ABSTRACT

The media industry uses genres to deliver the desired audience to its advertisers. Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), explains that the goal is to train this group for future consumer behaviors. Taking the news genre as an example, in 2005 it was disclosed that the US Department of Education had paid conservative columnist Armstrong Williams $240,000 to promote the George W. Bush administration's No Child Left Behind education initiative on his syndicated television program. Thus, although Armstrong's audience thought that the function of the program was to provide information, Williams was actually being paid to persuade his audience to support Bush's education initiative. Interactive media technology also provides follow-up opportunities for the audience, through websites, virtual bulletin boards, and chat rooms. Thus, this genre conveys a cumulative message of empowerment to the audience: that their voice matters.