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The Talk Show in Relation to the Free and Democratic Debate - Dissertation Example

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In the research paper “The Talk Show in Relation to the Free and Democratic Debate” the author analyses the materialization of mainstream broadcast television in the 1950s and the emergence of omnipresent dissemination of the format in the 1960s…
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The Talk Show in Relation to the Free and Democratic Debate
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Download file to see previous pages Mirzoeff (2002) posits that the evolution of the talk show is a prime example of re-narrativizing everyday experiences through a participatory format spearheaded by Phil Donahue, paving the way for Oprah, Sally Jesse Raphael, and Jerry Springer. Additionally, Mirzoeff highlights the point that the key factor to the popularity in the talk show programs is the use of guests that “tend to be both ordinary in their resemblance to other middle-class Americans and exceptional in that their function is to narrate some form of transgressive or unconventional behavior” (p..453).
However, on the other side of the spectrum, the popularity of the talk show format has fuelled polarised academic debate as to whether television talk shows are a valid new public sphere on a par with pre-existing political institutions as a form of public debate, particularly for marginalized social groups (Mirzoeff, 2002, p.453). Alternatively, critics of the televisual format argue that the confessional aspect of the talk show undermines the validity of the talk show as a genuine public sphere for debate and propose that the talk show is essentially a manipulated format of television, creating the illusion of participation with the overall purpose to entertain and thereby controlled by the programming objectives.
For example, in the US the term “talk show” includes chat shows that feature groups of guests as well as the confessional Jerry Springer format. With regard to the latter participation format, this will involve guest participation and the host will typically undertake the role of mediator, which is an important distinction to make in considering how the talk show operates as a media experience (Tolson, 2001, p.7). To this end, Tolson asserts that “if the talk show is the most controversial TV genre then much academic commentary seems impelled to line up either for or against the terms of the controversy (2001, p.7). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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