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The mediation of distant suffering: An empirical contribution beyond television news texts

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Abstract

This article draws on the results of a large-scale audience study to examine how audiences respond to mediated encounters with distant suffering on UK television. The research involved two phases of focus groups separated by a two-month diary study. Research participants’ mediated experiences of distant suffering were generally characterised by indifference and solitary enjoyment, with respect to distant and dehumanised distant others. However, the results also signal that, in various ways, non-news factual television programming offers spectators a more proximate, active and complex mediated experience of distant suffering than television news.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalMedia, Culture & Society
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Peer-reviewedYes

Keywords

    Research areas

  • analytics of mediation, audiences, distant suffering, documentaries, mediation, television news

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