chapter  5
Media Intertextuality
Pages 7

One of the pleasures that audiences experience in the consumption of media texts is the joy of recognition. One form of this pleasure comes in recognising the reference in one media text to other media texts. This process of referencing is called intertextuality. In a media-saturated culture like Britain today, opportunities for intertextual reference abound. With so much airtime to fill and so much space in print and digital media formats, it is inevitable that the media should look to itself for opportunities to generate material to fill up these spaces. New ideas are seen as a precious commodity and media producers are inevitably keen that they get maximum mileage from both new and existing ideas. A new television programme might once have filled the slot that it was allocated in the schedules, for example, a one-hour prime-time slot. In today’s multi-channel 24-hour television environment, producers are keen to utilise such a programme well beyond its immediate scheduled slot. Discussion of the programme on breakfast television is likely to precede the screening in the form of interviews with the stars on the GMTV sofa. Where possible, follow-up programmes will be spun off in such forms as Big Brother’s Little Brother.