Stop griping, start complaining: how public discontent can trigger a change in broadcast entertainment content

Efrat Daskal*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the conditions under which public manifestation of discontent can lead to changes in the broadcasting of offensive media content. Our analysis is based on ethnographic research within the ombudsman at a regulatory institution in Israel, on content analysis of 2142 complaints regarding perceived inappropriate broadcasted content between the years 2005 and 2010, and on an examination of public discourse surrounding controversial programs in Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Our analysis indicates that successful complaints share three conditions that collectively lead media organizations to amend broadcasted contents: the complaints name a socially sensitive identity within a specific broadcasting culture, the complaints are numerous and represent diversified public sectors, and the complaints are accompanied by a heated public debate around the perceived offence. We elaborate on each of these conditions and conclude by discussing the effectiveness of public complaints as a discursive device in participatory culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1226-1243
Number of pages18
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Keywords

  • civic engagement
  • complaint
  • entertainment broadcast
  • participatory culture
  • public protest
  • regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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