Audience Reception of‘Shai Buna’ Talk Show

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Addis Ababa University


The talk shows as a media genre emerged in the western media around the 1960s. But in Ethiopia, this genre has been on air since 1999. There are now four talk shows aired on the national television, ETV, and their number is increasing. Since the talk show is a new genre introduced to Ethiopian audiences it is essential to know what the genre is accomplishing in the society and what the audiences’ reception is. This study is conducted to find out how audiences of ‘Shai Buna’ talk show understand the talk show and the factors that account for their reception. Active audience theory was used as a framework to conduct the research. Audiences do not simply accept a message. They have the ability to accept or oppose a message. Qualitative research methods, specifically focus group interview and individual in-depth interview were used to undertake this study The sample was categorized into: occupation, gender and age. Generally, most of the respondents agreed that the show is about Ethiopian problems and their solutions. Respondents regardless of their differences seemed to understand the talk show similarly. The results of the study revealed that live contexts play a major role in interpreting messages. Respondents make meaning depending on what is relevant to their daily life. Occupation, gender and age are among the factors which shape interpretations. However, there can be a complete understanding of the intended message by some respondents depending on the similarity of opinions that both the producer and receiver of the message have on specific points of discussion. Though it can not be generalized, one factor alone can contribute to help in meaning making as it was found out with respondents with one similar factor in their lived context the other factor that is not the same among them can be a factor for differences of meaning.



Reception of‘ Shai Buna’