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Media Research : Croatian journal for journalism and the media, Vol.8 No.1 May 2002. -

The topics of this paper builds on the fact that call-in radio programmes are inherently

confrontational and focuses on the manner in which confrontations of opinion

relate to the flow of conversation on air. Through the use of conversation, a specific

fusion of the private and the public occurs by means of which call-in programmes

transform into a specific public forum, where the realms of the public and the private

become closely intertwined and penetrate each other. The roles of everyday experience

and personal perspectives become central to the essentially institutional setting.

To the audience, this forum appears accessible because its conversations invite rather

than exclude. As the analyses presented here show, controversy and concurrence stand


as its prevailing characteristics. They both emerge out of the conversational style

of exchange on air; it is suggested, moreover, that they should be understood as formative

for their counterpart. Although there is no direct cause-and effect relation between

the two concepts on the empirical level, they can be clearly related through the

role of mediating activities, such as attempts to direct and manage the course of conversation

by participants of call-in radio. In this respect, the paper makes a contribution,

both theoretical and methodological to our understanding of a typical output of a

quintessential, yet theoretically undervalued medium of mass communication.

radio programme; call-in radio; public sphere; conversation

Autor: Andrej Pinter -



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