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Televised political shows and mockery

Patricia Cruz

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Study “On the discourse of mocking in U.S. televised political discussions” by   

Christopher Jenks investigated the various aspects of mocking in televised political shows, or mock news, using critical discourse analysis.

Mock news is a genre that is similar to traditional news programs in the sense that they also focus on covering, discussing and reporting on important issues. The difference is that they are meant to entertain, not inform. The difference from pure comedy, on the other hand, is that mock news seeks to present itself as a fair and balanced take on news events. 

Their journalistic value is not their main purpose, generating viewership is. Examples are shows such as The Daily Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that present comedic takes on political issues.

According to Luginbühl (2007), ‘confrontainment’, a portmanteau of confrontation and entertainment, can be used as term to describe encounters between political opponents that devolve into arguments. Mock news utilize this tribalism in politics to present outrage as a form of entertainment – heated arguments, anger and even rage are common in mock news.

The same author has found ‘conversational violence’, such as use of dominance and defamation, as a feature in political speech. It intersects with ‘outrage discourse’. In this study, it is stated that ‘outrage discourse’ encompasses a wider range of discursive practices. 

Of outrage, Berry and Sobieraj (2014) uncover 13 subcategories: nsulting language, name calling, emotional display, emotional language, verbal fighting/sparring, character assassination, misrepresentative exaggeration, mockery, conflagration, ideologically extremizing language, slippery slope, belittling, and obscene language.

The present study builds on these past studies to answer the following question: How is mockery discursively organized and used as a resource to engage in televised political discussions?

The source materials for the study is a corpus of 60 televised political discussions.
They were all televised in CNN. The author points out that future research should look at to what extent political discussions and shows are different across mainstream TV channels and across countries. 

The shows that were included in the corpus were such as Anderson Cooper 360° and Prime Time by Chris Cuomo. As a study utilizing Critical Discourse Analysis, the examples from the corpus that the author presents are very detailed examples of mockery.

The analysis showed that mockery predominantly occurs in the ‘second oppositional slot’, that is, in response to an argument made in the previous turn. This indicates that mockery is reserved for situations in the conversational exchange where disagreements occur in situ. 

In addition to the position of mocking in an exchange, the act of mockery can be divided into smaller ‘discourse tokens’. The tokens cover a range of actions: “including expressing disagreement, undermining the validity of an opposing viewpoint, establishing a competing ideological position, refuting an idea based on a political identity, criticizing the messenger (rather than the message), creating an unsymmetrical distribution of power, and amplifying the degree to which one disagrees, such as through laughter.”

The use of mocking, laughter and ridicule suggests that televised shows are seen as spaces where disagreement and put-downs can occur, rather than as spaces where common ground is sought. They normalize the tribalism inherent in politics by mainstreaming mocking.

Finally, the author notes that similar to affordances and constraints of social media, the organization of televised shows amplifies the differences in opinion that exist between the panel members. Similar to the short texts in Twitter, the panel members are typically given one minute or less to state their case, which encourages sound bites while discouraging thoughtful moderation on an issue.

The study “On the discourse of mocking in U.S. televised political discussions” by   

Christopher Jenks is in Discourse & Communication. (Free abstract). 

Picture: A puppet and a kangaroo fighting. By Frank Busch @frankbusch

License Unsplash.

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Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

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Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com) – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news) – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera (www.aljazeera.com) – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters (www.reuters.com) – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN (www.cnn.com) – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist (www.economist.com) – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com) – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica (www.propublica.org) – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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Journalism

The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout

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Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Journalism

Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout

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As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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