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The Space of OpinionMedia Intellectuals and the Public Sphere$
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Ronald N. Jacobs and Eleanor Townsley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199797929

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797929.001.0001

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Formats and Norms in the U.S. Space of Opinion

Formats and Norms in the U.S. Space of Opinion

(p.109) 5 Formats and Norms in the U.S. Space of Opinion
The Space of Opinion

Ronald N. Jacobs

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 draws on large samples of opinion data from The New York Times, USA Today, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Face the Nation, Crossfire, and Hannity & Colmes to analyze communicative conditions and speech norms in the contemporary space of U.S. opinion. Comparing length of speech, number of conversational turns, and average length of conversational turn, it finds that opinion format strongly shapes the nature of opinionated speech. The social characteristics of speakers (e.g., occupational and sex) are associated with different levels of complexity and deliberative styles, but this variation operates within the parameters created by the overall opinion format.

Keywords:   dialogue, partisanship, communication: conditions, speech norms, opinion format, gender, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, New York Times, USA Today, The NewsHour

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