Author: Lothar Mikos (Department of Media Studies University of Film and Television)
In his new book, Westminster scholar Daya Thussu puts the focus on the rise of global infotainment. Since the deregulation of television in most Western nations and the introduction of commercial television after the collapse of the communist nations in the former east, there are an increasing number of TV channels all around the world, and commercialization has become the driving force behind the development of global television. On the one hand, the international trade in TV formats, fictional and factual, is part of an increasing market where entertainment programmes are sold all over the world. On the other hand, international news has seen a worldwide expansion, under the sign of commercialization. Thussu claims, ‘as television news has been commercialized, the need to make it entertaining has become a crucial priority for broadcasters, as they are forced to borrow and adapt characteristics from entertainment genres and modes of conversation that privilege an informal communicative style, with its emphasis on personalities, style, storytelling skills and spectacles. Its tendency to follow a tabloid approach, its capacity to circulate trivia, blend fact with fiction and even distort the truth is troubling’ (p. 3). The author argues that there is a need to go beyond the debate about ‘dumbing down’, the so called infotainment, because it works as ‘a powerful discourse of diversion, in both senses, taking the attention away from, and displacing from the airwaves, such grim realities of neo-liberal imperialism as witnessed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq; the intellectual and cultural subjugation by the tyranny of technology; of free-market capitalism and globalization of a profligate and unsustainable consumerist lifestyle’ (p. 9).
How to Cite: Mikos, L. (2017) “Book Review: Thussu, Daya Kishan, News as Entertainment: The Rise of Global Infotainment, 2007, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore, Sage, ISBN 978-0-7619-6878-8”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 5(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.79