Bayam.2007.MTVs Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election

Yago constructs his identity as youth representative

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Unformatted text preview: ‘representative we’’ (Baym, 2000), explicitly affiliating with his audience. In contrast to authority derived from institutional privilege, Yago here invokes what Bakhtin (1981) calls an ‘‘internally persuasive’’ mode of discourse. Presenting himself as an ordinary young person, he seeks a credibility grounded in personal familiarity . For example, he tells his audience that he got to ‘‘tag along’’ with the Kerry campaign, a point illustrated by video of him walking on to the press plane. Wearing a leather jacket, sunglasses, and a backpack slung over his shoulder, he looks at the camera and flashes the ‘‘rock on’’ hand sign. Here covering the campaign more resembles a college road trip than a professional journalistic assignment. Yago constructs his identity as youth representative both in image and in language. Rarely wearing a jacket or tie, he instead appears slightly unshaven, in shirts untucked and open-necked. He wears jewelry and has tattoos on both forearms. He also speaks in a ‘‘youth’’ vernacular. In the John Kerry program, he tells the audience that ‘‘when we come back, I get to hang with the candidate’s daughter.’’ In On the Trail , he notes the president always travels with a ‘‘gi-normous security apparatus’’ and the Bush campaign ‘‘dropped bank’’ on a ‘‘humungo’’ banner. Then, as Kerry’s campaign plane lands, he exclaims: ‘‘Look at that thing! Pimp my ride, indeed.’’ The last phrase is a reference to MTV’s program Pimp My Ride . Yago draws linkages to a target audience he presumes will appreciate the reference. He assumes his audience Downloaded By: [Ohio State University Libraries] At: 01:44 26 September 2007 JOURNALISTIC AUTHORITY ON MTV will recognize the use of ‘‘pimp’’ as a verb, but more importantly, he uses popular culture as a reference point to help his audience make sense of the political sphere. This blurring of popular culture and public affairs in evident elsewhere. In On the Trai...
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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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