Special Lecture - Professor Göran Eriksson Web-Television and changing forms of audience address 2016


Monday, April 11, 2016, 10:50am


Seminars Room 5402

Special meeting about Discourse Analysis With Professor Göran Eriksson, UÖrebro University, Sweden

Web-Television and changing forms of audience address
Göran Eriksson


The fact that television no longer is restricted to being broadcast but can be distributed through
the internet and be received on pcs, tablets and mobile phones has undoubtedly altered the
conditions for television production (Turner and Tay, 2009). On the one hand it has pushed
broadcasters to reconsider how to produce television but also how to make use of the
communicative affordances (and especially the interactive potentials) that comes with the web
technology (Ekström, Eriksson and Kroon, 2013). Today, some scholars refer to this as the
creation of “social television” (Selva, 2016; van Es, 2016) and suggest it provides a boosted form
of audience involvement which is as important (if not more) as the programmes themselves
(Selva, 2016:161). One the other hand it has created opportunities for non-broadcasters to
produce and distribute television output to mass audiences. In Sweden – which is the context for
this study – the traditional newspapers see this opportunity as a key (business) strategy to face a
rapid paper copy demise.
In this talk I will present work from an on-going research project1 which relates to this
development of web TV. In the scholarly debate there is an extensive debate about television and
audience involvement (see Moe, Poell and van Dijck, 2016). This research is generally focused on
how and to what extent viewers interact with the producers or connect with each other through
various digital devices. It tends to neglect the question how the web platform affects the forms
for audience address; i.e. how the web TV producers accustoms content to the web’s particular
affordances and the context of reception. With the starting-point in what is often referred to as
the Media Talk Approach (Hutchby, 2006; Tolson, 2006; Lorenzo-Dus, 2009) and Scannell’s
(1996) discussion about television’s communicative ethos this is the issue I will address. I will do so
by using examples from live political interviews produced by (tabloid) newspapers on their web-
site and a live sports programme called Superlive produced by traditional broadcasters (TV4), but
distributed via a web-platform (Fotbollskanalen.se).



1 This project is entitled Post-television practices: Reinventing broadcasting and print media with the use of web TV

and is financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond [The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences]