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Visit the "Understanding Media" series microsite. 'This book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of research and debate about media audiences, written by some of the leading scholars in the field. It covers a wide range of media genres, from TV news to soaps and reality shows, as well as addressing broader issues, for example to do with globalisation, the social contexts of media use and the power of the media. This is a state-of-the-art textbook, which provides students with the critical tools they need in order to evaluate existing research, and to undertake their own' - David Buckingham, Institute of Education, London.'The book is important for the broad understanding of media audiences it provides, and for the richness of the learning experience available through the activities and reading extracts that guide the student experience. It is an excellent introduction to the history and traditions of audience research' - Virginia Nightingale, University of Western Syney, Australia. This book offers an engaging and accessible introduction to key debates in audience studies, drawing on a range of historical, contemporary and cross-cultural case studies.The book includes chapters on: different approaches to researching audiences and how they link to policy and political agendas; how media technologies shape our sensory and social experience; how the media address us as media publics and affect democratic processes; what ethnographic approaches tell us about audiences in different parts of the world; how new forms of interactivity and mobility shift the relations of power between media consumers and producers. The authors take students through these and other topics, using readings from key research and providing carefully designed student activities. Case studies range from the sensational experiences of early twentieth-century film audiences to the activities of reality TV viewers, from the audiences for Indian religious epics to Israeli news viewers' interpretations of news about Palestine.