Critical Ideas in Television Studies

By John Corner | Go to book overview

4
Talk

TALK of various kinds is, of course, an element of most television. It is not surprising that it extensively drew on, and has since variously shadowed, developments in radio. Although its many distinctive capacities for producing and combining images constitute television's most direct way of engaging, and appealing to, audiences it is through speech that television addresses its viewers and holds them in particular relations both to specific programmes and to channel and station identities. Talk thus generates the socio-communicative sphere within which televisions images operate. Quite quickly in the development of British radio in the 1920s (see Scannell and Cardiff 1991), a range of informal, familial registers for presentation existed alongside the more distanced, official phrasings and tones which had, in part, derived from the pre-radio traditions of public speaking. Sir John Reith, the BBC's first Director-General, had been enthusiastic about the maintenance, albeit through adaptation, of earlier styles of spoken address and the kinds of authority, deference, and forms of politeness which they reproduced. But the generic range of radio entertainment immediately required presentational forms which extended beyond the scope of earlier public talk. The novel element of addressing individual listeners, or very small groups of them, in their own homes clearly suggested the need for new rhetorical conventions too. Radio required a different performance from speakers--earlier skills of the theatre, the public platform, the classroom, etc., might be useful but a direct application was rarely possible. In the development of American radio services, a more colloquial approach was, from the start, the consequence of commercially financed services and the need to treat the listener as a potential customer as well as (and sometimes rather than) a citizen within a national, political, and cultural collectivity.

In addition to the forms of direct speech, addressed to the listener, radio pioneered indirect uses of speech too, quite apart from the emergence of a dramatic dialogue distinctive to the medium. Of these forms, the live or recorded interview, an indirect form which is really only a direct form pretending not to be, has become a staple broadcast speech convention. It is no exaggeration to say that the broadcast interview, particularly the television interview, is now one of the most widely used and extensively developed formats for public communication in the world. When the conventions of sound broadcasting were incorporated into a medium which allowed a fuller projection of personality, of meaning and feeling (through facial expression and gesture), and often of context too, the social relations of the interview became defining not just for contemporary broadcasting but for contemporary culture and politics.

-37-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Critical Ideas in Television Studies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction: Research and Criticism 1
  • 2 - Institution 12
  • 3 - Image 24
  • 4 - Talk 37
  • 5 - Narrative 47
  • 6 - Flow 60
  • 7 - Production 70
  • 8 - Reception 80
  • 9 - Pleasure 93
  • 10 - Knowledge 108
  • 11 - Television 2000: The Terms of Transformation 120
  • References 129
  • Index 137
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 146

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.