|[""Despite the vast and interdisciplinary area of study that is the research of audiences in relation to non-fictional political satire tv shows, little work has been done, from a television studies background, on
the specific practices these fans undertake. Indeed, audience studies have come a long way from the
demonisation of television to the blending of politics and entertainment, referred to as 'infotainment'. In
its early stages, academics such as Neil Postman (2005a, 64; 2005b, 124) and Robert Putnam (1995, 8-
10) believed that television was polluting public discourse, decreasing democratic vitality, and reducing
citizens' social capital. However, recent academics have a more optimistic outlook on fans and
Fan theorists, in particular Stuart Hall (1980, 117-127), John Fiske (2010a, 129; 2010b 64) and
Henry Jenkins (2013a, 278; 2013b, 1-2), see audience members as active social subjects that engage
with practices in relation to media text, with a mixture of emotional responses and critical observation.
Furthermore, Jenkins (2008b, 10-22) argues that since the advent of the internet and social media,
producers (and other tv executives) invite audiences more fully into participatory culture more fully
because they are encouraged to engage with media texts outside of watching the tv show.
Additionally, since the rise in popularity of infotainment shows (e.g., The Colbert Report or Have I Got
News for You), there has been a reconsideration of traditional and non-traditional democratic and
political engagement streams.
Indeed, new media has become an important factor in political engagement. Joseph Kahne et
al. (2014, 3-20) contend that social media sites have become lucrative arenas of political information
and deliberation. While political engagement and debate have always existed, it is only since the turn
of the 2000s that studies have been conducted on these acts and specifically concerning political satire
tv shows. Liesbet van Zoonen (2007, 531-547) combined active audience engagement and performing
one’s political self in relation to fictional political satire tv shows to define four categories (description,
judgement, reflection, and fantasy) on which this thesis takes its roots.
This research uses discourse analysis to demonstrate how political performances articulate
concerning a specific case study. The thesis answered the following research question: How can the
audience discourse of Have I Got News for You's Facebook comments be understood as a
performance of a 'political self'?
The results underpin the importance of understanding this form of political participation and
how these political performances go beyond fictional tv to enter non-fictional satire tv show arenas,
such as Have I Got New for You’s official Facebook page. Moreover, this research demonstrates that
blending satire, comedy, and political information can aid civic engagement and political life.
Additionally, this thesis found that the Have I Got News for You audience enters specific fan practices
(e.g., dialogue and creative fan-made memes) to bolster their political engagement.
Finally, this research reinforces the idea that online fan practices in relation to tv shows can be
considered political participation. It observed that political performances are not limited to four specific
categories. However, specific tv shows (e.g., Have I Got News for You) and specific political
matters/issues (e.g., the partygate scandal) can group like-minded politically involved citizens. Thus,
even more, qualitative analytical research is needed in this area. It is conceivable that future researchers
could undertake follow-up research with the same participants to understand whether this participation
spreads effectively across different media texts.,""]