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A gap in the records: television audiences and the history of "us"

Chapter


Abstract


  • National television archives routinely collect all manner of material

    about the medium, including information about producers, performers and

    writers, as well as copies of the programs in which they were involved.

    While this is already a highly selective archive (see McKee, this volume),

    in media studies terms the industry and text side of the television equation

    has been relatively well attended to. Less well observed is how television

    was actually watched or what it meant to those who were doing the

    watching in specific historical, geographical and cultural locations, both

    then or now. In industry terms, the audience is rarely visible except as an

    anonymous ratings statistic, which is best regarded as the currency

    employed in the TV trade to leverage funds. However, these statistics

    don't tell us very much about how television was woven into the lives of

    its audience in any real way. With this gap in the records in mind, it is

    salutary to note how often claims are made about the experience of

    television or the impact it has had on its viewers without anything but the

    slightest of clues.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Turnbull, S. E. (2012). A gap in the records: television audiences and the history of "us". In K. Darian-Smith & S. E. Turnbull (Eds.), Remembering Television: Histories, Technologies, Memories (pp. 17-29). United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781443839709

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1943

Book Title


  • Remembering Television: Histories, Technologies, Memories

Start Page


  • 17

End Page


  • 29

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • National television archives routinely collect all manner of material

    about the medium, including information about producers, performers and

    writers, as well as copies of the programs in which they were involved.

    While this is already a highly selective archive (see McKee, this volume),

    in media studies terms the industry and text side of the television equation

    has been relatively well attended to. Less well observed is how television

    was actually watched or what it meant to those who were doing the

    watching in specific historical, geographical and cultural locations, both

    then or now. In industry terms, the audience is rarely visible except as an

    anonymous ratings statistic, which is best regarded as the currency

    employed in the TV trade to leverage funds. However, these statistics

    don't tell us very much about how television was woven into the lives of

    its audience in any real way. With this gap in the records in mind, it is

    salutary to note how often claims are made about the experience of

    television or the impact it has had on its viewers without anything but the

    slightest of clues.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Turnbull, S. E. (2012). A gap in the records: television audiences and the history of "us". In K. Darian-Smith & S. E. Turnbull (Eds.), Remembering Television: Histories, Technologies, Memories (pp. 17-29). United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781443839709

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1943

Book Title


  • Remembering Television: Histories, Technologies, Memories

Start Page


  • 17

End Page


  • 29

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom