Exploring Cross-Media Audience Practices in Two Cases of Public Service Media in Estonia and Finland

Alessandro Nanì 1  and Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt 2
  • 1 University of Tartu & Tallinn University, , Tallinn, Estonia
  • 2 Malmö University, , Malmö, Sweden


Stemming from the concept of active audiences and from Henry Jenkins’ (2006) idea of participatory culture as the driving force behind the transformation of public service broadcasting into agencies of public service media (Bardoel, Ferrell Lowe 2007), this empirical study explores the attitude and behaviour of the audiences of two crossmedia projects, produced by the public service media of Finland (YLE) and Estonia (ERR). This empirical study aims to explore the behaviour, wants and needs of the audiences of cross-media productions and to shed some light on the conditions that support the dynamic switching of the engagement with cross-media. The study’s results suggest that audiences are neither passive nor active, but switch from one mode to another. The findings demonstrate that audience dynamism is circumstantial and cannot be assumed. Thus, thinking about active audiences and participation as the lymph of public service media becomes problematic, especially when broadcasters seek generalised production practices. This work demonstrates how television networks in general cannot be participatory, and instead, how cross-media can work as a vehicle of micro participation through small acts of audience engagement (Kleut et al. 2017).

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abercrombie, Nicholas; Longhurst, Brian J. 1998. Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination. London: Sage.

  • Andrejevic, Mark 2008. ‘Watching Television Without Pity: The Productivity of Online Fans’. - Television & New Media 9, 1, 24-46.

  • Bardoel, Jo; Ferrell Lowe, Gregory 2007. ‘From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service Media: The Core Challenge’. - Gregory Ferrell Lowe, Jo Bardoel (eds.), From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service Media. Göteborg: Nordicom, 9-26.

  • Bardoel, Johannes; d’Haenens, Leen 2008. ‘Reinventing Public Service Broadcasting in Europe: Prospects, Promises and Problems’. - Media, Culture & Society 30, 3, 337-355.

  • Carpentier, Nico 2011. ‘New Configurations of the Audience? The Challenges of User-Generated Content for Audience Theory and Media Participation’. - Virginia Nightingale (ed.), The Handbook of Media Audiences 5. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 190-212.

  • Dena, Christy 2009. Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World Across Distinct Media and Environments. PhD thesis. University of Sydney.

  • Duffett, Mark 2013. Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture. New York: Bloomsbury.

  • Eco, Umberto 1990. I limiti dell’interpretazione. Milano: Bompiani.

  • Evans, Elisabeth 2015. ‘Layering Engagement: The Temporal Dynamics of Transmedia Television’. - Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies 7, 2, 111-128.

  • Fiske, John 1989. ‘Moments of Television’. - Ellen Seiter, Hans Borchers, Gabriele Kreutzner, Eva-Maria Warth (eds.), Remote Control: Television, Audiences, and Cultural Power. London: Routledge, 56-78.

  • Fuchs, Christian; Sevignani, Sebastian 2013. ‘What Is Digital Labour? What Is Digital Work? What’s Their Difference? And Why Do These Questions Matter for Understanding Social Media?’ - TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique: Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society 11, 2, 237-293.

  • Gambarato, Renira Rampazzo; Nanì, Alessandro 2016. ‘Blurring Boundaries, Transmedia Storytelling and the Ethics of CS Pierce’. - Steven Maras (ed.), Ethics in Screenwriting: New Perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 147-175.

  • Gibson, James J. 1979. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

  • Hallin, Daniel; Mancini, Paolo 2012. Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ibrus, Indrek; Merivee, Astra 2014. ‘Strategic Management of Crossmedia Production at Estonian Public Broadcasting’. - Baltic Screen Media Review 2, 96-120.

  • Ibrus, Indrek; Scolari, Carlos A. 2012. Crossmedia Innovations: Texts, Markets, Institutions. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

  • Jenkins, Henry 1992. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge.

  • Jenkins, Henry 2006. Convergence Culture: Where the Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.

  • Jõesaar, Andres 2015. ‘PSM - Home Alone in a Narrowcasting Era? A Case Study: The Estonian Public Broadcasting’. - Informacijos mokslai 70, 69-84.

  • Kjus, Yngvar 2007. ‘Ideals and Complications in Audience Participation for PSM: Open Up or Hold Back?’ - Gregory Ferrell Lowe, Jo Bardoel (eds.), From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service Media. Göteborg: Nordicom, 135-150.

  • Kleut, Jelena; Møller Hartley, Jannie; Pavlíčková, Tereza; Picone, Ike; Romic, Bojana; De Ridder, Sander 2017. ‘Small Acts of Audience Engagement Interrupting Content Flows’. - Ranjana Das, Brita Ytre-Arne (eds.), Audiences, Towards 2030: Priorities for Audience Analysis. Surrey: CEDAR, 28-30.

  • Livingstone, Sonia 2013. ‘The Participation Paradigm in Audience Research’. - The Communication Review 16, 1-2, 21-30.

  • Long, Geoffrey 2007. ‘Transmedia Storytelling: Business, Aesthetics and Production at the Jim Henson Company’. MA thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA.

  • McGrenere, Joanna; Ho, Wayne 2000. ‘Affordances: Clarifying and Evolving a Concept’. - Proceedings of Graphics Interface, 179-186.

  • McQuail, Denis 1997. Audience Analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Nightingale, Virginia (ed.) 2011. The Handbook of Media Audiences 5. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Norman, Donald A. 2013. The Design of Everyday Things. Revised and expanded edition. New York: Basic Books.

  • Ross, Sharon M. 2011. Beyond the Box: Television and the Internet. Malden: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Saar, Darja 2015. ‘Igaüks on oluline! Sinust sõltub!’ -ERR. http://info.err.ee/l/avalikteave/venekeelne_telekanal (1 September 2017).

  • Schrøder, Kim C. 2011. ‘Audiences Are Inherently Cross-Media: Audience Studies and the Cross-Media Challenge’. - Communication Management Quarterly 18, 6, 5-27.

  • Scolari, Carlos Alberto 2009. ‘Transmedia Storytelling: Implicit Consumers, Narrative Worlds, and Branding in Contemporary Media Production’. - International Journal of Communication 3, 586-606.

  • Sehl, Annika; Cornia, Alessio; Nielsen, Rasmus K. 2016. Public Service News and Digital Media. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/research/files/Public%2520Service%2520News%2520and%2520Digital%2520Media.pdf (9 November 2017).

  • Standard Eurobarometer 2016. Standard Eurobarometer 86: Media Use in the European Union. Report. S.l.: European Commission. https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/7b345c9d-6b64-11e7-b2f2-01aa75ed71a1/language-en (19 November 2017).

  • Wilson, Sherryl 2016. ‘In the Living Room: Second Screens and TV Audiences’. - Television & New Media 17, 2, 174-191.


Journal + Issues