Participant roles and embedded interactions in online sports broadcasts
Many communicative events in the media are structurally rather complex,containing several levels on which utterances are produced, mediated andreceived. The present chapter applies and develops Goffman’s notion of embeddedinteractions and their participant arrangements by identifying severaldistinct interactional frames found in modern media genres. Using data fromonline sports commentaries, the article documents how the individual framesof interaction are represented and linguistically reflected in the written text ofthe commentary and how the existence of such frames affects the participationframework of the entire communicative act. The analysis distinguishes betweenhorizontal interactions, occurring on the level of the interactants within aspecific frame, and vertical interactions, which cut across the boundaries of thecommunicative frames and which may be addressed to fictitious and non-presentas well as real recipients. Since the modern media reach out to the audienceby providing for their active involvement, the participant role of the audience asrecipients is changing to the extent that they can become co-producers of partsof the media text. Thus, while participants are shown to have multiple roles, thedistinction between the production and the reception sides of communicationbecomes blurred in those genres that encourage or provide for active audienceparticipation.