Audience retrospection as a source of historiography : oral history interviews on early television experiences
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
European journal of communication. - London, 1986, currens
, p. 64-78
University of Antwerp
This article argues that oral history interviews constitute an invaluable source for reconstructing audience experiences of television in the past. Taking into account the limitations of human memory, as well as the constructive, structuring activities involved in memory work, these narratives provide useful, first-hand insights into the significance of television for audiences of the past. Starting from a discussion of audience historiography and the position therein of popular memory and oral history, the article then draws on research about early Flemish TV audiences to discuss the multiple structures and connections to the present and to personal biography in television memories. Overall, the strength of this method lies not in the accuracy of these memories, but in their testimony of the lived experience and significance of television in everyday life.