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To examine children’s exposure to food and beverage advertising across a year of Colombian television based on whether products exceed PAHO-defined nutrient thresholds.
Nutritional information was obtained for all foods and beverages advertised and used to categorize each product according to product category (e.g., beverage, snack food) and nutritional quality based on the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) model for identifying products in excess of free sugars, sodium, or saturated fat or containing non-caloric sweeteners or trans-fat. Television audience ratings data were used to derive the average child audience (unique child viewers) per ad and the number of times ads were seen by children in a single week (weekly impressions) based on product category and nutritional quality.
All food and beverage ads on cable and over-the-air TV in Colombia in 2017.
Of all instances of TV ads, 89.3% were of unhealthy products. A larger proportion of male and female children, as well as children from low (88.01%), mid (89.10%) and high (89.10%) SES are exposed to advertising of unhealthy products, but no significant difference was found between these proportions.
The majority of foods and beverages advertised to Colombian children are unhealthy. These findings highlight a need to implement statutory measures to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising in Colombia, as obesity and overweight have been increasing among school-aged children in Colombia and exposure to television advertising of unhealthy foods is a known contributor to children’s food intake and obesity.
Previous studies from European countries noted that food products promoted on TV for children did not comply with international guidelines, including the World Health Organization European Nutrient Profile Model (WHO-ENPM) and the EU Pledge Nutrition Criteria (EU-PNC, an initiative developed by leading food companies). We aim to provide new data from Italy.
Evaluation of Italian TV advertisements. Data on nutritional values for food product advertised were compared with nutritional standards issued by the WHO-ENPM and the EU-PNC.
180 hours of TV programs from six Italian channels, 2016-2017.
810 consecutive advertisements during children’s programs.
Out of 810 advertisements, 90 (11.1%) referred to food products. Among these, 84.5% of the foods promoted did not meet the WHO-ENPM and 55.6% the EU-PNC guidelines. Advertisements promoting sweet and salty snacks (i.e. ≥70% of all foods) vs. other food products showed higher non-compliance with both the WHO-ENPM (odds ratio, OR: 73.8: 95% confidence interval, CI: 4.09-1330) and the EU-PNC (OR: 9.21; 95% CI: 2.82-30.1).
In Italy, most food advertisements during children’s programs are not compliant with European nutritional standards. Almost all the advertisements for snacks do not meet international guidelines. As the WHO-ENPM guidelines do not propose standards for all the food products, including meals, there is an urgent need to define independent and easy-to-read guidelines for food advertisements targeting children. As a first step towards the complete ban of food advertisements targeting children recommended by other researchers, these guidelines should be enforced by all the TV broadcasts.
The disruptive power of technological innovation is one of the defining features of modern life. The presidential nomination process is no exception. Changes in communication technology have profoundly shaped how presidential candidates conduct their campaigns. First radio, then television, and more recently the internet have successively emerged as essential tools for effective political communication. A presidential candidate cannot compete without embracing the new communication technologies of the day. But the adoption of new technology has relentlessly increased campaign costs for more than a century. This chapter examines how technology has shaped the presidential nomination process, making the pursuit of the White House an ever more expensive proposition.
Two decades into the twenty-first century, Beethoven’s Third Symphony is programmed regularly by the world’s leading orchestras and remains popular with audiences. In contemporary mainstream classical musical culture, the Eroica continues to be the pre-eminent musical emblem of heroism and revolution. In visual media, the Eroica retains classical music’s conventional generic meaning of wealth and superior status, but it is also deployed in film, television and video game soundtracks to track markedly intelligent heroes and culturally sophisticated revolutionaries. As new critical theories engage with the symphony’s traditional interpretations, alternative readings of the Eroica are emerging in musical scholarship alongside the heroic/revolutionary trope. The pastoral, politics and freedom figure prominently in several recent close readings, while the Eroica is fast becoming a pivotal musical work in disability studies. As a central example in both heroic narratives of overcoming and human narratives of adaptation, the Eroica endures.
Narrative fiction is a major component of entertainment and culture, comprising books, television, movies, and video games. Our comprehension of these narratives is predicated in part on the imagination, which allows us to simulate fictional events, characters, and worlds. Beyond basic comprehension, the imagination also enables us to generate personalized and unique interpretations of a narrative, effectively allowing us to co-create narratives alongside the author. In this chapter, we discuss the ways in which imagination is used to understand fictional stories across a variety of mediums. We begin with a discussion of mental models, exploring how we use the imagination to translate narrative cues, such as words on a page, into complex and elaborate mental representations. Next, we discuss how the imagination encourages narrative engagement, by allowing us to feel physically transported into fictional worlds. Following that, we examine how the imagination is used to personalize narrative comprehension, through interpreting ambiguous or auxiliary narrative content and through incorporating past personal experiences and current beliefs into the narrative. Finally, we close with a discussion of how modern interactive media may uniquely engage our imagination by providing audiences with the freedom to create their own narratives.
To study the extent and nature of free-to-air television advertisements for non-core products (e.g., fast food or soda) directed at children in Hong Kong.
Television programs from two major Hong Kong free-to-air television channels airing between 06.00 and 24.00 hours from October 2018 to January 2019 were recorded. Eight nonconsecutive days (four weekdays and four weekend days) were selected for analysis. Pearson’s χ2 tests were conducted to compare the pattern of food advertisements by program categories, days of the week, television viewing periods and persuasive marketing techniques.
Free-to-air television programs.
Of the 10 348 commercials identified, 18·4 % were for foods, and 35·2 % of these were for non-core items. Baby and toddler milk formula (19·5 %) were the most advertised food products, while the most frequently advertised non-core food was fast foods (12·3 %). There was a higher non-core to core product ratio during prime time than the children’s time slot (7 v. 1·7). Non-sports celebrity endorsement (27·1 %) was the most frequently used persuasive marketing technique overall, while that for non-core products was sensory characteristics (38·2 %). Most food product placements recorded were non-core products, mentions of local and fast food restaurants and recipe additions.
Non-core products were highly advertised in Hong Kong, while core product advertising was infrequent. Regulations on junk food advertising in Hong Kong should focus on prime time, as well as on food product placement, to reduce children’s exposure to persuasive junk food marketing.
To analyse the extent and nature of food and beverage advertising on the three major Brazilian free-to-air television (TV) channels.
Cross-sectional study. A protocol developed for the International Network for Food and Obesity/Non-Communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support was applied for data collection. A total of 432 h of TV programming was recorded from 06.00 to 24.00 hours, for eight non-consecutive and randomly selected days, in April 2018. All TV advertisements (ads) were analysed, and food-related ads were classified according to the NOVA classification system. Descriptive analyses were used to describe the number and type of ads, food categories and the distribution of ads throughout the day and time of the day.
The three most popular free-to-air channels on Brazilian TV.
The study did not involve human subjects.
In total, 14·2 % (n 1156 out of 7991) of ads were food related (858 were specific food items). Approximately 91 % of food items ads included ultra-processed food (UPF) products. The top three most promoted products were soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and fast-food meals. Alcoholic beverage ads were more frequently broadcast in the evening.
The high risk of exposure of the Brazilian population to UPF ads should be considered a public health concern given the impact of unhealthy food advertising on people’s food choices and health.
To assess the frequency, healthfulness and promotional techniques of television food advertising to children and adolescents in the Russian Federation.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to monitor food and beverage television advertising. For the five most popular TV channels among children and adolescents, TV broadcasts were recorded for two weekdays and two weekends (320 h) during March–May 2017. Recordings were screened for advertisements. Food advertisements were categorised by food categories and as either ‘permitted’ or ‘not permitted’ for advertising to children in accordance with World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Nutrient Profile Model (NPM), and promotional techniques in advertisements were recorded.
Overall, 11 678 advertisements were coded. Across all channels, food and drink (19·2 %) were the most frequently advertised product type. The most common food categories advertised were beverages (except juices, milk drinks and energy drinks) (24·1 %); yoghurts and other dairy foods (15 %); and chocolate and confectionery (12·3 %). A majority (64·2 %) of food and drink products advertised should not be permitted for advertising to children according to the NPM. The most frequently used persuasive appeals in the food advertisements were low price (15·4 %), product novelty (11·8 %) and enjoyment (10·0 %).
Children and adolescents in the Russian Federation are likely exposed to a substantial number of unhealthy food advertisements. There is a need to consider policies to restrict children’s exposure to unhealthy food advertising on television in the Russian Federation.
Mass media research on the portrayal of older people has primarily focused on television series and advertisements. News programmes on television have received little attention. We argue that viewers perceive characters on the news as more direct and more accurate representations of social reality than fictional characters, and therefore portrayals on the news are more likely to be integrated in viewers’ stereotypes about elderly people or used as standards of comparison. In order to explore potential differences in the representation of senior men and women, we conducted a quantitative content analysis on a sample of 754 elderly people who appeared on the evening news programmes of four major Hungarian television channels with high viewership. Each character was coded in terms of 115 qualitative variables. Our results indicate that older men are portrayed significantly more often than women as affluent, elegant, knowledgeable, powerful and actively working. By contrast, women are more commonly shown as kind, family-oriented, in ordinary roles (e.g. as the ‘woman in the street’) and engaged in less-productive activities such as shopping. Based on previous research on the role of mass media in the socialisation process as well as social comparison theory, we discuss how these imbalances in the representation of older men and women may affect viewers of different age groups, genders and social status.
What is the role of media, especially the news media, in influencing citizens’ political beliefs, values, and political or civic action?
Clearly, many people for several hundred years have believed the media to be powerful agents of political persuasion and instruments of political action. In the early United States, both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson wrote scathingly of the press because they thought it caused harm to government (Schudson 1998). In Europe as in North America, individuals founded news organizations to influence political outcomes.
Taking its cue from Raymond Federman’s programmatically titled essay “The Last Stand of Literature,” the chapter briefly reviews the critical debate about the increasing convergence of literary and television culture. Rather than seeing the influx of TV aesthetics into American literature as causing a demise of literary culture, the chapter argues that the texts by Coover, Wallace, and DeLillo imaginatively reframe TV culture and turn the reflection on visual media into a source of literary innovation. They acknowledge TV as a central force in postmodern culture, rework televisual immediacy effects, and describe TV images and their reception, but they do so in self-reflexive narratives that probe the contributions literature can make to a culture shaped by TV and the commodification of art and experience.
Drama, film, new media, and television play key roles in the representation of black and Asian British experiences. Linking back to a history of drama, film, and media production in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, this chapter considers how leading writers and their productions have taken Britain’s diverse cultures centre stage. The widespread success of works by black and Asian British writers, actors, directors, and producers in the late 1990s and early twenty-first century led some commentators to conclude that the way Britain conceives of itself as a nation has effectively been transformed. Circumstances are, however, more complex and by tracing long-standing barriers around processes of representation this chapter focuses on how these assertions are increasingly challenged. In so doing, it highlights ongoing debates around citizenship and access to representation, and argues that black and Asian British drama, film, new media, and television productions have become central to contemporary debates around Britishness. Ultimately they constitute important cultural markers in the way Britain confronts its colonial heritage and conceives of itself as a nation.
The chapter analyzes how Don DeLillo’s novel Mao II critically refracts TV’s immediacy effects to explore the cultural function that literature performs within the increasingly commodified market dynamics of mass media communication. The chapter argues that DeLillo accomplishes a paradoxical feat: he tells the story of a retrograde writer who loses his life in a futile attempt to resist the commercialization of his work; yet DeLillo suffuses this allegorical tale about the death of an author in the age of mass media and consumer culture with detailed ekphrastic descriptions of TV news footage, photographs, and pop art that ultimately confirm the capacity of literature to respond in innovative ways to the predominance of visual media, the misapprehension of televisual images as real, and the increasing commodification of literature and art. Published as American culture was turning digital, the novel provides an apt terminus for my study of how American writers reworked the immediacy effects of analog new visual media to renew literary culture.
The chapter defines TV’s immediacy effects. Television started out as a live medium. Although shows were soon pre-produced and recorded, an aesthetic of liveness, retained by shooting sitcoms and talk shows in front of studio audiences, has remained integral to TV culture. It sets TV apart from earlier visual media, particularly film, and is pivotal for the medium’s reality effects. Although “television” means to “see at a distance,” the initial promise of TV was that it would erase the distance between the viewers and the depicted events. Because event, transmission, and reception occur simultaneously during a live broadcast, it possesses not only temporal immediacy but also evokes a sense of spatial proximity and actuality. TV live coverage seems to bring the world home or to transport the viewers to the site of action. By presenting on- and off-screen worlds as directly connected, live TV blurs the boundary between public and private spheres, between fiction and fact, and creates the impression that the viewers participate in the broadcasted events. Since American TV is a commercial medium, the cultural dominance of TV results in a pervasive commodification of experience.
Discussing works by Robert Coover and David Foster Wallace, this chapter argues that the critical remediation of TV’s aesthetics of immediacy provided an innovative impetus for the experimental postmodernist fiction of the 1960s and 70s and the literary fiction of the 1980s and 90s. Among the first generation of writers to address TV, Coover parodies in his short story “The Babysitter” how TV conflates the fictive and the real by eroding the boundaries between on- and off-screen worlds. The story plays with narrative levels to debunk TV’s logic of spectacle and consumption. Twenty years later, Wallace likewise explores how TV alters our sense of the real. Yet he distances himself from the ironical stance he finds characteristic of both his postmodernist precursors and of TV. In his essay “E Unibus Pluram” and short stories like “Little Expressionless Animals,” he advocates a return to a self-reflexive poetics of sincerity. Although their poetics and historical moment differ, both Coover and Wallace rework televisual immediacy effects to challenge TV’s promise of direct participation and connection and to expand the representational reach and cultural pertinence of literature.
Mark Twain’s works have received many adaptions in film, television, and theatre, almost always with disappointing results. Translating Twain’s humor, satire, and message have proven difficult. A case in point is the 1938 film version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, probably the best film adaptation of a Twain novel, which was followed the next year by a flawed version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, starring Andy Rooney as Huck Finn. Filmmakers have tried in vain to portray the serious themes Twain imbedded in even his most comic works. The history of Twain in film and television is pretty much a history of good intentions and flawed results. One notable exception is the Broadway musical Big River, in which country songwriter manages ot capture Twain’s humor, spirit, and message.
The BBC emerged from the Second World War as the critical adjunct to the religious culture of Britain, and this the churches sought to defend with ferocity through the power of the Central Religious Advisory Committee (CRAC). This formed a close alliance with the employees of the Religious Broadcasting Department. Down to the mid-1960s, CRAC effectively forced the management of the BBC to allow broadcasters to perform evangelising functions, and to keep Humanists and atheists from using the mic to disseminate their life stances or to attack religion. A group of influential religious employees, including the senior administrator Harman Grisewood, imposed a discrete but firm anti-secular policy upon the corporation until the 1960s. This became firmer, not weaker, as the period progressed, so that the few broadcasts on atheism were concentrated in the late 1940s rather than the 1960s.
Set in a fictional Shakespeare festival, Slings and Arrows, a short-lived Canadian series produced on a constrained budget, is often cited by US and Canadian critics and fans as one of the best television series of recent decades. The three seasons revolve around a main-stage production of a Shakespearean tragedy (Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear, respectively), the themes of which infuse hilarious and heartbreaking backstage plots interweaving the festival’s actors, directors, stage crew and business staff. The main arc of the show involves the festival’s struggle to stay culturally relevant and financially solvent, resulting in a paean to the power and importance of live theatre. Even as it knowingly winks at its own status as a television series, Slings and Arrows – which, in the decade since it originally aired, has garnered far more viewers and far greater critical acclaim through rebroadcasts, DVD releases and streaming digital availability – embodies the tension between the ephemeral nature of live theatre and the lasting media of film and television. This chapter conjoins an examination of the tension between television and live theatre with the exploration of culture; ‘culture’ both in terms of ‘high culture’ artistic productions such as Shakespearean theatre, and national culture.