Talk as news on television

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines how different types of talk in news invoke particular forms of power and engagement. One section looks at the performance of the news presenter as the embodiment of institutional, legitimised authority. This finds that even conventionally scripted news talk now includes key elements of informalisation and emotionality, even while retaining the power-laden discourses of the sanctified news text. A second section looks at the management of public talk on a news and current affairs public phone-in, where it is again revealed that public talk is guided to accentuate the qualities of authenticity and expressed lived experience. Here, though, it is argued that forms of talk associated with the accountability interview are used in managing and limiting public talk. Overall, the chapter argues for a more flexible analysis that accommodates the tactical and fluid ways in which forms of talk are deployed in news, while suggesting that forms of institutional power remain in dominance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Gossip Politic
EditorsAndrea McDonnell, Adam Silver
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031151194
ISBN (Print)9783031151187
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023


  • gossip
  • public life
  • rumour
  • celebrity rumour
  • public figures


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