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Rituals of personal experience in television news interviews

Montgomery, Martin (2010) Rituals of personal experience in television news interviews. Discourse and Communication, 4 (2). pp. 185-211.

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Abstract

Interviewing as part of broadcast news includes a wide range of practices that go beyond calling public figures to account in ways that have received so much attention and analysis in the research literature.This article examines a major strand of news interviewing which it identifies as 'experiential' and argues, on the basis of close discourse analysis of interviews drawn from coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2005 London bombings, that the focus on personal experience and emotion in them is managed in ways quite distinct from accountability interviewing. Indeed, the apparently formulaic quality of the verbal performance in these interviews gives shape to experience in a fashion close to ritual but demands a quite different kind of alignment from the audience than that implicated by accountability interviewing.