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Uses and Gratifications
Uses and gratifications

This approach to the analysis of media impacts on audiences was pioneered by Blumler and Katz (1974, and Katz, 1959) and reversed the traditional research agenda by asking why people used the media rather than inquiring into what effects, if any, the media might have on audiences. In Katz's own words, the research question was ‘not “what do the media do to people?” but “what do people do with the media?”’ (Katz, 1959: 2).

Blumler and Katz argued that an active audience, constituted by discriminating individuals, consciously and strategically use the media to gratify certain needs. They identified four such needs: (1) diversion-television provides an escape from everyday life; (2) personal relationshipstelevision offers companionship and conversation, especially for people who ...

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