networks, exceeding
90% among the young population from 16 to 24 years old (91.1%) and
students (90.7%) (INE, 2017). However, users maintain different types of
activity and involvement in relation to their degree of interactivity in
these platforms (Mutinga et al., 2011). Social media are prescriptive
spaces used by users to keep themselves informed, to show their
adherence or criticism to institutions or other social actors, or they can
also comment and share contents with their networks of friends.
Based on a self-administered survey for young university students, type
and levels of participation of this population group in their interaction in
social networks and, applying the uses and gratifications theory, the
motivations that explain their behaviour are analysed.
This paper is part of a research project "Social networks, adolescents and
young people: media convergence and digital culture" (CSO2016-74980-
C2-2-R) financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and
Competitiveness (2017-2020).

New channels for the news

Assumptions for the investment in news formats aimed at
younger audiences
Patrícia Silveira, Communication and Society Research Centre
(University of Minho) and IADE - Creative University, Portugal

The studies on the relationship between children and the news, and on
how these audiences understand these issues and create meanings about
the world, have proliferated in recent years. In the Portuguese context,
this issue has not been sufficiently studied, so this research intends to
understand and discuss ways of access and news consumption by young
children, but also on how the news help them know the world globally and
the most immediate world. The study focuses on the perspective of the
public, in particular on their interests and motivations in news media
consumption, and the perceptions they develop on these issues. Through
the application of a questionnaire to a sample of 690 children attending
the elementary school, in northern Portugal, the results show that

children usually contact with the news, and are more exposed to these
issues in troubled and crisis times, which results in a negative impact.
From the point of view of media literacy, these are key issues, insofar as
they involve the fulfilment of strategies - in formal and informal context -
for children to develop skills to critically interpret the meanings and deal
with the emotions that arise from the exposure to certain news and, at the
same time, enable them to create a reflexive consciousness of the world
that goes beyond the view of the world that is proposed by the media. In
this sense, media companies need to play a more active role, providing
journalistic formats designed specifically for the younger audiences.

News portraits among youngsters and adult groups
Ragne Kõuts-Klemm and Maria José Brites, University of Tartu,
Communication and Society Research Centre (University of Minho) and
Lusophone University of Porto, Estonia and Portugal

In the context of growing news consumption possibilities in internet, the
emergent availability of different channels for news consumption is
evident. When analysing the understanding what is news for audiences,
Yadamsuren and Elderez (2011) indicated that for some groups the whole
content in the internet can be seen as news. An important interrogation is
– for what groups, when and why is the journalistic content still
important? Based on the data collected in Estonia and in Portugal among
youngsters and adult groups, we analysed the relationship between
journalistic and non-journalistic content in their media repertoires. This
sample is part of an international project on News as Democratic
Resources: Cross Cultural Comparative Research. Our hypothesis was: the
deeper the contacts one has had with journalism the more knowledgeable
one is in news selecting. We found out that here is a rising tension for
users to be an expert capable to evaluate the credibility of news by their
own and also to define what is news.

Explaining low news consumption
Anders Helgerud, University of Bergen, Norway

People who rarely consume news are often described as a democratic
problem by media researchers and political scientists looking at news use
related to normative democratic theory. In spite of some recent academic

interest in this group, we still lack an understanding their
conceptualizations of news in democracy, their roles as citizens, and, most
importantly, deeper explanations of why their consumption of news is low.
Through qualitative interviews with 10 Norwegians aged 25-30, this study
attempts to give insight into these questions. Findings show that the
interviewees are critical of news media with regard to content and form,
particularly in light of the social responsibility of news media. Some of the
interviewees are to a great extent disconnected from the public sphere,
and show little interest towards debate on topics related to the public.
However, several are engaged and interested in the public, but rather
than focusing on a general or widespread set of topics, they focus on
specific areas of interest. The study finds three explanations related to low
degrees of news consumption: (1) overwhelming feelings of compassion
towards images of human suffering, (2) focus on personal relations and a
low interest for both content and form of news, and (3) the need to
prioritize time, specifically with regards to career development. It is
argued that these characteristics play an important role in understanding
how the informants see their role as citizens.

Introducing news media: approaching young audiences via
Marju Himma-Kadakas and Ragne Kõuts, University of Tartu, Estonia

Traditional news media is not engaging young audiences to guarantee
sustainable consumers of traditional media in the future. In Scandinavia
and in the Baltic states the main news source for teenagers and ethnic
minorities is social media and friends.
The aim of our study is to develop strategies and work practices that could
be applied to conventional news media content production in order to
engage young audiences via YouTubers.
The study has two stages. In the first stage we analyse the videos of top 10
YouTubers in the world using quantitative content analysis combined
with qualitative data analysis (Maxqda). As a result we outline the topics,
narrative types and visual engagement techniques they use. These
outcomes can be taken into consideration producing news media content
for young audiences.
In the second stage of the study three Estonian YouTubers produce
content for Estonian Public Broadcasting culture and entertainment
section of the news portal. The aim of the project is to engage teenage
audience via YouTubers and bring them to the environment of
conventional news media. The results of the study give us the reflection

whether YouToubers’ techniques of engaging audiences can be applied to
conventional news media.
The preliminary results of first stage of the study can be presented at the

Populous, peery, loyal, lingering? An analysis of online,
overseas audiences for UK news brands
Neil Thurman, Thiemo Hensmann, and Richard Fletcher, Ludwig-
Maximilians-Universität München and University of Oxford, Germany
and United Kingdom

In much of the developed world, newspapers are suffering from dramatic
falls in the revenues they are able to earn from the content and audience
marketplaces. This situation has serious democratic implications, because
newspapers remain a key source of new information entering the public
domain and an important check on those in power. One area of optimism
for UK newspapers has been the overseas audiences they have built for
their digital editions. These foreign visitors often outnumber their
domestic equivalents, and some newspapers have made the ‘long distance’
market a key component of their plans for the future. Overseas news
audiences are, however, under-researched, an omission this study aims to
help remedy via an investigation into the audiences for seven UK
newspaper brands across ten countries using data from a leading source of
internet audience measurement, comScore. The study uses an innovative,
multidimensional model (derived from work by Zheng, Chi, and Kelly
[2012]) to analyse audience engagement across the dimensions of
popularity, depth, loyalty, and stickiness. The results reveal UK
newspapers can achieve high levels of reach among some overseas
audiences (e.g. MailOnline reaches 29% of the Australian population) and
that there are significance differences in how audiences behave country-
to-country. For example, Spanish, French, and Australian audiences visit
most frequently; Canadians explore deepest; and Japanese audiences
spend the longest time with each page they view. The study has important
implications for how newspapers serve their overseas audiences and
suggests new directions for audience research on the globalization of
journalism online.

Audiences across platforms

Power transfer to the consumer or the ambivalence of
Vivi Theodoropoulou, Cyprus University of Technology, and Neapolis
University Paphos, Cyprus

The paper discusses new forms of engagement with televisual content
online and audience’s experience and coping strategies with digital media
such as Netflix, leaning on a series of interviews conducted with early
adopters of the platform in the UK. Netflix is gradually changing
consumption patterns and audience habits due to the targeted
uninterrupted viewing allowed, binge watching, its on-demand capacity,
and the control over the TV schedule and command in structuring time it
grants users. At the same time big data and algorithmic audience tracking
are used to detect users’ behaviour and preferences, recommend
programmes and produce content users will most probably like, thus
creating an "addressable audience." Netflix and other online platforms
catalyse a shift away from what Uricchio (2010, p.35) calls “the
programming-based notion of flow…to a viewer-centred model.” However,
the findings suggest certain challenges and diverging forces operating on

the way digital audiences are transforming. Interviewees appear more
selective, planned, engaged and in command of their viewing yet also
unrestrained and excessive (through binging); empowered yet also
surrendered to the content offered and to algorithmic measurement;
celebratory yet also ambivalent about the control they now possess, and
sometimes reminiscent of the unplanned and unstructured viewing
facilitated by traditional television. The paper considers such tensions and
deliberates on the future of the audience of content consumed but also
produced ‘on-demand’ with the help of metrics and big data.

Persistent negative media experiences – new media, new
Miriam Bartsch, University of Hamburg, Germany

Audiences’ communicative practices have changed significantly over the
past decades. Our daily lives are interwoven by media and most of the
time we use them for interpersonal communication. According to the Uses-
and-Gratifications-Approach, media use, and thus also use of new devices
and media services, are supposed to be followed by gratifications of
psychological needs. Though the approach has been studied extensively, it
cannot sufficiently explain repeated negative feelings toward media use.
As research has shown, negative experiences with media are neither rare
nor to be taken lightly and there’s still much we don’t know. In particular,
with a still increasing use of new media, negative experiences become
more prevalent, too.
Thus, the purpose of this study is to 1) identify recipients’ frequent
negative experiences with media and to 2) discover explanations for
persistent usage of media despite negative perceptions. Additionally,
audiences’ actions to prevent from perceived negative outcomes are
26 explorative interviews were conducted (50 % females). Participants’ age
ranged from 18 to 65 years with a mean of 38.6 (SD = 15.4).
Most persistent negative experiences occurred with smartphones and
online communication services. Interviewees reported at least 13 different
types of unwanted experiences. All age groups expressed concerns toward
current smartphone practices or felt stressed by their own devices. They
also pointed to the different quality of online versus face-to-face
communication, though latter was perceived as the only “ordinary” way to
communicate nowadays. Possible indicators for (further) changes of media
use are discussed.

Iberian Radio Morning show Audiences: Portuguese and
Spanish listeners in 2016/17
Rita Curvelo, FSCH - Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Radio has witnessed many changes over the last century, when facing the
emergence of other media such as television or the internet, not only in its
technological basis but also in its programming strategies, thus altering
broadcasting supports and the contents aired. At the dawn of the new
millennium, radio expanded its contents to the digital world, being now
present on the Internet and on social networks, and reachable in several
supports such as Smartphone and tablets, which coexist with the
household transistors and radio automobile devices. 21st century listeners
can now see the radio on internet, speak with their favourite presenters
through social networks or simply ignore the programming grid and
choose what they want to listen to and when to do it by accessing podcasts.
Stemming from these premises, it is thus important to understand the
listening profiles of those who remain connected to the traditional
analogical radio at a time when the new media are ever-present in daily
life. Exploring two case studies – the radio morning shows “Manhãs da
Comercial” and “Anda ya”, programs aired by the two leading musical
radio stations in Portugal and Spain – this paper aims to build an
audience’s comparative analysis of those two in order to highlight their
main differences. The scope of this analysis is circumscribed to the two
most listened morning shows in the Iberian Peninsula, since prime time
shows are the anchors of the remaining grid, determining the audience’s
focus throughout the day.

Gender identity on Youtube
Marian Blanco and Clara Sainz-de-Baranda, Universidad Carlos III de
Madrid, Spain

Youtubers are idols and influence millions of people who follow their
channels every day, mainly adolescents. These new media stars, born in
transmedia literacy, are generators of their own content outside the major
corporations and media groups.
Across the millions of Youtube channels, youthful audiences can find
content according to their own interests. Although there is a clear lack of

diversity, in the top 30 youtubers in Spain there are only 2 women. The
majority of men focus on toilet humour and gaming, while the women
seem to be obsessed with make-up tutorials and knowing “what to wear”.
However, some of these minor celebrities have alternative speeches that
promote gender diversity, and although they have millions of followers,
these “LGBTIQ" (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Intersexual and
Queer) youtubers are gaining more & more young followers who identify
with their channels.
The aim of this study is to analyse which are the principal topics of the
speeches on these channels in Spain and what is the motivation that leads
young people to follow these channels and not follow other more popular
The content analysis is based on a selection of videos from twelve LGTBIQ
youtubers’ channels: YellowMellowMG, KoalaRabioso, Tigrillo,
Juanmasaurus, Ruben Errébeene, AbiPower, Celopan, King Jedet, Miare's
Project, Madame Tibisay, MarkMiller, HolaSoyGerman.
The first results show that the content created by these youtubers are
more diverse, with content ranging from personal stories to bullying. But,
in spite of this, these channels continue to reproduce some gender

The measurement of the television audience in the European
Ana González-Neira and Natalia Quintas-Froufe, Universidade da
Coruña, Spain

New media ecosystem has imposed changes in the dynamics of traditional
media. One of them, the television, has been forced to adapt to the new
reality of the televising stage, in which new platforms like YouTube,
Netflix or HBO have been introduced, as well as other forms of viewing
through mobile devices and outside of traditional broadcasting schedules.
Given this panorama, this research intends to study the audiometry
systems of different European countries. The different methodologies of
the measurement systems of television audiences in 5 European countries
belonging to the International Association of Joint Industry are analysed.
For this we will take into account the research of Bourdon & Méadel
(2014, 2015), Méadel (2015) or Napoli (2014), among others.
In addition to the information on the traditional audiometer (TAM)
systems (size of the universe, panel size, technology used), special

emphasis will be placed on how different countries have attempted to
address the metrics of viewing through mobile devices.
In this way, it will be possible to conclude whether there are differences in
the metrics of the large multinationals of audiometry and whether these
affect the overall results. Likewise, the main difficulties will be pointed
out to try to collect data of the new audiences and their asynchronous
consumption and through other devices.
This proposal will advance in the resolution of one of the challenges of the
study of the current audience: to analyse how, who and how much
television is consumed today.

Cross-media practices and meaning making from audiovisual
fiction: Initial findings of a case study in Brazil
Flávio Garcia da Rocha, University of Leicester, United Kingdom

The project investigates the emerging media practices of connected youth
in Rio de Janeiro and the meanings they are making from the fictional
audiovisual content watched in various devices and platforms. Given the
acute significance of social differences in the country, the study will be
approached as a comparison between social classes. Historically, daily
television serials known as telenovelas have dominated the Brazilian
cultural and media landscape with its massive viewing on broadcast
networks across the social spectrum. This study intends to assess the
transition from a centralised, quasi-monopolistic situation in which few
fictional stories riveted the attention of the whole nation to an expanding
ecology in which more and more people are having the possibility to choose
from a varied menu of video alternatives. Many studies have investigated
classed readings of telenovelas, and now that other viewing options are
available, the proposed comparison may yield significant insights,
hypothesis about the bridging of social differences and directions of future
The study will apply a combination of in-depth interviews with media
diaries and observation. After an initial interview participants will be
asked to provide via messaging apps like WhatsApp an account of their
daily media practices, with a focus on audiovisual consumption. I will use
this information to build a grid of individual practices, which will serve as
basis for a second interview and observations of media use.
Fieldwork will start in April in Rio de Janeiro and last until September.
By the time of the Conference I will be able to discuss some fresh findings

from the research and expand on the usefulness of digital messaging
services to create diaries of media use in a more unobtrusive way.

They Tube, I watch, we talk: YouTube's relevance in the lives
of Portuguese teenagers
Sara Pereira and Pedro Moura, University of Minho, Portugal

YouTube is a complex site, full of hopes and hypes. It is seen as a
consumer liberating site where the empowered consumers can broadcast
themselves. At the same time, YouTube belongs to Google, it is another
enterprise in the realm of media corporations. It is also a key place for the
traditional media broadcasters: either for control (of copyrights, for
instance) or as a new domain for their contents. Among this complexity
one thing is certain: YouTube is a very popular site, with a great number
of users and an even bigger number of viewers. This was also what we
observed during the fieldwork of the European project TRANSLITERACY
(645238 / Horizon 2020). YouTube and YouTubers were very popular
among a sample of 78 students aged between 12 and 16 y/o attending two
Portuguese public schools, from different geographical areas – urban and
rural. YouTube's importance was emphasized by students in the various
methods used in the scope of the project – questionnaire, workshops and
individual interviews – that aimed to understand teenagers’ transmedia
practices and experiences. Based on the results from those methods, which
will serve as a backdrop for this presentation, we conducted four focus
groups, involving 36 students of the sample, with the purpose of
specifically exploring the uses, meanings and importance of YouTube for
this public. Three main dimensions led the discussion: practices,
perceptions – by their own, their peers, adults and YouTube as a medium
and identities.
The analysis of the data confirms that YouTube is heavily used, but the
same can't be said about content creation and upload. Considering
perceptions and identities, students had very strong and diverse opinions
about YouTube and YouTubers and were aware that this platform, their
contents and stars were fairly relevant in their lives: for entertainment,
identification and even for peer relationships. This presentation will
explore these and other data coming mainly from focus groups but
invoking also information gathered through the methods outlined above.

Seeking for a sense of place: beyond the digital space
Koko Kondo, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

This paper will discuss the dynamic of audiences’ media engagement
especially beyond and after using particular digital media including
certain social media based on the project led by Hill (2013-6). Through this
project, we have examined audiences of different types of programmes and
films from different countries. Hill (2015) argues that the sense of place is
crucial for the Nordic Noir audiences though the Nordic Noir TV dramas
are becoming a global format against the 80’s study by Meyrowitz (1986).
Turkle (2011) describes how digital technology has the impact on our lives
in the socialising process and developing our identities. Through the
project, the older people look for actual physical space where they can
meet people or experiences the real world after viewing a programme by
using digital media. This suggests that studying digital literacy or media
literacy (i.e. Koltay 2011) alone can be very limited especially to
understand how audiences/users would use the information in their real
world. The socio-economic backgrounds can be also important to be
examined to have a variety of media experiences, which might divide
people who are rich, and poor media engagement and participation. This
was seen in the reality TV show Got to Dance amongst the children’s
media participation too. Reflecting the dynamic of audiences’ media
engagement after viewing through this project, a sense of place (seeking
for a certain identity) will be focused.

The Possible Change in Audience Measurement
Jose Antonio Cortés Quesada, Teresa Barceló Ugarte, Laura González and
Luis Nuñez Ladevece, Universidad CEU San Pablo, Spain

The measurement of television audience has been made in a certain way
for more than twenty years. Both new technologies and our society have
changed, just like the way of consumption of audiovisual content.
The investigation executed by the CEU University of San Pablo intends to
demonstrate a possible change in the measurement of television audience.
Nowadays, there are different applications and social networks containing
software that allows the consuming users to control and quantify
different, mostly audiovisual content, offered by these Apps. The intention
is developing an application that can be integrated into the electronic
devices, such as laptops and Smart TV, in order to be able to quantify both
the consumption of the content and the number of the users watching a

determined program in real time or streaming.

The Blue Whale Online Game and its impact on Romanian
mediatized world
Ileana Rotaru, Tibiscus University of Timisoara, Romania

The paper starts from the social media panic created over the supposed
accidents that involved gymnasium pupils (age 10-14) during their classes
in a Romanian school that were so-called victims of the “blue whale”
online game. Our analyse focuses on several dimensions: the first one is
the mediatized world (Hepp, 2013) of virtual community and we will follow
the interconnections made by a variety of factors (age, gender, education
etc.). Secondly, the impact of the game and its effects were comparable
with the Mars Invasion of 1938 (Schramm, 1965) starting from the
uninformed parents to responsible of the Ministry of Education (state
secretary public declarations, local Ministry’s representatives, parents
associations etc.). In this case, we will describe and analyse the spiral of
the panic process and the role that these actors played. Thirdly, we will
address the issue of media education. There are several researches and
studies in Romania that underlined the lack of media competency for
parents, teachers and adults in the same level of urgency as children level
of media use and digital competence are increasing. In this context, we
stress the necessity of proper and active media education training
programs, including online media and social media, both for children and
teacher/ parents. Introducing media education in gymnasium curricula is
not a proper answer, in our opinion, if it is not associated with integrative
training programs for teachers of all types of specialties and for parents
mediation programs, too.