ISSN 2312-5160
IN ENGLISH
ПРАВИЛА ДЛЯ АВТОРІВ - УКРАЇНСЬКОЮ

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Current Issues of Mass Communication, 2018, no. 23, pp. 23-34

ISSN 2312-5160

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/2312-5160.2018.23.23-34

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Escape and Entertainment as Key Motives for Viewing TV News in the Light of Ritualistic Use of Television

Yurii Havrylets, Volodymyr Rizun, Maksym Khylko, Sergii Tukaiev

Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 36/1 Illienka St., Kyiv, 04119, Ukraine

* Corresponding author’s e-mail address: youri1985[@]gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

In this study, a scientific interpretation of escape and entertainment TV viewing motives is considered in the view of Uses and Gratifications Theory. More specifically, it is analysed how the TV viewing motives, initially elaborated for general TV use, are important to the TV news consumption. How strong are the motivations to escape and seek for entertainment in TV newscasts?

Given that primary goal of TV news viewing is obtaining information about the society and the world, TV news largely perform the instrumental role. However, in digital era, TV news are a combination of hard news (serious newsworthy topics, with analytical approach) and soft news (entertaining news items that rely mainly on attracting viewers’ attention, and relief after watching hard news). After TV viewers return home, there is usually no matter what to watch, but it is important just to relax. Though the amount of soft news is relatively small, it was studied how strong viewers’ motive is to watch an average TV newscast as a means to escape or being entertained.

Our study indicates that TV news has to be considered within two motivational patterns elaborated by U&G scholars for general TV use: instrumental and ritualistic viewing. Escape and entertainment motives are indisputable attributes of ritualistic use, whereas informational or surveillance motive leads to instrumental use.

Within Uses and Gratifications Theory, the concepts of escapism and entertainment occupy central positions in the row of TV viewing motives. However, they are often considered as a motivation to watch entertainment TV – fictional or reality-based programmes. But specific motivational structure that drives viewers to watch TV news remain largely meagre and divergent. In this study there was analysed the evidence that indicate various extents of strength of escapism and entertainment motives towards TV news viewing.

Notwithstanding some criticisms, U&G proved to be an enduring scientific approach. In U&G research, watching TV news is regarded as a process, aimed at obtaining messages about the world and neighbourhood, as well as information necessary for everyday decision making by the viewer and her/his relatives. In recent decades, the infotainment genre or soft news has been becoming more popular, and more and more tabloid TV stations tend to consider that TV news should entertain the viewers not less than to inform, or even more.

 

KEYWORDS: escape; entertainment; TV viewing motive; Uses and Gratifications Theory; TV news.

 

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