International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Television Viewer and the Television News: A Combative Encounter?
Matu Nguri

Few television (hereafter TV) news studies have focused on the moment of viewing from the perspective of the viewer – the moment of the encounter between the television viewer and the television news. The aim of this research was to investigate what takes place at that moment. Its research questions were: What viewer typology constructs at the encounter? What key TV news aesthetics emerge? What is the nature of the encounter process? The research was guided by a critical theory perspective and was carried out in Kenya using a qualitative approach with Fifty Eight respondents. The study had three key findings – that the TV viewer is a disturbed, reflective, and dominating person at the moment of encounter with in- coming news; that an epic news genre dominates the encounter; and lastly, that the key process at the encounter is one of intertextuality through a combative as well as a combustive fusion and filter procedure. The study concludes that this is a significant investigation offering a fresh perspective of looking at communication of television news. It has potential for further development around viewer and television news encounter studies.

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