Teletext in Europe

From the Analog to the Digital Era

This book is about teletext: a “broadcast service using several otherwise unused scanning lines (vertical blanking intervals) between frames of TV pictures to transmit information from a central data base to receiving television sets”. To the contributors to this book and possibly to many readers, this technical definition will feel out of place as it obscures the rich history of a formidable if forgotten medium. Nevertheless, it is the basic technology of teletext that sets it apart from other media and that, in part, has been the basis for much of what did and did not happen to teletext in terms of policy, institutional setting, content, users and scholarly interest. Many contributions in this book will provide similar definitions, but mostly as a stepping-stone to explore all that has so far been left unsaid by this technical description. It is this gap in our knowledge of teletext in Europe that this book aims to fill.


Teletext in Europe. An Introductory Guide to the Book 
PART 1: Perspectives 
1 Why Media Researchers Don’t Care About Teletext 
2 Is It Just Text? 
3 What Is Teletext? A Phenomenological Description 
PART 2: Cases 
4 Teletext in Flanders. A Medium Hiding in Plain Sight 
5 Back to the Future. What Teletext’s Past Tells Us About the Future Relationship Between Public Service Media and Publishers in Switzerland  
6 The Old Reliable. Teletext as a Survivor of Digitalization of TV in Finland 
7 Super Teletext. A Social Shaping of Teletext as Locating Newness in a Media Convergence Future 
8 The Icelandic Public Service Broadcaster RÚV’s Teletext Service Textavarpið and Media Change 
9 Freedom of Information and Divides in the Digital Age. Teletext and Internet Use in Norway 
10 Teletext as a New Media Promoter in Croatia. Surviving War and Transition 
11 The Italian Way to Teletext. The History, Structure and Role of Televideo Rai 
12 Teletext and Videotex in France. From Innovative Social Media to Objects of Cultural Memory 
Postscript. Lessons from Analyses of a Forgotten Medium 
Authors’ bios 
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