“I have nothing to do but agree”

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The present study explores the distinctions, hybridization and ambiguities ofthe reciprocal positioning of journalists and experts on the news, by examininga corpus of Israeli television news items combining interviews with affiliatedjournalists and external experts. The analysis reveals a dominant pattern of alargely symmetrical positioning of senior journalists and experts as colleagues.A key positioning device contributing to this symmetry is the recurrent use ofmeta-discursive follow-ups. These follow-ups exhibit a preference for mutualalignment, support and agreement between journalists and experts, and structureitems as single co-authored arguments. The affordances of these patternsfor politicians performing as expert interviewees and their possible detrimentalimplications for the social and democratic roles of the news are discussed.


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