The 21st century’s iTV host – poor amateur, public therapist or something else?


Pauliina Tuomi

Interactive TV entertainment has brought to life a new kind of TV host culture. In iTV host culture it is possible to communicate with the ”TV-stars” by text messaging (SMS). It is all a result of a real-time based interaction between viewer and the host. Usually TV-host has only been able to simulate interaction on TV but nowadays forms of interaction have gone further.

A qualitative study of the 21st century’s TV-hosts was conducted by interviewing iTV-hosts and analyzing the content. The answers of the hosts were analyzed and discussed to answer these questions: What is iTV-host’s profession like and how do the hosts experience it? How does the new real-time communication affect the iTV host and his/her roles? What are the different roles audience seem to allocate to hosts? This article concentrates on the host 1) as an activator, 2) as an idol and friend, 3) as peer-support and 4) through gender.

The main issue is to define iTV-host and his/her relationships with the audience. How does the communication develop between the TV-presenter and the viewer because of the possibility of real-time communication? Article illustrates a new form of TV-hosts from iTV-hosts point of view, which is an exceptional way to proceed since iTV-hosts have not usually been interviewed.