Chapter 4. The television election night broadcast

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Election night broadcasts are instances of a macro-genre which consists of a complex, ordered assembly of interlocking genres. The emergent character of the news, the liveness of the broadcast and its multi-focal character make for a number of typical genres and genre sequences. The chapter provides an overview of the area of research and a framework of analysis, drawing on DA, CA, systemic functional linguistics, pragmatics, semiotics and sociology. The genres studied are reports and comments (soft and hard news, audio-visual presentation of statistics) and Declaration sequences, comprising a running-up sequence (reports, interviews), and the Declaration of results at constituency level. The data are from the BBC election night on the 1997 UK parliamentary elections. The focus is on the discourse of journalists, not of politicians, and on the interplay of the verbal and visual channels.


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