Informing spatial realities: audiences and television news in Australia
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 10:43 authored by Tanya Louise Muscat
This thesis examines the ways in which commercial television news programmes contribute to everyday social knowledge on space, politics, and identity. In the Australian context, popular and political discourses continue to concentrate on issues of migration and identity. These discourses culminate in the mediated concerns over national borders. By employing an approach that focuses on participation, this study investigates how audiences view and draw meaning from the two most popular commercial television news programmes in Sydney. It argues that audiences mobilise relational space/power/identity formations to explain how local commercial television news viewership fits in with broader mediated networks of information. Through an examination of the audiences' discussions of commercial television news programmes, this study elucidates that respondents' use news in both a spatial and political manner. An analysis of the coverage of issues relating to asylum and migration in 9 News and 7 News is contextualised in the audiences' discursive focus on asylum and migration reports. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of commercial television news content establishes that news reports construct relational space/power/identity formations across the local, national, and global scales. While the emphasis remains on the nation-state scale, commercial television news programmes provide pivotal hegemonic openings for alternative frameworks of understanding migration across the local and global contexts. By combining audience analysis with both quantitative content analysis and qualitative multimodal analysis, this thesis demonstrates the ways in which commercial television news programmes mediate knowledge of space/power/identity formations among Australians.