The potentials and pitfalls of interactional speculations by journalists and experts in the media: The case of Covid-19

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Abstract

During pandemics, uncertainty is a given condition, as are the potential risks of which the public needs to be informed via the media. In such dire straits there tends to be a shortage of certain knowledge and an abundance of speculations that can potentially inform as well as misinform the public. In this study, we conduct a conversation analysis of the interactional dynamics of speculations between Danish journalists and health experts in televised news interviews and press conferences during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. The analysis shows how journalists and experts construct and moderate speculations interactionally by entering both convergent and divergent roles. In conclusion, the potentials and pitfalls of such speculations are discussed, and implications are suggested for journalism practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume22
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1142-1160
ISSN1461-670X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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