The elusive public of television news

Madianou, Mirca. 2005. The elusive public of television news. In: Sonia Livingstone, ed. Audiences and Publics: v.2: Changing Media: Vol 2. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 99-114. ISBN 978-1841501291 [Book Section]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

In today's thoroughly mass-mediated world, audiences and publics are, of course, composed of the same people. Yet social science traditionally treats them quite differently. Indeed, it is commonplace to define audiences in opposition to the public: in both popular and elite discourses, audiences are denigrated as trivial, passive, individualised, while publics are valued as active, critically engaged and politically significant. This volume rejects this view and asks instead when and how the activities of audiences overlap with, or contribute to those of publics, and vice versa. It locates the analysis in relation to as fast-changing media environment, which in turn poses theoretical, empirical and policy questions, which are explored in a European context. The chapters each examine one of a series of intriguing empirical cases to explore these intersections - the television talk show, the minority ethnic news audience, children's use of the internet at home, audiences for live and public events - both high and popular culture, the rapid adoption of the mobile phone, and so forth.

It argues not only that publics are increasingly mediated, moving ever closer to audiences, but also that audiences are increasingly diffused and diverse, not to be contained within the private sphere: hence they must be examined together.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

26 Oct 2015 13:34

Last Modified:

16 Apr 2021 15:12


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)