The Open UniversitySkip to content

Interactivity, the global conversation and World Service research: Digital China

Mackay, Hugh and Tong, Jingrong (2011). Interactivity, the global conversation and World Service research: Digital China. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 8(1)

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (864kB)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper examines the relationship between a broadcaster’s research methods and aspects of the environment in which it operates, specifically its accountability to its funders and the growth of interactivity by its users. It is concerned with (1) how the BBC World Service’s funding by the UK government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) means that it has to account for its activities to some extent in terms of the global conversation which it fosters; and (2) how the recent growth of interactive and social media enhances possibilities for worldwide engagement and conversation, but also increases the complexities of measurement. This is because users are dispersed across the globe (they are no longer confined to a geographical area of radio reception) and they are interactive: instead of merely listening or viewing, they talk back to the BBC, and they talk with one another. New tools and techniques are needed to measure these new flows and forms of interaction (and they also beg new professional and organisational practices). In a case study of the BBC’s Chinese service, the paper explores what the BBC knows of its audience or users; and, in a content analysis of online forums, it explores some of the issues and possibilities that arise in researching online interaction, the sort of research data and analysis that might be seen as necessary in the context of organisational accountability and the emerging interactive media environment.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: The Authors
ISSN: 1749-8716
Keywords: BBC World Service; social media; interactivity; public diplomacy; Chinese service.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 31843
Depositing User: Hugh Mackay
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 16:42
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 19:16
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU