Journalists on the news: The structured panel discussion as a form of broadcast talk

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This article examines the structured panel discussion as a new form of broadcast news interaction. This involves live conversation among the anchorperson and news journalists on political news stories. The article draws upon the conversation analytic literature on news interviews, as well as detailed discourse analysis of journalistic discourse. By analysing data from Greek commercial prime-time news, it is argued that both the sequential organization and intra-turn design of journalists’ talk help construct their professional role as that of an authoritative expert (analyst and opinionated commentator) on political current affairs. The rhetoric of expertise legitimizes the journalists’ attribution of accountability, as well as their formulation of personal points of view. Given the absence of political actors from such extended exchanges, journalists are enabled to ‘impose’ their preferred readings of political actions and events on the audience. The structured panel discussion is a unique inter-journalistic conversational format, which exists alongside the more standard news interview, and is consequential for the representation of politics and political actors by the broadcast media

Author-supplied keywords

  • Accountability
  • Greek prime-time television news
  • broadcast news
  • conversation analysis
  • discourse analysis
  • journalistic discourse
  • neutralism
  • news interview
  • politics
  • rhetoric

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  • Marianna Patrona

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