- The new medical media elite: the rise of laymen on medical television in the Netherlands
- Book title
- Wissenschaft mit Wirkung: Beiträge zu Journalismus- und Medienforschung: Festschrift für Klaus Schönbach
- Pages (from-to)
- Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Since the 1960s, the European television landscape and the supply of television programs have changed greatly. In the Netherlands, for example, the broadcasting system has changed from the typical Dutch pillarised system, where broadcasting organizations represented segments of society (for example Catholics, Protestants, socialists, liberals, etc.), into a dual system where public and commercial television have coexisted since 1989. This dual broadcasting model can be labeled as a democratic corporatist media model (Bakker & Scholten, 2005; Hallin & Mancini, 2004), where media, television included, are primarily seen as social institutions and are not just viewed as private enterprises (Hallin & Macini, 2004). Influenced by developments in the media landscape, the characteristics of television journalism also have changed since the 1960s. In the Netherlands, television journalism ceased to produce propagandistic television in favor of the political and cultural elites of the different pillars in society, first becoming an emancipatory instrument for groups that are oppressed and discriminated against in society and then taking on a mediating role in representing different positions about issues. Journalists today act like brokers in representation, standing in between parties, leading discussions and determining the terms of these discussions (Vos, 2002). In connection with this development, the working routine of television journalists has also changed. So-called media logic, a way of working originally developed by commercial television networks in the United States of America, has been introduced (Altheide & Snow, 1979; Van Vree, Vos, Wijfjes & Bardoel, 2002). Media logic provides formats for the symbolic reproduction of events where the form takes priority over the presentation of content. Fixed formats determine the way in which the material will be organised and in what style it will be presented. Even though different formats exist for news programs, entertainment and talk shows, the so-called ‘entertainment perspective’ rules in all sectors, and is aimed at amusing the audience instead of informing it. Within the context of these entertainment formulas, information has become infotainment (Brants, 1998). The historical development of television journalism has been described as a development in the direction of more media logic: from the use of film formulas on television in the 1950s and 1960s, to a so-called press model in use until the mid 1980s, to the employment of television formats characterised by media logic after that (Bardoel, 1996).
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