Just one more: How journalists frame binge watching

Ri Pierce-Grove


“Binge watching” is a term associated with multiple practices of serial narrative consumption afforded by digital infrastructures. This paper tracks the normalization of the term “binge watching” in the press. I look at the archives of the New York Times, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Daily News, New York Post, Slate, and the criticism of several prominent journalists from the 1980s to 2016 to trace the phrase and its evolving social relevance. I find that for journalists, the episode, not the hour is the fundamental unit of the “binge watch”. Journalists participated in the construction of “binge watching” as an all-consuming experience that takes place at the expense of daily life. At the same time, they contradicted this construction by using the term to represent practices of serial media consumption that fit seamlessly within existing patterns of work and leisure.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i1.7269

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