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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  doesn’t have “much flesh,” alluding to the shape and weight of models. The objectification of Moran Gross in this gossip item is reinforced by other textual markers: she has been “stored” by her agent, until she is “ripe” and ready to be exposed on national TV; no wonder that the fact that she once had braces on her teeth is not important. What is important is her vital statistics, height and weight; and these are highlighted by the contrast with Jane Austen’s book (Sense and Sensibility). Similar to the reference to Miss Daisy in the previous example, the allusion results in irony and adds to the segmentation of the audience between those who sense the gap between physical and spiritual qualities and those who may just enjoy the scoop of knowing first who will be the real next thing in the fashion world. The above examples demonstrate several strategies used by gossip columnists; we do not always find complete stories that conform to narrative structure, but we do find a lot of evaluative information. Columnists use code and style switching, reported direct speech, contrasting codas, appeals to the audience, personal opinions, allusions to contextual and intertextual information. The result of this array of strategies is the creation of a new genre of media discourse, a discourse that attempts to recreate the intimacy of interpersonal Israeli gossip. Gossip columns in Israeli papers pretend to be an oral discourse, the use of first person and direct appeal to the audience, short sentences, and use of slang. However, the brilliance of the discourse results in part from actually being written, allowing the readers to “fall back” on rich textual sources. Every time we open the paper and look into the gossip column we encounter several enigmas, which challenge us to solve them by using

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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doesn’t have “much flesh,” alluding to the shape and weight of models. The
objectification of Moran Gross in this gossip item is reinforced by other textual markers:
she has been “stored” by her agent, until she is “ripe” and ready to be exposed on national
TV; no wonder that the fact that she once had braces on her teeth is not important. What
is important is her vital statistics, height and weight; and these are highlighted by the
contrast with Jane Austen’s book (Sense and Sensibility). Similar to the reference to Miss
Daisy in the previous example, the allusion results in irony and adds to the segmentation
of the audience between those who sense the gap between physical and spiritual qualities
and those who may just enjoy the scoop of knowing first who will be the real next thing
in the fashion world.
The above examples demonstrate several strategies used by gossip columnists; we
do not always find complete stories that conform to narrative structure, but we do find a
lot of evaluative information. Columnists use code and style switching, reported direct
speech, contrasting codas, appeals to the audience, personal opinions, allusions to
contextual and intertextual information. The result of this array of strategies is the
creation of a new genre of media discourse, a discourse that attempts to recreate the
intimacy of interpersonal Israeli gossip.
Gossip columns in Israeli papers pretend to be an oral discourse, the use of first
person and direct appeal to the audience, short sentences, and use of slang. However, the
brilliance of the discourse results in part from actually being written, allowing the readers
to “fall back” on rich textual sources. Every time we open the paper and look into the
gossip column we encounter several enigmas, which challenge us to solve them by using


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