Bayam.2007.MTVs Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election

It also was experimental blending mtvs standard fare

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Unformatted text preview: the exemplar of the overly stylistic, entertainmentsaturated approach to broadcast journalism, its election coverage was surprising thoughtful and highly viewed, with audiences reaching as many as five million people (Romano, 2004). It also was experimental, blending MTV’s standard fare of pop music, celebrity, and teen style with political information, issue coverage, and social advocacy. In so doing, it experimented with authority itself, constructing a variety of journalistic personas that claimed different kinds of credibility. To explore this ongoing complication of journalistic authority, this study proceeds in two stages. First, it develops a theoretical 383 Downloaded By: [Ohio State University Libraries] At: 01:44 26 September 2007 384 GEOFFREY BAYM framework of discursive integration (Baym, 2005), a blending of discursive domains that has opened conceptions of authority to fundamental reconsideration. Second, it offers a close reading of journalistic identity in the Choose or Lose programs that reveals five potential models of authority, each which articulates journalistic credibility in different ways. The study concludes by considering the implications of discursive integration and the shifting parameters of authority for young people’s engagement with broadcast journalism. Discursive Integration ‘‘MTV News’’ may be a contradiction in terms. ‘‘MTV’’ connotes a nexus of popular culture, commodified entertainment, and marketing, while ‘‘news’’ speaks to traditions of professional journalism and its mission of public information. Covering with equal seriousness the spheres of pop culture and presidential politics, MTV News is often dismissed as the epitome of infotainment * the mistaking of trivial entertainment for serious information. The initial premise here, however, is that the concept of infotainment, a term both pejorative and reductive, is inadequate to describe the current moment of fundamentally unstable boundaries between entertainment and news, popular culture and public affairs, corporate consumerism and democratic discourse (e.g. Baym, 2005; Corner and Pels, 2003; Delli Carpini and Williams, 2001; Jones,...
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2014 for the course ARTEDUC 2367.03 taught by Professor Tiffanylewis during the Spring '14 term at Ohio State.

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