Audiences and Australian media policy: the relevance of George Gerbner

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This chapter outlines the relevance of George Gerbner's work on television violence to audience informed, policy-directed Australian media research. Gerbner founded the Cultural Indicators Project (CIP) in the 1960s. Bringing a CIP perspective to Antipodean conversations adds historical weight to the notion that policy should use nuanced understandings of what violence and pornography represent, as core elements of media culture. The chapter explores recent Australian media research on the management of violent and sexually explicit materials. It explains why Gerbner's work is significant to these developments, since it reimagined the geography of audience studies, particularly around the concept of message systems. The chapter discusses why Gerbner's reconceptualization of media risk suggests that we need to spend as much time listening to what the public doesn't like about screen sex and violence, as to the enjoyment they get from such material. It describes how digital media set the foundation for the kind of audience-driven media activism that Gerbner wanted to provoke.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudying Digital Media Audiences
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Australasia
EditorsCraig Hight, Ramaswami Harindranath
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315402062
ISBN (Print)9781138224568
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture

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