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From false integration of viewers on informative TV

Keywords: television news , public sphere , TV viewers , empowered user

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Abstract:

New media fast-paced technologies are constantly feeding the contemporary (tele)spectator with the promise of "empowerment". In the last decades, an "empowered user" notion is being built around the mythical narrative of 'omnipotence', that becomes the verb and the active complement to the modern promise of 'omnividence": the one who sees everything, can do everything. However, what we actually nd when we scan the news and information broadcasts of portuguese TV, is that we don't nd many traces of this supposedly "empowered" spectator. Broadcasts scarcely consider a structural participation of their public,or they only include spectators in euphemistical terms, letting them in just for the sake of having them in, thus treating the public not as citizens but as audiences and revealing a false "empowerment". In this article we analyze the integration of TV spectators on a total of 1673 news and information broadcasts in 6 Portuguese channels (RTP1, SIC, TVI, SICN, RTPN, TVI 24). This work is part of a research project called "Television journalism and citizenship".

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