Entering The Newsroom: The Sociocultural Value of ‘Semi-Fictional’ Entertainment and Popular Communication
This chapter analyses audience responses to HBO’s The Newsroom to argue that its sociocultural value as entertainment programming lies not in its content as popular communication per se, but in the audience response to the show. I assert The Newsroom helps cultivate valuable discussion on journalism and, moreover, prompts political talk on many contemporary issues beyond. People watching Fox News, MSNBC, or HBO’s The Newsroom, this chapter argues, can all be seen to engage with a genre that I dub semi-fictional entertainment, which: contains narrative elements traditionally associated with fiction; relies on real-world events and issues and allows audiences to fold these together as part of everyday sense-making and social orientation.
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