The SAGE Key Concepts series provide students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Key Concepts in Journalism offers a systematic and accessible introduction to the terms, processes, and effects of journalism;a combination of practical considerations with theoretical issues; and further reading suggestions. The authors bring an enormous range of experience in newspaper and broadcast journalism, at national and regional level, as well as their teaching expertise. This book will be essential reading for students in journalism, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers.
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 relationships – television offers companionship and conversation, especially for people who ...