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Democratic participation and public access broadcasting: Caller Perspectives on Election Call

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Abstract:

There has been much recent discussion about the changing nature of ‘the public sphere’ with the relatively new genre of RealityTV being viewed as a space in which the public can at least perform, if not always engage in meaningful debate. This paper considers the perspectives of callers to a political talk show – Election Call – in terms of why they call in, what they think about their interactions with politicians and how they regard the programme’s potential to constitute a public sphere. It also looks at the gendered aspects of caller experiences and beliefs in order to tease out if gender has any influence on the public’s practice of politics. The programme – Election Call – is a BBC production which has been broadcasting since 1974, going out simultaneously on radio and TV (and the web for 2001), in the days immediately preceding the British general election. I argue that whilst callers mostly felt very positive about the experience of appearing on the show and having the opportunity to put their point of view, and believed that Election Call fulfilled an important democratic function, they were much more negative in their assessment of their interactions with politicians, believing that it continues to be difficult to get a straight answer out of our elected members.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

polit (109), women (87), public (76), politician (55), caller (51), question (50), elect (49), media (47), men (43), call (42), programm (34), interest (30), studi (29), particip (28), issu (27), talk (27), view (25), process (23), think (21), peopl (21), radio (21),

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democratic participation, political talk radio, Election Call
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Ross, Karen. "Democratic participation and public access broadcasting: Caller Perspectives on Election Call" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112334_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ross, K. , 2003-05-27 "Democratic participation and public access broadcasting: Caller Perspectives on Election Call" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112334_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: There has been much recent discussion about the changing nature of ‘the public sphere’ with the relatively new genre of RealityTV being viewed as a space in which the public can at least perform, if not always engage in meaningful debate. This paper considers the perspectives of callers to a political talk show – Election Call – in terms of why they call in, what they think about their interactions with politicians and how they regard the programme’s potential to constitute a public sphere. It also looks at the gendered aspects of caller experiences and beliefs in order to tease out if gender has any influence on the public’s practice of politics. The programme – Election Call – is a BBC production which has been broadcasting since 1974, going out simultaneously on radio and TV (and the web for 2001), in the days immediately preceding the British general election. I argue that whilst callers mostly felt very positive about the experience of appearing on the show and having the opportunity to put their point of view, and believed that Election Call fulfilled an important democratic function, they were much more negative in their assessment of their interactions with politicians, believing that it continues to be difficult to get a straight answer out of our elected members.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 26
Word count: 8594
Text sample:
Paper submitted to the Feminist Scholarship Division ICA for 2003 conference Democratic participation and public access broadcasting: Caller Perspectives on Election Call Abstract There has been much recent discussion about the changing nature of ’the public sphere’ with the relatively new genre of RealityTV being viewed as a space in which the public can at least perform if not always engage in meaningful debate. This paper considers the perspectives of callers to a political talk show – Election Call
process – top five responses Women Men Allows public to interact with politicians 7 25 Provides an opportunity for the public to get actively 5 4 involved in democratic process It enables politicians to be held to account 4 3 Enables parties to clarify policy positions 1 1 Allows airing of less ’popular’ issues 2 - note: the remaining 11 women and 3 men who said that the programme definitely or possibly contributed to the democratic process mentioned a


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