“An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While “power to the people” may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the “demotic” with democracy…Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies.”
— Serra Tinic, University of Alberta, Canada
The ‘demotic turn’ is a term coined by Graeme Turner to describe the increasing visibility of the ‘ordinary person’ in the media today.
In this dynamic and insightful book he explores the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the ‘everyday’ individual's willingness to turn themselves into media content through:
- Celebrity culture
- Reality TV
- DIY websites
- Talk radio
- User-generated materials online
Analyzing the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, this book further develops the idea of the demotic turn as a means of examining the common elements in a range of ‘hot spots’ within media and cultural studies today.
Refuting the proposition that the demotic turn necessarily carries with it a democratizing politics, this book examines its political and cultural function in media production and consumption across many fields – including print and electronic news, current affairs journalism, and citizen and online journalism.
It examines these fields in order to outline a structural shift in what the western media has been doing lately, and to suggest that these media activities represent something much more fundamental than contemporary media fashion.
Chapter 4: Talk Radio, Populism and the Demotic Voice
Talk Radio, Populism and the Demotic Voice
The Politics of Talk Radio
One of the key issues underpinning the previous chapter – that is, the incorporation of the voice of the public into the production of journalism – is also central to this chapter. Talk radio, at least in the formations upon which I want to concentrate, probably represents the demotic voice at its most aggressive; certainly it is within the media format of talk radio that this voice is most thoroughly embedded. Talk radio has also played a leading role in the merging of news and entertainment that we discussed in Chapter 3. Over time, and in a number of countries, it has been a key factor in the ...