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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  4. You’ll be surprised, it may also happen to me. And when it does, I admit it. […] No, it was not true. I was set up and I, unintentionally, have set up two gossip-free girls. I’m sorry. (June 19, 1968). However, first person reporting does not always mean that the columnist has a friendly and pleasant personality. Consider the first item published in the first column in Maariv: 5. This is a gossip column. If you don’t like it turn the page over (July 3, 1992). The third item in the same column takes the first person position, this time ignoring the audience: It was nice doing this column. We’ll miss it. Unlike Zippora and Raxel, the columnist in Maariv (no byline) seems to be ambivalent. The column changed names at least three times within the 7 years of its appearance (1992-1999), and it never developed a unique style or “personality.” Since the mid 2002 the weekend magazine of Maariv has a double page called “Talk of the Town” and “Talk of the Country” where stories about celebrities appear: each story has its identified author. First person reporting is but one strategy used by columnist. The next example from Zippora demonstrate another strategy of engagement: 6. The “Cash Register” surprised her husband for his 50 th Birthday with a new metallic Chevrolet G.M.C., wrapped in a baby- pink ribbon; that reminds Zippora of another baby in the extended family (December 28, 1990).

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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4. You’ll be surprised, it may also happen to me. And when it does, I
admit it. […] No, it was not true. I was set up and I, unintentionally, have
set up two gossip-free girls. I’m sorry. (June 19, 1968).
However, first person reporting does not always mean that the columnist
has a friendly and pleasant personality. Consider the first item published in the
first column in Maariv:
5. This is a gossip column. If you don’t like it turn the page over
(July 3, 1992).
The third item in the same column takes the first person position, this time
ignoring the audience:
It was nice doing this column. We’ll miss it.
Unlike Zippora and Raxel, the columnist in Maariv (no byline) seems to be
ambivalent. The column changed names at least three times within the 7 years of
its appearance (1992-1999), and it never developed a unique style or
“personality.” Since the mid 2002 the weekend magazine of Maariv has a double
page called “Talk of the Town” and “Talk of the Country” where stories about
celebrities appear: each story has its identified author.
First person reporting is but one strategy used by columnist. The next example from
Zippora demonstrate another strategy of engagement:
6. The “Cash Register” surprised her husband for his 50
th
Birthday with a
new metallic Chevrolet G.M.C., wrapped in a baby- pink ribbon; that
reminds Zippora of another baby in the extended family (December 28,
1990).


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