Avalik-õigusliku telekanali (Eesti Televisioon) roll avaliku diskussiooni foorumina saate „Vabariigi kodanikud“ näitel



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The aim of this bachelor thesis “Role of the Public Broadcasting TV (Estonian Television) as a Forum of Public Discussion: the Case of „Vabariigi Kodanikud“ was to investigate for what extent the broadcasted telecast of the public television (ETV) “Vabariigi Kodanikud”, covering orders of the day, presents a forum of exchanging ideas, which offers multiform, topical, constructive possibility of discussion, involving different parts of society. At the build-up of the study the presumption was made that ETV as a public television, which aim is to serve the public interest, has to create a public dispute and discussion discourses to design and develop the space for public thinking. In the first part of this thesis I wrote about the concept of public sphere. I mainly relied upon Jürgen Habermas’es ideal-typical model of public sphere, which is related to the concept of deliberative democracy. For getting a more comprehensive view I presented an overview of criticism to Habermas’es theory, made by other authors. In addition, I brought out the David Croteau’s and William Hoyness’es public sphere media model. To localize the work I briefly wrote about the plan for development of Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) in years 2009-2012. I also gave an overview of the annual report 2008 of ETV, composed by ERR and TNS Emor and added some research results of I.World.Media. The empirical part of the work consisted of 5 broadcasts „Vabariigi Kodanikud” by analysis of what I used methods of qualitative analysis. In addition I carried through expert interviews with the producers of the telecast, which were analysed by qualitative analysis method. On the ground of this I answered to the questions put up in the work. From theoretical materials it appeared that the public TV must present a forum for the discourse for handling problems essential for the society and an important institution of designing public thinking space and developing it. For this, the public TV has to create programs which offer diversified and topical discussions involving as much people as possible who would debate and reach consensus. The telecast “Vabariigi Kodanikud”, dealing with problems of life of society, appares to be a place for public thinking room, it as if creates a public debate forum involving thanks to the interactive environment, possibly lots of people in it. But this show does not belong to the ten of most popular ones. At the same time the important fact is, that Estonians prefer to watch social and political shows on ETV, can not be ignored. The popularity of the show is about 7-8%, which is good by the opinion of the producingteam, because it means, that it still reaches many people. In addition, the team understands what kind of show we are talking about – it would not be possible to get for it a watching percentage of Sundays rating show. It is quite clear that “Vabariigi Kodanikud” is not a rating show. For the involvement of TV-watchers, the idea of interactivity has been developed. One can send an e-mail or call to the show. At the same time it is obvious that the time devoted to watchers is not in agreement with the needs. By the view of the producers of the show the time given to watchers to enounce their opinions does not correspond to their actual need. By the opinion of Andres Kuusk and Epp Ehand the internet environment of the show would need a separate editor, who would answer to the written comments, argue and discuss with people. This would also favour more the discussion environment, the one to which this show is striving for but which at the moment is falling short. In this case more such discussion environment would come into being, what would bring upon more TV watchers. The answers to the ERR opinion poll 2008 show, that people rather not step into the course of a show via mail or phone, there is not even enough interest. Here the differentiation between two things is necessary. Firstly, for those people, calling to the show the given time is really not enough. At the same time, there is not enough those people who are willing to interact, so that their participation would essentially distinguish for example in results of opinion polls. There is more of these, who are not active viewers, let alone participants of the telecast. One significant aspect, what came out from this work was that the aim of the telecast is not reaching consensus. One specific goal is to generate a conflict. From one side, it is understandable, as conflict is a promoting force. While the broadcast continues only fifty minutes, it should start from the very first minutes. At the same time, it contradicts with what is said in the ERR development plan – achieving certain consensual understanding, and the Jürgen Habermas’es idea that the goal of a discussion is reaching consensus. As it was only five telecasts under observation (during a season about 70 telecasts have been broadcasted), and as the interviews were made mainly with producers of the telecast, no well-grounded conclusions can be made. To make them, more telecasts ought to be analyzed. Secondly, more interviews have to be done beside producers also with members of citizenry. Then the two sides would be represented – the producers and socalled active citizens. On this ground then it can be analyzed in what extent the aims of the producers of the broadcast and opinions of citizens communions coinside.


H Social Sciences (General), bakalaureusetööd