ERIC Number: ED199786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Political News on Television: A Closer Look at Audience Use and Avoidance Orientations.
Wenner, Lawrence A.
Based on preliminary interviews with 40 adults, an instrument was devised for assessing voters' uses and gratifications of viewing television news about presidential campaigns. When this instrument was used to survey 226 persons of voting age, an analysis by orthogonal rotation of the data produced a six-factor solution accounting for 52.6% of the variance. The six factors were labeled (1) avoidance (the most potent of the six factors), (2) conversation, (3) para-social interaction, (4) surveillance (general information seeking), (5) entertainment, and (6) selectivity. The results, largely consistent with earlier research on the subject, add some potentially important insights via the use of more extensive, open-ended preliminary interviews and the consequent development of a larger inventory of relevant items for testing. In using a lengthier and more sophisticated categorical scheme to measure gratifications relevant to political news, it became possible to make some potentially useful distinctions about what kind of surveillance gratifications are most relevant to different types of people attempting to make vote decisions. The findings, such as those pointing to comedy entertainment as a viable orientation for political cynics, also suggested that some latent, socially awkward, and systematically dysfunctional gratifications not only can be articulated by respondents, but more importantly can be empirically understood. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Analysis; Audience Response; Political Campaigns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).