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HUNTER COLLEGE, CUNY Television and audiences Fall 2011 A Digital Journal By Belay W/mariam Jersey Shore, Reality TV, and Audience Engagement.

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Presentation on theme: "HUNTER COLLEGE, CUNY Television and audiences Fall 2011 A Digital Journal By Belay W/mariam Jersey Shore, Reality TV, and Audience Engagement."— Presentation transcript:

1 HUNTER COLLEGE, CUNY Television and audiences Fall 2011 A Digital Journal By Belay W/mariam Jersey Shore, Reality TV, and Audience Engagement.

2  Audience Engagement on Reality TV. I think, we all agree that Television is in a period of dramatic change. As the mass audience continues to fragment into ever-smaller niche audiences and different communities of interest, and new technologies shift control over the television viewing experience from network programmers into the hands of media consumers, television's traditional business models prove themselves increasingly untenable. The single most important concept in this new industrial discourse is that of “engagement", a term that has generated a tremendous amount of debate and disagreement, with television and advertising executives, as well as brought several interesting discussions in this media class. Thus I like to understand what engagement is, how it works, and what its practical consequences on TV Shows will be, by focusing on Reality TV and using The Jersey Show as a case study. Audience Engagement has been key to the success of television for decades. However, there have been issues in the past few years due to stories of broadcasters have found it difficult to maintain the relationship with their audience. This I believe brings back an old problem with new context.

3 To sum up my idea: one of the main argument and claim made by many media industry insiders, scholars, journalists, and participants is that the main reason for the success of Reality TV is it’s participatory and engaging future of the shows. My final research project will review this main argument about Reality TV as a participatory Medium and investigates evidence in the following three key areas: 1. Modes of Engagement; 2. Engagement Platform; 3. Engagement Measurement. The method: I will use Jersey Shore as a case study and I will pose as one of the Jersey Shore fans and remain engaged until the end of the semester. Please, note that my findings will be constantly updated and documented at our class Blog site,, as Digital Journal Format

4  Modes of communications such as the phone and letters became outdated and even at that time had their limitations in terms of how programe makers could respond to viewers and how quickly. In an attempt to update these models, television executives are attempting to shed television's long-standing reputation as a passive medium, which emphasized the viewer's role as a consumer of television content, but the current Multi medium TV viewing as an active, convenient, and more quality programming. Based on my literary review, the current discourse on engagement suggests that television's future now relies on the industry's success recasting it as an active medium, capable of capturing and holding the audience's attention, and effective at generating emotional and financial investment. For example, The Jersey Shore Show:

5 The Jersey Shore Show: Jersey Shore is a reality television series that premiered on MTV on December 3, 2009 in the United States. The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore. Season 2 followed the cast escaping the cold northeast winter to Miami Beach, with Season 3 returning to the Jersey Shore. The fourth season, filmed in Italy, premiered on August 4, 2011. MTV confirmed in June 2011 that Season 5 will return to Seaside Heights. The show debuted amid large amounts of controversy regarding the use of the words "Guido/Guidette," portrayals of Italian Americans stereotypes, and scrutiny from locals because the cast members were not residents of the area. Dubbed a cultural phenomenon, the series has garnered record ratings for MTV, making it the network's most viewed series telecast ever. The series' cast has also been credited with introducing unique lexicon and phrases into American Popular Culture, much like Seinfeld was in the 1990's, it has even been dubbed the Seinfeld of the 2010's, and the University of Chicago has announced an academic conference that will examine the show. In 2010, the cast of Jersey Shore was named on Barbara Walters’ 10 Most fascinating People list. The series has since exported to dozens of countries worldwide.


7 1. Modes of Engagement on Reality TV: “Casting Shirley Partridge: The Reality TV Audience as Talent Scout” Posted by Mary Beth Haralovich / University of Arizona on November 5th, 2004 9 Comments Printer-Friendly9 CommentsPrinter-Friendly Reality television is developing a new force on the creative side of television production as the TV audience joins television executives in the creation of entertainment programming. Bridges between entertainment and audience have always been fundamental to show business, and reality TV is taking audience participation to new heights. Reality TV has already broken down the distance between audience and performer. Reality TV players (”player” here taken to mean both game player and stage performer) are different from movie and TV stars. The reality TV player is familiar, more ordinary than extraordinary.

8 Instant celebrity: Reality television has the potential to turn its participants into national Celebrities, at least for a short period. Many shows such as Survivor, Big Brother, and Jersy Shore have made at least temporary celebrities out of their participants; some participants have then been able to parlay this fame into media or other careers.


10 Here, it is important to note that there has been some criticism against Reality TV has been made, such as, "Reality" as misnomer. Some also suggested that the realty shows take place in unreal environments. Reality casting can generate critique of social categories and assumptions and players ask the audience to recognize the types that they embody and to disengage preconceptions about stereotypes.

11 The Cast Angelina Pivarnick Season1 and 2 from Staten Island, New York, Polish-Italian American Pivarnick is a New York City bartender. She starts out the season with a serious relationship at home, but the two break up in episode 3, which indirectly leads to her eviction from the shore house after refusing to work her shift in the T-shirt shop. Pivarnik again departed the house during Season 2, after violent confrontations with Mike and Nicole. She did not return for Season 3. She calls herself the "Kim Kardasian of Staten Island," but is mocked by other cast members as the "Staten Island dump" or the "Rob Kardashian of Staten Island.

12 Deena Nicole Catese, Season 3-present New Egypt, New Jersey, Italian American Cortese, a longtime friend of Polizzi, had originally auditioned for season 1 and been rejected. She eventually joins the cast starting in season 3. She describes herself as a "blast

13 Jennifer Farley "JWoww" Franklin Square, New York Irish-Spanish American Farley is a graphic designer and club promoter from Franklin Square, New York. During the casting process, she states, "I thought the guys would be enormous and really mean, and I thought the girls would be catty and overdone." She enters the shore house with a steady relationship at home but cheats on her boyfriend with castmate DelVecchio and ends her relationship in season 3 episode 4 for different reasons. Farley has had breast augmentation surgery, which she got as a birthday present to herself just before turning 21.

14 Michael Sorrentino "The Situation" Staten Islad, New York Italian American Sorrentino, an assistant manager of a fitness center in Saten Island, develops an attraction towards Giancola, which does not come into fruition when she becomes interested in fellow castmate Ortiz-Magro. Sorrentino worked as an exotic dancer in 2004. In the 2010 season of Dancing with the Stars, he partnered with Karina Smirnoff, but was eliminated in week

15 Nicole Polizzi "Snooki" Marlboro, New York Chilean (adopted by Italian family) and is an aspiring veterinarian technician. She applied to an ad on Facebook that said "Calling all guidos and guidettes," which Polizzi said, "was definitely about my lifestyle." Polizzi earned the nickname "Snooki" in middle school after being the first of her friends to "make out" with a boy. She became the center of controversy when a man punched her in her face during a bar confrontation. Polizzi was arrested by Seaside police on July 30, 2010 on public intoxication charges, which were later dropped. She previously suffered from an eating disorder in high school.

16 Paul DelVecchio "Pauly D" Johnston, Rhode Island Italian American DelVecchio is a disc jockey from outside of Providence. He strikes up a brief romance with fellow castmate Farley but the relationship does not progress. DelVecchio was nominated for the 2010 "America's Best DJ" competition. Ronnie Ortiz-Magro From Bronx, New York Puerto Rican-Italian American Ortiz-Magro is from. He strikes up a relationship with castmate Giancola. Sammi Giancola "Sweetheart" Hazlet, New Jersey Italian American Giancola is from and is recently single at the start of the series. She attended William Paterson Univercity and was a midfielder on the women's soccer team. Giancola ultimately strikes up a relationship with fellow castmate Ortiz-Magro in season 1 episode 3.

17 Vinny Guadagnino Staten Island, New York Sicilian American 21-year-old. Guadagnino comes from a traditional Italian American family in Staten Island A graduate of the Paltz who had plans to attendlow school if acting did not work out. Guadagnino applied after a friend sent him an application asking for "the orangest, most muscley, spiky-haired people", which Guadagnino filled out "as a joke." Describing first meeting his castmates, he says, "I see Pauly and his spiky hair and his whole guido look. Great, they found the most stereotypical kid. Then Snooki seems like a train wreck. But you realize we're all starting this crazy new adventure." Guadagnino is an advocate for disenfranchised communities including LGBT teens and homeless animals. He has appeared in a PSA for the It gets Better Project and has rescued and found homes for many animals in his local community. Guadagnino guest stars in The Hard Times of RJ Berger in episode, "Cousin Vinny" on March 28, 2011.Paltz

18 Controversy of Jersey Shore MTV received criticism from Italian American organizations for the way in which they marketed the show, as it liberally used the word Guido to describe the cast members. The term 'guido' is generally regarded as an ethnic slur when referring to Italians and Italian Americans. One promotion stated that the show was to follow, "eight of the hottest, tannest, craziest Guidos," while yet another advertisement stated, "[the show] exposes one of the tri-state area's most misunderstood species... the GUIDO. Yes, they really do exist! Our Guidos and Guidettes will move into the ultimate beach house rental and indulge in everything the Seaside Heights, New Jersey scene has to offer." Cast members Snooki and Jwow are not ethnically Italian. Snooki is Chilean, but was adopted as an infant by Italian American parents. Jwow is Irish and Spanish.

19 Prior to the series debut, UNICO NATIONAL formally requested that MTV cancel the show. In a letter to the network, UNICO called the show a ", deliberate and disgraceful attack on Italian Americans..." UNICO National President Andre DiMino said in a statement "MTV has festooned the 'bordello-like' house set with Italian flags and green, white and red maps of New Jersey while every other cutaway shot is of Italian signs and symbols. They are blatantly as well as subliminally bashing Italian-Americans with every technique possible..." Around this time, other Italian-American organizations joined the fight, including the NIAF the Order Sons of Italy and the internet watch-dog Italian Aware. MTV responded to the controversy by issuing a press release which stated in part, "the Italian-American cast takes pride in their ethnicity. We understand that this show is not intended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture." Since the calls for the show's removal, several sponsors have requested that their ads not be aired during the show. These sponsors include Dell, Domino's and American Family Insurance.

20 SeasonEEp # First airdate Last airdate Seson19 Decemb er 3, 2009 January 21, 2010 SS Seson 1 13 July 29, 2010 October 21, 2010 S S Season 3 13 January 6, 2011 March 24, 2011 SSSeason 4 12 August 4, 2011 October 20, 2011 S S Season 5 TBA Episodes


22 SSSeason 4 12 August 4, 2011 October 20, 2011

23 Blogore, “Sanjay “Social Media & TV – A Match Made in Heaven” ( July 22, 2011 ) “The social networks have been a god-send to the TV networks and producers. Despite what you might think, about old media being over-shadowed by ‘new media’, the new is actually helping the old out. Twitter and Facebook have been instrumental in providing television programmes with new ways of building relationships with viewers. Providing real time feedback not only when a programme is on-air but all day everyday, tapping in the communication addictions within us all.”

24 Modes of Audience Engagement This paper seeks to recontextualise key findings from recent studies of reality TV audiences in light of insights drawn from across the wider field. It suggests that modes of engagement and response adopted by different reality TV audiences appear broadly consistent with those identified in relation to a wide variety of genres viewed in diverse national contexts, as charted in the Composite Multi-dimensional Model of audience reception (Michelle 2007).

25 “ This thesis argues that television's future as an engagement medium relies not on inventing new methodologies that define engagement in terms of quantifiable audience behaviors and attitudes, but instead in a new conceptual model of television, better suited to a multi platform media environment and the emerging attention and experience economies, which focuses on the development of television programs that extend beyond the television set. Such a model must understand television not as a method for aggregating audiences that can be sold to advertisers, but as a medium that draws upon media platforms, content, products, activities and social spaces to provide audiences with a range of opportunities to engage with television content. Accordingly, this thesis offers a framework for thinking about viewer engagement as the range of opportunities and activities that become possible when drawing upon an expanded, multi-platform conception of the modern television text. Applying this framework to the innovative and experimental textual extensions developed around ABC's Lost, the thesis indicates both the challenges and opportunities that emerge as television becomes an engagement medium.” (Gloto Co-Founder and CEO Eric Con)

26  2. Engagement Platform: Maximizing Audience Engagement on The Jersey Show: How to engage customers with content through social media, websites, smartphones, and tablets, whenever or wherever it is aired Stations can boost their audience engagement and even sponsorship revenues with the Twitter.

27 Mobile, Social Integral to TV Audience Engagement - Adrants Audiences are watching TV, streaming video on the web and doing mobile “check-ins” on the go. How can you be sure your message is impacting the right audience on the right platform in the right place at the right time?

28 Twitter is over capacity.

29 Please wait a moment and try again. For more information, check out Twitter Status » Twitter Status »


31 The Jersey Shore Faceebook.

32 Jersey Shore fan club Jersey Shore Fansite Jersey Shore fanfiction Drama/Romance Jersey Shore Quiz … Jersey Shore Game

33 Findings: I Evaluate the role of advertising. Limited promotion displayed on mobile and web.

34 3. Additional Engagement Metrics: Measuring Audience Engagement. Depending on how your company or brand is engaging in social media, there may be other metrics that should be factored into audience engagement. The additional metrics will likely come from the various social media channels that are outside of the ones listed above. These could include Diggs, Stumble Upon likes, LinkedIn group activity or followers, social bookmarks,…

35 Measuring Audience Engagement in Social Media Nathan LinnellNathan Linnell, June 28, 2010 0 Comments0 Comments Engaging with an audience is at the core of any company or brand's objectives for taking part in social media, even if it's not one of the ultimate goals of their social media program. The ultimate goal may be sales, sign-ups, increased customer satisfaction, or any number of other goals, but audience engagement will always play a crucial role in attaining those goals. Audience engagement is likely at the core of every good social media program, so understanding how to measure it is essential. Because there aren't any standards or widely accepted calculations for audience engagement, or for that matter most social media metrics, there ends up being differing definitions, depending on who you to measure it The metrics listed below are by no means an exhaustive list, because the type of social media program that's being run will likely factor into what metrics are used for the audience engagement calculation. For example, if YouTube isn't part of the social media campaign, then YouTube engagement metrics isn't going to be applicable. Each of the metrics below can also be used in other calculations to get even greater insights, but for the purpose of this column, I'll stick to using them as part of a total audience engagement metric.

36 Twitter Retweets Simply looking at the volume of tweets your company or brand puts out is fairly meaningless because you generally want to engage your audience and not broadcast to them. Because of that, looking at the number of retweets will begin to shed light on the relevancy of your tweets in the eyes of your audience and allow you to understand what gets your audience engaging with your company or brand. Twitter @Tweets Beyond just showing that they enjoy and get value out of your company or brand's tweets, an @tweet is a prime example of an audience member who has the desire to directly engage with your company or brand. This is truly where an engagement can lead to developing or enhancing a relationship.

37 YouTube Video Interactions This is a metric that is a rollup of video comments, favorites, and ratings. Similar to Facebook interactions, YouTube video interactions measure how well your company or brand's videos move viewers beyond watching a video to then engage with it. YouTube Channel Interactions As the name indicates, a YouTube channel interaction is a similar metric to video interactions, except it relates to your company or brand channel as a whole instead of videos. This is again a rollup metric that includes channel comments and channel favorites. This metric gives excellent insights into understanding if viewers are moving beyond engaging with just an individual video to instead making a more personal connection by engaging more at the company or

38 Social Media Brand Mentions There are a lot of engagement opportunities that can take place outside the leading social media channels. Measuring these is also important to understanding the overall level of audience engagement that's taking place around your company or brand. An example would be tracking the number of engagements that take place in Reality TV Shows, such as, The Jersey Show.

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