Travel Series as TV Entertainment: Genre characteristics and touristic views on foreign countries
AbstractWhy is it not the deprived developing country, but rather the tempting destination the host arrives in when guiding the audience in a travel series? And how can we explore the specific combination of entertainment and education that travel series represent? Basically the travel series genre is a hybrid of journalistic documentary, entertaining lifestyle series and TV ads and the different series put different emphasis on the different genre elements. Travel series represent a certain kind of mediated consumption and they reflect lifestyle identity in relation to touristic consumer cultures. Like other lifestyle series dealing with consumption products and lifestyle markers encompassing fashion, food, garden, design and interior that balance somewhere between journalism and advertising, travel series typically deal with destinations, travel modes, cultural experiences and food as commodities. To understand the cultural and democratic value of travel series as a popular TV genre in the context of public service broadcasting, it is not the fact that the series contain educative and enlightening information about foreign cultures told in an entertaining and popular way that are of my interest. Rather it is tourism and media consumer culture as such, one has to expound as valuable democratic and cultural practice. The article presents different matrices of the respectively cultural and consumer knowledge that the different types of travel series include.
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