Tony Thwaites and his colleagues note that 'genre foregrounds the influence of surrounding texts and ways of reading on our response to any one text. More specifically, it confirms textuality and reading as functions rather than things' (Thwaites et al. 1994, 92). Genre analysis situates texts within textual and social contexts, underlining the social nature of the production and reading of texts.
In addition to counteracting any tendency to treat individual texts in isolation from others, an emphasis on genre can also help to counteract the homogenization of the medium which is widespread in relation to the mass media, where it is common, for instance, to find assertions about 'the effects of television' regardless of such important considerations as genre.
As well as locating texts within specific cultural contexts, genre analysis also serves to situate them in a historical perspective. It can help to counter the Romantic ideology of authorial 'originality' and creative individualism.
In relation to news media, Norman Fairclough notes that genre analysis 'is good at showing the routine and formulaic nature of much media output, and alerting us, for instance, to the way in which the immense diversity of events in the world is reduced to the often rigid formats of news' (Fairclough 1995, 86).