Talk on Television

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1993-12-28
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Talk on Televisionexamines the value and significance of televised public debate, at a time when everyday conversation is increasingly dependent on television. At the same time, more people are are making appearances on these shows to discuss their personal lives and social issues. Analyzing a wide range of programs includingDonohueandOprah Winfrey,the authors draw on interviews with both studio participants and home viewers. Their work, the first audience study of this type of programming, addresses not only a growing genre of media previously ignored, but also points towards contemporary debates in social theory. Livingstone and Lunt ask how the media manages these discussion programs, and whether they are truly providing new "spaces" for the participants. They learn how audiences interpret seeing themselves on the shows, analyze the contribution made by "experts", and unravel the conventions--debate, romance and therapy--that make up the genres. Throughthis, they consider television's function as a medium of education and information, finally discussing the dangers and opportunities the genre holds for both audience participation and public debate in the future. Talk on Televisionasks questions and presents evidence regarding the active audience, public participation, the significance of public discourse, and the role of the mass-media in the public sphere.

Table of Contents

List of tables
Television talk and talking about televisionp. 1
The mass media, democracy and the public spherep. 9
Studio debates and audience discussions: a television genrep. 36
The critical viewerp. 70
Media constructions of expertise and common sensep. 92
Media management of argument and rhetoricp. 133
Studio discussions, social spaces and postmodernityp. 162
Appendix 1: Data collectionp. 181
Appendix 2: Programme selectionp. 183
Appendix 3: Coding of focus group discussionsp. 184
Referencesp. 186
Indexp. 198
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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