Journalists’ discursive construction of public opinion on President Obama and the economy
The uses of voters’ voices from a focus group
This study investigates the journalistic construction of news from a focus group of eleven Philadelphia-area voters. The journalists not only represent the participants’ voices, they also present themselves as keen observers — they attempt to display expertise as journalists. The written stories use the participants’ voices more than was found in the journalists’ oral discussion about the focus group. In both the oral and written stories, the journalists ventriloquise participants’ voices within the genre, the news-feature story of how the dire political economy affects ordinary people. The journalists represent the participants’ opinions while simultaneously recontextualizing participants’ voices within their own storyline.