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Creative Paths to Television Journalism

Jacek Dabala

The book is a scholarly and creative consideration of audiovisual broadcasting and what makes a TV performance professional. It combines an academic approach to TV News with a practical understanding of production and the new pressures bearing down on the industry. Combining a real-world understanding with a scholarly approach, it offers valuable new insights for aspiring journalists, students, researchers and lecturers into what is still the most powerful medium for news and information in the world.

«This book is an exciting and challenging look at how we can understand the way we regard people and how we create and make public our views of them in and through television. The author provides a critically engaging and detailed analysis of the practical aspects of television journalism and the ethical values replete within it as well as how it is complicit in the construction of the manifold mediated identities of those caught up in the increasingly two-way relationship between broadcaster and audience. This is a wide ranging and well researched account of the dynamics of the significance and impact of television journalism in all its richness and ambiguity.»
(Prof. Jackie Harrison, Chair, Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), Joint Head of Department and Director of Research Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield, UK)
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I. The Priority of Dramaturgy


I.  The Priority of Dramaturgy

The problem of dramaturgy only appears to be obvious and easy to understand. In fact, it escapes the attention of both communication theorists and practitioners, on the one hand because of its exceptional complexity and traditional association with theatre and film production, and on the other simply because of ignorance, fatigue, or the unwillingness of journalists to improve their skills. The issue is further complicated by the fact, pointed out by Bogusław Nierenberg, that “in the clash between the market and the mission of the media, it is the market which is generally more successful.”28 Clearly we are faced here with axiological ambivalence, a continuous friction between the serious, non-commercial mission of the media, and the event-driven, dynamic nature of mass communication which demands simple dramatic emotions because they are what generates profits. In this way the rules of dramaturgy, however obvious they might seem, provide the foundations for the workings of the market. The market, in turn, is always trying to manipulate these rules without fully understanding their nature or their complexity.

Heide Hagebolling, a German media expert, points to this apparent lack of interest in dramaturgy: “To date (…) a dramaturgy of interactive media has received very little attention and is hardly reflected in the scientific literature.”29 In the volume edited by her we find a variety of insights that touch upon the most significant opportunities for using dramaturgy, not only in theory, but also, and primarily,...

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