Television as Digital Media

Television as Digital Media

Console-ing Passions: Television and Cultural Power

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Book Pages: 400 Illustrations: 38 photographs Published: February 2011

Cultural Studies, Media Studies > Digital Media, TV

In Television as Digital Media, scholars from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States combine television studies with new media studies to analyze digital TV as part of digital culture. Taking into account technologies, industries, economies, aesthetics, and various production, user, and audience practices, the contributors develop a new critical paradigm for thinking about television, and the future of television studies, in the digital era. The collection brings together established and emerging scholars, producing an intergenerational dialogue that will be useful for anyone seeking to understand the relationship between television and digital media.

Introducing the collection, James Bennett explains how television as digital media is a non-site-specific, hybrid cultural and technological form that spreads across platforms such as mobile phones, games consoles, iPods, and online video services, including YouTube, Hulu and the BBC’s iPlayer. Television as digital media threatens to upset assumptions about television as a mass medium that has helped define the social collective experience, the organization of everyday life, and forms of sociality. As often as we are promised the convenience of the television experience “anytime, anywhere,” we are invited to participate in communities, share television moments, and watch events live. The essays in this collection demonstrate the historical, production, aesthetic, and audience changes and continuities that underpin the emerging meaning of television as digital media.

Contributors. James Bennett, William Boddy, Jean Burgess, John Caldwell, Daniel Chamberlain, Max Dawson, Jason Jacobs, Karen Lury, Roberta Pearson, Jeanette Steemers, Niki Strange, Julian Thomas, Graeme Turner


“[T]his is a great collection of reflections on the relation of social behavior, technology, and cultural form. It is a must-read for all those who are interested in what digitalization means.” — Huub Wijfjes, Technology and Culture

“. . . Television as Digital Media remains a useful source for any scholar keen on learning more about the future of television studies, as well as about the myriad of possibilities available for television in the digital era.” — Gin Chee Tong, Screening the Past

Television as Digital Media presents itself as an enjoyable and informative read, dealing with a variety of aspects that come as a result of the advancements that are shaping the future of digital television.” — Laura Burlacu, Masters of Media

Television as Digital Media will be beneficial to media scholars and students alike…. [D]espite the huge challenge of negotiating the perpetually moving object of digital television, this book provides a useful and eclectic vocabulary for starting to make sense of these shifts.” — Chuck Tryon, Screen

“Essays by television and new media scholars from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, speak to a hybrid confluence of production practices, industry strategies, aesthetic markers, audience practices, historical antecedents, and resulting contemporary digital culture. The end result is to help shape a new paradigm for connecting television and digital media by addressing the questions ’what is television, and what is it for?’” — John F. Barber, Leonardo Reviews

Television as Digital Media is a valuable snapshot of current theorizing and critical thinking in this time of technical convergence and social media innovation.” — Vincent O'Donnell, Cultural Studies Review

“Taken as a whole, I found Television as Digital Media to be consistently excellent…. richly and deliberately engaged with the substantial changes being wrought by adjustments in the technologies, distribution practices, and economics—among many other industrial and cultural facets—that characterize television today.” — Amanda D. Lotz, Cinema Journal

“[T]his collection… represents a valuable bridging of the ?elds of new media studies and television studies, demonstrating several productive approaches for understanding the ever-changing terrain of television in the present day.” — Luke Stadel, Quarterly Review of Film and Video

Television as Digital Media makes an important intervention within discussions of television’s relationship to digital culture…. This collection demonstrates that television studies is well equipped to analyze these new objects, providing television scholars in particular, and media studies scholars more broadly, with an important set of tools with which to understand digital media culture.” — Karen Petruska, Popular Communication

“This is a terrific collection that opens up exciting ways to think about relations between old TV and new digital culture without reifying either of those terms.” — Lynn Spigel, co-editor of Television after TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition

“This original collection reframes contemporary debates about new digital media technologies, media convergence, and modes of cultural regulation, production, and consumption.” — David Morley, author of Media, Modernity, and Technology

“Television as Digital Media is an important and timely collection. Offering strategies for mapping a fast-changing digital terrain, it is poised to stimulate an important conversation between television studies and the television industry.” — William Uricchio, Director, MIT Comparative Media Studies


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

James Bennett is head of area for Media, Information, and Communications at London Metropolitan University. Beginning in April 2011, he will be Senior Lecturer in Television Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Television Personalities: Stardom and the Small Screen and a co-editor of Film and Television After DVD.

Niki Strange is the founder of Strange Digital, a company providing research and strategy consulting for digital businesses and the culture, education, and public sectors. She is also a research fellow at the University of Sussex.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Television as Digital Media / James Bennett 1

Part 1
Switchover: Historicizing the Digital Revolution

Convergence and Divergence: The International Experience of Digital Television / Graeme Turner 31

When Digital Was New: The Advanced Television Technologies of the 1970s and the Control of Content / Julian Thomas 52

"Is It TV Yet?": The Dislocated Screens of Television in a Mobile Digital Culture / William Boddy 76

Part 2
Production Strategies in the Digital Landscape

Cult Television as Digital Television's Cutting Edge / Roberta Pearson 105

Multiplatforming Public Service: The BBC's "Bundled Project" / Niki Strange 132

Little Kids' TV: Downloading, Sampling, and Multiplatforming the Preschool TV Experiences of the Digital Era / Jeanette Steemers 158

Part 3
The Aesthetics of Convergence

The "Basis for Mutual Contempt": The Loss of the Contingent in Digital Television / Karen Lury 181

Television's Aesthetic of Efficiency: Convergence Television and the Digital Short / Max Dawson 204

Scripted Spaces: Television Interfaces and the Non-Places of Asynchronous Entertainment / Daniel Chamberlain 230

Television, Interrupted: Pollution or Aesthetic? / Jason Jacobs 255

Part 4
User-Generated Content: Producing Digital Audiences

Worker Blowback: User-Generated, Worker-Generated, and Producer-Generated Content within Collapsing Production Workflows / John T. Caldwell 283

User-Created Content and Everyday Cultural Practice: Lessons from YouTube / Jean Burgess 311

Architectures of Participation: Fame, Television, and Web 2.0 / James Bennett 332

Bibliography 359

Contributors 373

Index 377
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4910-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4887-0
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