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The uses of authenticity: 'Speaking from experience' in a U.K. election broadcast

Montgomery, Martin (2001) The uses of authenticity: 'Speaking from experience' in a U.K. election broadcast. Communication Review, 4 (4). pp. 447-462. ISSN 1071-4421

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Abstract

The Party Election Broadcast by the Conservative Party, aired as part of the 1997 UK general election campaign, is examined for the deployment of authenticity features in political discourse. E. Goffman's (1981) definition of authentic talk and P. Scannell's (2001) notion of authenticity in broadcasting are applied in the analysis which demonstrates how authenticity is simulated through a complementary tension between the voice of the politician and the voice of the public. It is noted that it is not so much the authority of the speaker, the logical rigor of his/her exposition, or the soundness of evidence that authenticate the accounts, but the nature and manner of the talk itself that makes for compelling testimony. Fresh and spontaneous, rather than scripted and rehearsed accounts of the speaker's own experience and reactions provide the implicit guarantee of authenticity. 6 Tables, 24 References. Adapted from the source document