The tabloid talkshow as a quasi-conversational type of face-to-face interaction

Carmen Gregori-Signes


Media discourse, and in particular programmes such as talkshows, are certainly practices that have extended, enriched, and often taken to the limits, conversation as a speech event. The number of possibilities arising from conversational practice have certainly found a new dimension in the context of the mass media, and on TV in particular (cf. Vande Berg et al. 1991 and 1998). In this article I describe tabloid talkshows as one type of speech event. I focus on the description of the turn-taking organisation in tabloid talkshows by comparing their characteristics to those outlined by Sacks et al. (1974) for conversation. In order to carry out such comparison, I first propose a review and, consequently, a reform of the 14 features listed by Sacks et al. in their article ‘A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking in conversation’. The results show that there are differences between both types of interaction.

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