A participation perspective on television evening news in the age of immediacy

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In a context of intense media competition and a contemporary culture of talk,traditional TV news has devised ways to make news more interactive and closerto the TV audience. In British TV news programmes, the live exchange betweennews presenter and correspondent has been identified as a key site for discoursein a dialogic mode (Montgomery 2007; Tolson 2006). This study adopts aparticipation framework approach to analyse the live exchanges in a corpus ofBBC evening news programmes over time. Findings indicate that while the frequencyof live exchanges is sustained, they become shorter and less interactive,at the same time as other strategies are adopted to give the impression of extensive,immediate reporting. What emerges is an overriding concern with givingthe appearance of “liveness”, sacrificing the interactive format of the traditionallive exchange. The “token interactivity” which results may not encourage thekind of audience participation that facilitates understanding and retention.


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