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Cultivating credibility: a study of how news anchors establish trust Eisler, Karyn Lee 1997

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CULTIVATING CREDIBILITY: A STUDY OF HOW NEWS ANCHORS ESTABLISH TRUST by KARYN LEE EISLER  Dip.  B.A. (hons.), The U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l g a r y , 1988 ( B r o a d c a s t i n g ) , Mount Royal C o l l e g e a t Calgary, 1992  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology  and S o c i o l o g y )  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1997  @  Karyn Lee E i s l e r , 1997  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis  in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this thesis for or  by  his  or  scholarly purposes may be her  representatives.  permission.  l\dito(kkjjL  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  for  an advanced  Library shall make it  agree that permission for extensive  It  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not  Department of  requirements  British Columbia, I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  be allowed without my written  ABSTRACT  This  thesis,examines t e l e v i s i o n  news anchor c r e d i b i l i t y -  cultivation.  The e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f t r u s t i s examined t h r o u g h i t s  relationship  to station  identity  Open-focused  interviews  with  and a u d i e n c e  news  anchors,  p r o d u c e r s and make-up a r t i s t s i n a major market  were conducted.  looks  can p e r s o n i f y  reflect  viewers'  construction.  news  directors,  Canadian  television  I m a i n t a i n t h a t a n c h o r s ' a c t i o n s and distinction  tastes  and c r e d i b i l i t y when  and s e n s i b i l i t i e s .  Perceptions of  anchor t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s a r e t h e key t o v i e w e r l o y a l t y and s t a t i o n I entry  exercised  decisions  identity.  contend t h a t c r e d i b i l i t y c u l t i v a t i o n r e q u i r e s into  they  a complex  system  through c o n s t r a i n t  of expressive control and e x p e c t a t i o n .  anchors' which i s  Institutional  needs f o r t r u s t and an a u d i e n c e , t h e c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by t h e medium, e n t e r t a i n m e n t format and news genre, a l l c o n t r i b u t e t o the  e x p r e s s i v e s t a n d a r d s which must be adhered t o .  The image  demands a r e i n t e n s i f i e d when v i e w e r r e f l e x i v i t y , c o n t i n u i t y and t r u s t needs a r e i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o an a l r e a d y r i g i d regimen.  There  i s room, however,  f o r anchors'  performance authentic  e x p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a r e i n t e g r a l t o t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t r u s t and n e c e s s a r y r e f l e c t i o n s o f b o t h s t a t i o n and v i e w e r u n i q u e n e s s . F i n d i n g s suggest t h a t anchors who c u l t i v a t e t h e appearance of t h e i r own a c c e s s i b i l i t y a r e l i k e l y t o be t r u s t e d because t h e y seem f a m i l i a r , on some l e v e l , t o t y p i c a l c i t i z e n s t u n i n g i n . I argue  that  while  this  image  i s currently ii  i n vogue,  i ti s  unlikely  to  be  Dominant s t y l e s  a  permanent mode o f  and v i e w e r l o y a l t y p a t t e r n s appear  evolutionary transformations. could arise  trustworthy  expression. t o undergo  D i s t r u s t of the f r i e n d l y  facade  from any number o f u n f o r s e e n c u l t u r a l changes and  t h r o u g h c h a n g i n g e x p e c t a t i o n s t h a t are prompted by anchors c o n t i n u a l l y n e g o t i a t e the t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s of t h e i r the a u d i e n c e .  who  image w i t h  TABLE  O F CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i i  TABLE OF CONTENTS  i i i  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  iv  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER 1 - REPRESENTING SUCCESS IN TELEVISION  8  L o c a l News and the Image o f C r e d i b i l i t y and D i s t i n c t i o n . . . 8 News Anchors:  The Embodiment o f D i s t i n c t i v e  Credibility  .  21  CHAPTER 2 - A WAY OF LOOKING  32  Beauty, the Beast and Real Looking Anchors  32  News Anchors as Business E x e c u t i v e s o r Bankers  40  CHAPTER 3 - A WAY OF ACTING  50  Anchors as C h a r a c t e r s and the People Who P l a y Them  50  Cultivating  55  the I l l u s i o n o f A u t h e n t i c C o n v e r s a t i o n  Anchors as J o u r n a l i s t s and I n t e l l i g e n t People CHAPTER 4 - WAYS OF CONNECTING  82  C u l t i v a t i n g the I l l u s i o n o f A u t h e n t i c R e l a t i o n s h i p s L i v i n g Logos:  ....65  Anchors as(Consistent-Image  82  ^epresenters..93  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  104  BIBLIOGRAPHY  114  iv  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  T h i s t h e s i s r e f l e c t s both the development of an academic p i e c e of work and the d i s c o v e r y of a focus f o r f u t u r e s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . T h i s combination has enhanced my a p p r e c i a t i o n of the graduate s t u d i e s experience g r e a t l y . I have been honoured by the g e n e r o s i t y , e x p e r t i s e , and guidance of the f o l l o w i n g people who have brought l i f e t o the words of Yeats: "Education i s not a bucket to be f i l l e d , but a f i r e t o l i g h t . " Dr. R i c h a r d E r i c s o n , my t h e s i s supervisor,.gave so g e n e r o u s l y of h i s amazing knowledge of resources without imposing h i s ideas. His a b i l i t y to honour my s t y l e and p r o c e s s w h i l e p r o v i d i n g thought-provoking guidance "promoted.the c u l t i v a t i o n of my mind and the a r t i c u l a t i o n of my i n t e r e s t s . At the same time, h i s p r a c t i c a l p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m reminded me t h a t the p r o c e s s of d i s c o v e r y f o r t h i s t h e s i s c o u l d not go on f o r e v e r . Dr. Ken Stoddart's g i f t of e x p r e s s i n g i n c l u s i o n was c r i t i c a l as I'reentered academic l i f e . His warmth and encouragement f a c i l i t a t e d the beginning of an a u t h e n t i c e x p l o r a t i o n of p o s s i b i l i t i e s w i t h i n the graduate program. His e x p e r i e n c e i n the f i e l d of b r o a d c a s t i n g c o n t r i b u t e d to f r u i t f u l d i s c u s s i o n s about p o t e n t i a l r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s . Dr. Bruce M i l l e r ' s remarkable a b i l i t y and w i l l i n g n e s s to s h i f t d i s c i p l i n e s p r o v i d e d a unique o p p o r t u n i t y t o c o n s i d e r d i v e r s e p e r s p e c t i v e s and to s t r e t c h my a n a l y t i c a l t h i n k i n g . His empathy through the peaks and v a l l e y s of t h e s i s p r o d u c t i o n was a constant source of v a l i d a t i o n . His u n f a i l i n g e n e r g e t i c enthusiasm and openness to dialogue added to the r i c h n e s s of t h i s experience. T h i s t h e s i s would not have been p o s s i b l e - w i t h o u t the c o o p e r a t i o n of news anchors, make-up a r t i s t s , producers and directors. The time taken' from busy .schedules and the w i l l i n g n e s s t o d i s c u s s t h e i r i n d u s t r y and e x p e r t i s e w i t h an o u t s i d e r f e l t l i k e an act of f a i t h . T h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s were i n v a l u a b l e t o my understanding of c r e d i b i l i t y c u l t i v a t i o n , j u s t as I hope m y a n a l y s i s w i l l broaden t h e i r s . I a l s o thank my  f a m i l y and  friends for their belief i n  v  me.  INTRODUCTION  T h i s t h e s i s p r o v i d e s an a n a l y s i s  o f t e l e v i s i o n news anchor  c r e d i b i l i t y c u l t i v a t i o n and i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n and  the i d e n t i t y  of a s t a t i o n .  t o audience l o y a l t y  Audience  construction  and  i n s t i t u t i o n a l i d e n t i t y a r e c e r t a i n l y not c o n c e r n s r e l e v a n t o n l y to those i n the t e l e v i s i o n i n d u s t r y . insurance target  Lawyers, p h y s i c i a n s and  agents a l s o need t o g a r n e r t h e t r u s t  audiences,  patients.  P e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s o f those who f i l l  t h e s e and  roles  prospective  contribute  t o the i d e n t i t y  i n s t i t u t i o n a l s e t t i n g s and t h e a u t h o r i t y a whole. of  of t h e i r  o f t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n s as  W h i l e t h e f o c u s o f t h i s t h e s i s c o u l d have been on any  a variety  following  clients  own  and  other occupational  namely  of t h e i r  o f o t h e r ' c a l l i n g s ' , anchors were chosen f o r t h e  reasons:  (1) The s i z e o f t h e i r audience on a d a i l y  b a s i s f a r s u r p a s s e s t h e p o r t i o n o f t h e p o p u l a c e who  regularly  g r e e t s t h o s e who work i n most o t h e r o c c u p a t i o n s ; and (2) The o b v i o u s l y staged q u a l i t y the  o f t e l e v i s i o n news p r o d u c t i o n s makes  anchor performance r i p e f o r a n a l y s i s . A  fusion  of the t h e o r e t i c a l  (1990), Joshua Meyrowitz  works  o f . Anthony  Giddens  (1985; 1994), E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan  (1987, 1989, 1991) and E r v i n g Goffman (1967; 1969; 1971; [1959] 1973)  forms t h e c o r e a n a l y t i c a l framework f o r t h i s  problem.  Giddens'  notions  about  trust  sociological  relationships  i n the  modern e r a a r e a p p l i e d s p e c i f i c a l l y t o t e l e v i s i o n v i e w e r s and t h e i r need t o ' b l i n d l y t r u s t ' news anchors and t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y 1  of  t h e messages t h e y d e l i v e r .  power  of the t e l e v i s i o n  Meyrowitz's i n s i g h t s i n t o the  medium  serve  to contextualize  the  c u l t i v a t i o n o f c r e d i b i l i t y w i t h i n t h e medium i t s e l f , n o t i n t h e actual  c o n t e n t o f t h e words t h a t  anchors a r e s p e a k i n g .  works o f E r i c s o n e t a l s t r e n g t h e n  M e y r o w i t z ' s 'medium  argument w h i l e l o c a l i z i n g t h e s i t e o f c r e d i b i l i t y within  the  specific  television's  parameters  entertainment  and  format.  theory'  construction  specifications  . B o t h ^medium  c o n s i d e r a t i o n s s e t the occupational  The  and  of  format  stage.for. the adaptation of  Goffman's p r i n c i p l e s which h i g h l i g h t t h e ' s t r a t e g i c s t a g i n g ' t h a t i s r e q u i r e d f o r t h e c u l t i v a t i o n o f anchor c r e d i b i l i t y and the e f f e c t i v e management o f audience Empirical  d a t a were p r o v i d e d  impressions.  by key employees o f  television  s t a t i o n s t h a t produce d a i l y  television  market  interviewed, six  i n Canada.  A  local  total  news i n a major  o f 23  sources  producers,  three  news  directors,  and  They were s e l e c t e d a c c o r d i n g  two  working with,  a n c h o r s . I assumed t h a t those.! in-, these- ^ o c c u p a t i o n a l at least  a  modest  understanding  c o n t r i b u t e t o viewer perceptions  tool.  were  designed  r o l e s would  of the f a c t o r s  that  o f anchor t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s .  open-focused i n t e r v i e w was t h e chosen Questions  make-up  t o the c r i t e r i a  t h a t t h e y e i t h e r a r e , o r spend c o n s i d e r a b l e . t i m e  The  were  i n c l u d i n g 12 news anchors ( s i x men and s i x women),  professionals.  have  three  to e l i c i t  methodological  information  about  c r e d i b i l i t y c u l t i v a t i o n from t h e frames o f r e f e r e n c e p r o v i d e d by these d i f f e r e n t i n d u s t r y r o l e s .  The drawbacks o f u s i n g 2  face-to-  face  interviews  secret  as  the  sole  data gathering  (Deux & Wrightsman, 1988).  technique  are  no  I t i s c e r t a i n l y possible that  I u n k n o w i n g l y e i t h e r d i s c o u r a g e d o r promoted c e r t a i n answers t o interview  questions.  might, a t t i m e s , felt  pressure  It  is  also  possible  that  interviewees  have e x p e r i e n c e d e v a l u a t i o n a p p r e h e n s i o n  to  particular light.  present  themselves  or  their  station  But d e s p i t e t h e s e and any o t h e r  and  in  a  limitations,  the open-focused i n t e r v i e w method was- chosen, because i t a l l o w e d for  c l a r i f i c a t i o n of u n c l e a r ..responses and  development of general  initially  conversational  specific  thoughts,  mentioned (Babbie, detailed  b r i e f answers.  d i r e c t i o n while  experiences 1986) .  elaboration  and  initial  on  contact  I t also provided l e a v i n g room t o  observations  critical  with  issues  that  a  probe  that  T h i s freedom t o probe o f t e n  a n t i c i p a t e d p r i o r t o the i n t e r v i e w My  more, comprehensive  were  provided  I  had  not  sessions.  respondents was  by  letter  which  i n c l u d e d a d e s c r i p t i o n of the r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t and t h e i r r i g h t s as  potential participants.  a f t e r m a i l i n g the a d d r e s s any agreed  to  I made f o l l o w - u p  telephone  i n t r o d u c t o r y package t o ensure i t s r e c e i p t ,  c o n c e r n s , and -schedule . i n t e r v i e w s be  calls  involved.  Most  interviews  took  with  those  place  in  who the  o c c u p a t i o n a l s e t t i n g : i n newsrooms, c a f e t e r i a s , p r i v a t e o f f i c e s and  dressing  rooms.  Other c o n s u l t a t i o n s took p l a c e  shops l o c a t e d away from the a p p r o x i m a t e l y one hour.  stations.  i n coffee  Each i n t e r v i e w  A l l respondents c o n s e n t e d t o the  lasted tape-  r e c o r d i n g of i n t e r v i e w s w i t h the a s s u r a n c e t h a t c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y 3  was g u a r a n t e e d . In the f i r s t chapter of t h i s t h e s i s , e n t i t l e d  'Representing  Success i n T e l e v i s i o n ' , t h e c e n t r a l arguments a r e e s t a b l i s h e d . I contend t h a t audience l o y a l t y i s a t t h e r o o t o f a s t a t i o n ' s economic  success,  and t h a t  viewer  f a i t h f u l n e s s i s generated  t h r o u g h newscasts which d e f i n e a s t a t i o n ' s ' p e r s o n a l i t y ' w h i l e d i s t i n g u i s h i n g i t from c a b l e c h a n n e l s and t h e l o c a l c o m p e t i t i o n . I  maintain  that  while  story  coverage .and ...topic s e l e c t i o n  c e r t a i n l y c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e ^ c h a r a c t e r o f - l o c a l news p r o d u c t i o n s , it  i s t h e t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s o f t h e newscast image t h a t i s a t t h e  h e a r t o f audience l o y a l t y .  Viewer f a i t h f u l n e s s i s based on t h e  p e r c e p t i o n t h a t t h e staged appearance o f j o u r n a l i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e i s an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h e news on a p a r t i c u l a r s t a t i o n can be trusted. Newscasts aire c o n c e p t u a l i z e d  as t h e a t r i c a l  presentations  w h i c h f e a t u r e a u r a l and v i s u a l " e x p r e s s i v e equipment"  (Goffman,  [1959] 1973) t h a t i s s t r a t e g i c a l l y d i s p l a y e d on t h e newscast set.  Things  components viewers I  argue  like  theme  music  of the expressive  and g r a p h i c s  package  are j u s t  which . can suggest  t h a t a newscast i s not -only c r e d i b l e , .but that  while  these  and o t h e r  some  inanimate  to  distinctive. features are  e s s e n t i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f c r e d i b i l i t y and d i s t i n c t i o n , , news anchors  take  centre  p h y s i c a l l y embody these  stage  because  qualities.  of  their  capacity  to  The t r u s t s i g n s t h a t news  anchors p r o j e c t onto t h e t e l e v i s i o n s c r e e n have t h e p e r s u a s i v e power t o hook a t a r g e t audience when t h e y r e f l e c t those  viewers'  t a s t e s and s e n s i b i l i t i e s . r e l a t i o n s h i p s between trust  T r u s t w o r t h y anchors not o n l y 'anchor'  stations  i n the j o u r n a l i s t s ,  and v i e w e r s , t h e y a l s o  anchor  news s o u r c e s and o t h e r p l a y e r s  who  a l s o appear on the s c r e e n . In  the  Looking' front" the  second  and  'A  (Goffman,  Way  and  third  chapters,  of A c t i n g '  entitled  respectively,  'A  the  Way  "personal  [1959] 1973) of news anchors i s a n a l y z e d from  vantage p o i n t of f a c i a l -appearance, . b o d i l y . . d e c o r a t i o n ,  ways  of  acting,  descriptions  of  speaking  ,and  a r e used t o i l l u s t r a t e  understanding. how  and  Detailed  each o f t h e s e image  elements can e i t h e r enhance o r undermine p e r c e p t i o n s o f newscast and  station  trustworthiness.  Characterizations  of  credible  a c t i o n s and appearances a r e j u x t a p o s e d w i t h what i s c o n s i d e r e d u n t r u s t w o r t h y and p o t e n t i a l l y damaging t o newscast and  station  success. I c o n t e n d t h a t a c h i e f component of newscast b e l i e v a b i l i t y comes t h r o u g h c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the appearance  that a  station's  anchors have j o u r n a l i s t i c i n t e r e s t and f a c i l i t y . T h i s component of image i s e x t r e m e l y p o w e r f u l i n i t s . c a p a c i t y to/compensate f o r t r a n s g r e s s i o n s i n one o r more, of the other-image elements..  This  p o t e n t i a l , though, does not m i n i m i z e the importance f o r anchors t o c r e a t e the i l l u s i o n of a u t h e n t i c i n t e r a c t i o n and c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h v i e w e r s . I n o t h e r words,  i t is critical  good a c t o r s i n t h i s c u l t i v a t e d news p l a y .  t h a t anchors be  Other s i g n s o f t r u s t  t h a t mark e f f e c t i v e anchors i n c l u d e unassuming  body p r o p s  faces  of  that  are  "caricatures"  (Hartley, 5  1982)  the  and  target  audience.  I argue t h a t t h e s e s u p e r f i c i a l image components a l s o  p l a y a k e y r o l e i n t h e development o f v i e w e r In  the f i n a l  chapter, e n t i t l e d  loyalty.  'Ways o f C o n n e c t i n g ' ,  I  suggest t h a t audience assessments o f t h e t o t a l i t y o f an anchor's e x p r e s s i v e equipment a r e t h e b a s i s upon which newscast d e c i s i o n s a r e made.  loyalty  The d e s i r e t o watch an anchor r e p e a t e d l y i s  d e t e r m i n e d by t h e e x t e n t t o which t h a t anchor embodies v i e w e r p r e f e r e n c e s and p r o j e c t s those s e n s i b i l i t i e s onto t h e s c r e e n . Personal  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h .a . p a r t i c u l a r * anchor  s e r v e s as a  " r e f l e x i v e p r o j e c t " (Giddens, 1990) f o r v i e w e r s by a s s u r i n g them of t h e i r own i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h a 'sense' o f c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e news anchor's  persona.  The reflexive  elemental  anchor  image  system i s used t o e x p l a i n how numerous a n c h o r - v i e w e r c o n n e c t i o n s are p o s s i b l e g i v e n t h e d i v e r s e t a s t e s and p e r c e p t u a l t e n d e n c i e s of a l a r g e v i e w i n g audience. I  conclude  that  cultivate  'blind  trust'  i s most l i k e l y  an image o f t h e i r  own  vested i n  anchors  who  accessibility.  Anchors  who l o o k and a c t n o n - t h r e a t e n i n g w h i l e i n c l u d i n g t h e  audience i n t h e i r t h e a t r i c a l p r e s e n t a t i o n s c r e a t e the impression t h a t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h 'viewers are "personal,, e g a l i t a r i a n and  face-to-face.  relationship  of t h i s  type of  the j o i n t  informational  w o r l d s o f anchors and  While the p e r c e p t i o n of a c c e s s i b i l i t y i s a necessary  ingredient loyalty,  the i l l u s i o n  i s congruous w i t h e q u a l a c c e s s t o media i n f o r m a t i o n  - i t reflects viewers.  Cultivating  i n the construction  and maintenance  the "bureaucratization of the s p i r i t " 6  of  audience  o f anchors i s  just  as  essential  predictable psychological  (Goffman,  performances  and  needs o f v i e w e r s  symbol o f anchor t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s  [1959]  1973) .  image and  I  explain  consistency  function  and s t a t i o n  as t h e  feed  how the  ultimate  excellence.  CHAPTER ONE:  REPRESENTING SUCCESS IN TELEVISION  L o c a l News and the Image o f C r e d i b i l i t y and D i s t i n c t i o n  P u b l i c and p r i v a t e and expanding a u d i e n c e s . any  station's  economic  success  relationship viewers.  & Chan, 1987: 34; Ettema & Whitney,  1985: 7 3 ) .  A television  at the l o c a l  with  level  i t s audience,  The importance  interdependence  loyal  The audience i s t h e j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r  e x i s t e n c e and t h e k e y t o a d v e r t i s i n g  ( E r i c s o n , Baranek Meyrowitz,  t e l e v i s i o n broadcasters require  depends  but a l s o  o f both  i s briefly  station's  n o t o n l y on a with  by  1994: 5;  s u r v i v a l and  individual  relationships  explained  revenue  and  drawing  their  on t h e  complementary a s p e c t s o f two o t h e r w i s e o p p o s i n g audience models. According  to  t h e commodity  model,  t h e audience  is  c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as a "common c o i n o f exchange" (Webster & P h a l e n , 1994:  3 0 ) . The s i z e and c o m p o s i t i o n o f an audience a r e t h e k e y  d e t e r m i n a n t s o f i t s economic v a l u e . are  Essentially,  i n the business of buying audiences  from  advertisers  stations.  The  l o g i c i s t h e same whether a d v e r t i s e r s a r e a f t e r a s h a r e o f t h e mass u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d audience 44;  1987: 34) o r a share  audience  (Ericson,. Baranek  of a specialized  (Cantor, 1994: 162-4).  & Chan, 1991:  segment  of that  The g r e a t e r t h e s h a r e o f t h e  sought a f t e r audience t h a t a s t a t i o n c l a i m s as i t s own, t h e more revenue  advertisers  are w i l l i n g  t o pump i n t o  the s t a t i o n i n  exchange f o r a d v e r t i s i n g t i m e . W h i l e t h e commodity model c o r r e c t l y a d d r e s s e s a u d i e n c e s as 8  effective attract 1994:  institutional  advertisers  commodities  and g e n e r a t e  5 ) , i t does  not  based  revenue  account  on t h e i r (Ettema  f o r the  power t o  &  equally  Whitney, critical  r e l a t i o n s h i p between t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n s and i n d i v i d u a l v i e w e r s . Despite  claims that  viewers  "do n o t e x i s t  as  individuals"  ( i b i d ) , t h e y do. The m a r k e t p l a c e model (Webster & P h a l e n , 1994: 27) a d d r e s s e s t h i s d e f i c i e n c y by s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e a u d i e n c e i s an aggregate o f i n d i v i d u a l consumers. who .make, .program c h o i c e s i n a m u l t i c h a n n e l m a r k e t p l a c e - t o - s u i t . t h e i r , needs'and, t a s t e s . the a  For  purpose o f t h i s paper t h e audience i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as b o t h common c o i n  viewers with  o f exchange  d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g power.  a u d i e n c e w i t h economic sell  and an assemblage  i t s programming  of  individual  The c o n s t r u c t i o n  o f an  v a l u e h i n g e s on a s t a t i o n ' s a b i l i t y t o to viewers.  At the root  of  audience  l o y a l t y i s t h e f a i t h f u l n e s s o f i n d i v i d u a l a u d i e n c e members. An local meet  i m p o r t a n t way t o encourage  news programming.  viewer l o y a l t y  i s through  News i s not s i m p l y a r e q u i r e m e n t t o  t h e demands o f r e g u l a t o r s  (Epstein,  1973: 48, 4 9 ) ,  i t  d i s t i n g u i s h e s l o c a l c h a n n e l s from t h e dozens-of o t h e r s a v a i l a b l e to  cable subscribers.  As one-^producer,i,pointed;-,out,, l o c a l news  has a much b i g g e r impact on t h e " p e r s o n a l i t y o f a s t a t i o n " t h a n most  o t h e r programming.  Local  news i s a i r e d  o n l y on  local  s t a t i o n s , u n l i k e o t h e r e n t e r t a i n m e n t programs w h i c h can o f t e n be seen on b o t h l o c a l and c a b l e c h a n n e l s . news  has become  programs  the b a i t  used  d u p l i c a t e d elsewhere. 9  For t h i s reason, l o c a l  to lure  viewers  One respondent  from  other  contextualized  t h i s development: Ten o r f i f t e e n y e a r s ago we d i d n ' t have much o f a c h o i c e i n terms o f v i e w i n g h a b i t s on t e l e v i s i o n . B a s i c a l l y , we had t h r e e c h a n n e l s so t h e r e wasn't much c o m p e t i t i o n . There was enough money t o go around f o r a l l o f t h e s t a t i o n s t o s u r v i v e i n t h e marketplace...but w i t h t h e p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f c a b l e t h e c o m p e t i t i o n grew f i e r c e r and we r e a l l y had t o - s e p a r a t e o u r p r o d u c t from t h e r e s t o f t h e c o m p e t i t i o n . S e i n f e l d i s g o i n g t o be a v a i l a b l e n o t o n l y on a l o c a l channel b u t i t can be a v a i l a b l e through many o t h e r TV s t a t i o n s ... and so you can't r e a l l y brand y o u r s e l f by s a y i n g t h a t you have t h e b e s t shows ... and so t h e q u e s t i o n becomes, how do you c r e a t e a t o t a l i t y t o y o u r b r a n d t h a t i s t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t so t h e r e i s ..equity ..in-^that b r a n d and p e o p l e p e r c e i v e t h e r e i s v a l u e i n t h a t brand? One o f t h e e a s i e s t ways you can do t h a t and t h e b e s t way you c a n do t h a t i s through y o u r news .... because nobody can compete w i t h us on t h a t l e v e l , whether i t ' s an NBC s t a t i o n o r a FOX s t a t i o n o r any k i n d o f network t h a t might come i n t o t h i s market. They cannot compete w i t h o u r news. A s t a t i o n ' s l o c a l newscasts a r e b e l i e v e d by r e s p o n d e n t s t o be  t h e " f l a g s h i p shows" t h a t e s t a b l i s h v i e w e r  l o y a l t y f o r not  o n l y those shows b u t a l s o f o r t h e s t a t i o n ' s o t h e r . e n t e r t a i n m e n t programming where t h e " r e a l " money i s ' g e n e r a l l y : made (Matusow, 1983:  254).  This  logic  t h e o r y w h i c h suggests will  i s consistent with  "audience  flow"  t h a t a s i z e a b l e p o r t i o n o f any a u d i e n c e  s t a y tuned t o a g i v e n s t a t i o n u n l e s s t h e r e i s a p r e s s i n g  •reason  t o s w i t c h c h a n n e l s , -(Epstein,, 1973: S3.,:. .9.4)-.  In other  words, programs i n h e r i t v i e w e r s from p r e c e d i n g programs and t h e most l o g i c a l p l a c e f o r l o c a l s t a t i o n s t o b u i l d a l o y a l a u d i e n c e in  a m u l t i c h a n n e l environment i s through  l o c a l news.  This i s  deemed t h e b e s t way f o r a l o c a l s t a t i o n t o maximize t h e chance that  viewers  entertainment  will  watch  S e i n f e l d o r some  other  syndicated  show on i t s s t a t i o n i n s t e a d o f an i m p o r t e d  channel. 10  cable  Local cable  news not  stations,  broadcasters  only  it  from  advertising  also  one  dollars  differentiates  local  distinguishes  another.  i s ultimately  stations  local  television  Competition a  local  from  for  local  competition.  The  l o c a l s t a t i o n w i t h the most s u c c e s s f u l newscast i n a g i v e n t i m e slot  stands  t o generate  l a r g e s t audience news. on  the  most revenue by  passing  on  the  t o the e n t e r t a i n m e n t programs t h a t f o l l o w the  A l s o , r e s e a r c h has shown t h a t . i f .viewers,-respect the news  a given station,  channel's  overall  (Matusow, 1983:  they  t e n d .to have more ..respect f o r t h a t  programming  254).  compared  T h i s suggests  to  the  competition  that a l o c a l  TV  station  w i t h a r e s p e c t e d news o p e r a t i o n w i l l draw l o y a l v i e w e r s f o r not only  the  news  entertainment respondent  and  the  programs  that  follow,  but  also  shows t h a t a i r a t o t h e r t i m e s of the day.  implied  that  viewers  do,  in  fact,  f a v o u r i t e newscast w i t h t h e i r f a v o u r i t e s t a t i o n .  link  for One their  As a r e s u l t o f  t h a t l i n k a g e t h e y are l i k e l y t o see what program i s on  their  p r e f e r r e d s t a t i o n when t h e y f i r s t t u r n on t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n s e t s "because t h e y f e e l c o m f o r t a b l e ...with t h a t . s t a t i o n . . . . . i t . makes the c h o i c e s e a s i e r . " But what i s s u c c e s s f u l t e l e v i s i o n news? news t h a t g e n e r a t e s v i e w e r l o y a l t y ?  In a  What i s i t about  word, t r u s t .  Trust  i s d e f i n e d here as v i e w e r c o n f i d e n c e i n the r e l i a b i l i t y  o f the  news p r o d u c t i o n system, and i n the a u t h e n t i c i t y of the news t h a t is  broadcast  1990:34).  on  a  particular  television  station  T r u s t w o r t h y news p r o v i d e s the c r i t i c a l 11  (Giddens,  l i n k between  stations  and v i e w e r s .  station-viewer  I t i s t h e bonding agent t h a t  cements  relationships.  L o c a l TV news i s t h e i d e a l s i t e f o r s t a t i o n s t o w i n v i e w e r trust.  T h i s i s done by e x p l o i t i n g t h e complementary t r u s t needs  o f t h e news p r o d u c t i o n system and members o f . t h e a u d i e n c e . t h i s p e r i o d o f h i g h modernity, systems  that  construct,  amounts  o f i n f o r m a t i o n about  t r u s t i s a n e c e s s i t y f o r expert  reconstruct,  and  disseminate  the ..world . .of.., .ey.ents  vast  (Giddens,  1990) . T e l e v i s i o n newscasts:.are.^components...of the. l a r g e r system  of  mass  media  news  In  production  which  also  expert  includes  newspaper, magazine and r a d i o news. The s u r v i v a l o f t h i s system depends  upon  authenticity •expert  trust  vested  i n i t s competence  o f t h e knowledge  i t provides.  and  i n the  And w h i l e  this  system i n g e n e r a l , and t e l e v i s i o n news i n p a r t i c u l a r ,  needs t o be t r u s t e d , v i e w e r s need t o t r u s t t h e newscasts watch and t h e news p r o d u c t i o n system as a whole.  they  The t r u s t t h a t  v i e w e r s v e s t i n t h i s system i s ' b l i n d t r u s t ' w h i c h r e s t s f a i t h i n t h e p r o p e r w o r k i n g o f t h e system.  upon  Those who watch TV  news a r e t y p i c a l l y n o t aware ,~of; ' the . a b s t r a c t . ^ . p r i n c i p l e s  that  g o v e r n news- p r o d u c t i o n and'.'lack full:-:informat i o n ...about. the news stories  that are broadcast.  Most v i e w e r s  are u n l i k e l y  t o do  e x h a u s t i v e c o n t e n t checks on t h e i r own. The  average  productions  viewer  are accurate  needs  to  trust  that  daily  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f t h e news  news 'as i t  happened', e s p e c i a l l y c o n s i d e r i n g t h e s u b s t a n t i v e n a t u r e o f most newscasts.  L o c a l t e l e v i s i o n news i s synonymous w i t h bad news. 12  I t p a i n t s a p i c t u r e o f a r i s k y , u n s a f e community.  Unsettling  s t o r i e s dominate d a i l y news - s t o r i e s about c r i m e and s c a n d a l , sexual  predators  and t h e i r  victims,  accidents  ( E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 1987: 44-50).  and d i s a s t e r s  Viewer t r u s t i n the  a u t h e n t i c i t y o f news about r i s k i s c r i t i c a l t o t h e e x t e n t it  g u i d e s i n d i v i d u a l and/or c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n  35) .  I f a sexual predator  i s on t h e l o o s e ,  that  (Giddens, 1990:  information  about  a t t a c k p a t t e r n s , v i c t i m p r o f i l e s , and t h e scenes, o f t h e c r i m e s could  reduce  t h e danger  of • viewers  a l t e r i n g t h e i r behaviour.  who  may  be  at r i s k  by  Viewers are i n a p o s i t i o n t o t r u s t  bad news f o r t h e i r own s a f e t y .  Bad news i s o f t e n tempered w i t h  good news t h a t p r e v i o u s l y b r o a d c a s t dangers a r e a t bay, t h a t t h e c r i m e o r d i s a s t e r i s under c o n t r o l , t h a t t h e s e x u a l p r e d a t o r i s b e h i n d b a r s ( E r i c s o n , Baranek &Chan, 1987: 44-50) . . V i e w e r s a r e i n a p o s i t i o n t o t r u s t t h e good news as much as t h e bad t o t h e extent  that  i t directs, or redirects their  purpose o f m a x i m i z i n g p e r s o n a l Trustworthy distinction.  news  of  a  has two components:  credibility  argue,  and  t o which a  The"-distinction f a c t o r r e f e r s t o the  newscast  that  d i f f e r e n t i a t e t h e news  competing s t a t i o n s and i s i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h could  f o r the  and/or c o l l e c t i v e s a f e t y .  The c r e d i b i l i t y f a c t o r ..is•-.the- e x t e n t  newscast i s b e l i e v a b l e . properties  activity  as many respondents  credibility.  d i d , that  credibility  on One and  d i s t i n c t i o n are simply achieved through j o u r n a l i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e , through  quality  news  standards g e n e r a l l y  coverage  according  to local  and s t a t i o n s t a n d a r d s more 13  industry  specifically.  The common i n d u s t r y argument i s t h a t j o u r n a l i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e and q u a l i t y news coverage can somehow be measured by t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h a s t a t i o n ' s news i s on t h e l e a d i n g edge, by i t ' s depth, balance,  accuracy,  comparatively,  fairness, integrity,  and by t h e e x t e n t ,  t o which i t i s r e f i n e d and 'up t o t h e minute'.  But d e s p i t e a s t a t i o n ' s s t a n d i n g i n t h e r a t i n g s , employees of each s t a t i o n argued t h a t i t s news i s as good as, i f n o t a c u t above,  the  rest  according  t o .the s o - c a l l e d  'objective'  k  i n d i c a t o r s o f t r u s t w o r t h y news.  This brings i n t o question the  extent t o which ' o b j e c t i v e ' j o u r n a l i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e p l a y s a r o l e in  establishing  loyalty,  station  credibility,  distinction,  and p u t t i n g one s t a t i o n ahead i n l o c a l  r a t i n g s . And  even i f i t i s t r u e t h a t a l l l o c a l s t a t i o n s p r o v i d e news coverage,  viewer  first-rate  t h e argument put f o r t h here i s n o t enough t o  e x p l a i n d i f f e r e n t i a l r a t i n g s time and time a g a i n . There  i s another  problem  with  this  argument.  employees o f each s t a t i o n defended t h e j o u r n a l i s t i c  While  integrity  and s u p e r i o r s t a t u s o f i t s news q u a l i t y , t h e r e was a l s o h e s i t a n t admission between  t h a t t h e r e may not . r e a l l y be a l l t h a t much d i f f e r e n c e the ' q u a l i t y '  interviewee difference  recognized  ofi? .news - on v.:compet-ing . . s t a t i o n s . that  i n t h e coverage  "there of  isn't  t h e main  a  great  One  deal  items".  of  Another  acknowledged t h a t " a l l t h r e e newscasts a r e g o i n g t o be about t h e same  . . . there  might  be more j o u r n a l i s t i c  p i e c e s b u t t h a t would be d e b a t a b l e , stations."  probably,  integrity  i n our  by each o f t h e  And where ' o b j e c t i v e ' d i f f e r e n c e s o f news q u a l i t y do 14  e x i s t i n t h e eyes o f i n d u s t r y and/or s t a t i o n e x p e r t s , certainly  no  differences.  guarantee  that  audiences  pick  up  there i s on  those  The r e s u l t s o f f o c u s group s t u d i e s l e d one news  d i r e c t o r t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t j o u r n a l i s t i c 'standards'  do n o t  n e c e s s a r i l y d i s t i n g u i s h competing s t a t i o n s i n t h e v i e w e r ' s mind. We know t h a t i f you show t h e same s t o r y done by t h r e e d i f f e r e n t s t a t i o n s t o a f o c u s group t h e y don't see some o f the j o u r n a l i s t i c d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t we s e e . They don't n e c e s s a r i l y p i c k up on t h e t h i n g s t h a t we t h i n k a r e g l a r i n g l y o b v i o u s , you know, t h e - a s p e c t s . o f t h e , s t o r y t h a t were c o m p l e t e l y l e f t o u t ' o n ^ a n o t h e r s t a t i o n ;or t h e b a l a n c e element. ;  4  V i e w e r s cannot be e x p e c t e d t o a s s e s s news q u a l i t y a c c o r d i n g t o the  same  Members  criteria  that  o f t h e audience  spectators"  (Bourdieu,  industry  insiders  a r e , f o r t h e most  deem  important.  part,  "'naive'  1984: 4 ) . News p r o d u c t i o n p r a c t i c e s and  s t a n d a r d s a r e s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l and i n t e r n a l t o t h e p r o f e s s i o n . The  n o t i o n s o f news q u a l i t y t h a t s e r v e as g u i d i n g f o r c e s w i t h i n  the b r o a d c a s t news i n d u s t r y o n l y have meaning and v a l u e t h a t i n d u s t r y and i n r e l a t i o n t o i t s h i s t o r y .  within  V i e w e r s cannot  p o s s i b l y judge news q u a l i t y w i t h t h e same c u l t u r a l  competence  t h a t t e l e v i s i o n j o u r n a l i s t s - r e l y on :to judge'each o t h e r ' s work. W h i l e i t may be d e s i r a b l e - t o .provide: v i e w e r s w i t h ' q u a l i t y ' news c o n t e n t , trust.  i t i s c e r t a i n l y not s u f f i c i e n t f o r w i n n i n g v i e w e r  'Quality'  journalism  alone  (objectivity,  balance,  a c c u r a c y , e t c . ) g u a r a n t e e s n e i t h e r audience r e s p e c t n o r s t a t i o n success  i n terms o f r a t i n g s and/or revenue.  'Quality'  news  coverage does not ensure t h a t v i e w e r s w i l l p e r c e i v e t h e news t o be  of high  quality.  And i t c e r t a i n l y does n o t ensure 15  that  viewers  will  perceive  t h e news  t r u s t w o r t h y t h a n news on competing  on one  station  l o c a l channels.  t o be  more  Ironically,  d e s p i t e s t a t i o n attempts t o compete f o r v i e w e r s on t h e b a s i s o f i n t e r n a l j o u r n a l i s t i c v a l u e s , "by any o b j e c t i v e s t a n d a r d - t h e r e i s r e m a r k a b l y l i t t l e news on t e l e v i s i o n " (Meyrowitz, 1985: 9 0 ) , and t h e s c a n t y d e t a i l s t h a t a r e p r o v i d e d t e n d t o be f o r g o t t e n by t h o s e who watch TV news anyway ( E r i c s o n , 29).  Those t r u l y i n search.< of ;  news coverage  Baranek & Chan, 1991:  l e n g t h y 'and comprehensive  local  a r e f a r b e t t e r . - s e r v e d by newspapers w h i c h . o f f e r  much l e s s redundant and s i m p l i f i e d s t o r i e s t h a n TV news p r o v i d e s (ibid:  24) .  through  The argument  objective  that viewer  indicators  trust  of 'quality'  topic selection i s , clearly, faulty.  i s simply  won  coverage  and  story  I t f a i l s t o e x p l a i n why so  many p e o p l e f e e l t h a t t e l e v i s i o n p r o v i d e s t h e most " t r u s t w o r t h y " news compared t o o t h e r news s o u r c e s  (Meyrowitz, 1985: 106) and  undermines t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f how v i e w e r t r u s t i s a c t u a l l y won. The  key t o w i n n i n g  viewer  trust  has l e s s  t o do  with  i n d u s t r y s t a n d a r d s o f ' q u a l i t y ' news c o n t e n t as d e f i n e d above, and more t o do w i t h t h e p r o j e c t i o n -of'•" a t r u s t w o r t h y image t h a t i s staged. between  The i n t e n t here i s not t o draw -a sharp d i s t i n c t i o n  t h e two, o r  appearances balance,  t o suggest  i s completely  factuality,  etc.  that  separate  the c o n s t r u c t i o n of  from  considerations of  The p o i n t t o u n d e r s c o r e  i s that  ' q u a l i t y ' t e l e v i s i o n news depends f i r s t and foremost on ' s t a g e d appearances' (Goffman,  and  viewer  [1959] 1973).  perceptions  of  those  appearances  Viewer p e r c e p t i o n s o f c r e d i b i l i t y and 16  d i s t i n c t i o n come n o t s i m p l y t h r o u g h o b j e c t i v e c o n t e n t i n d i c a t o r s o f t h o s e q u a l i t i e s , but t h r o u g h t r u s t i n t h e t e l e v i s e d t h a t r e p r e s e n t those q u a l i t i e s 1985: and  62;  Wexler,  and d i s t i n c t i o n  Television i s , after a l l ,  and commanding  a medium o f p e r c e p t i o n s , a  medium o f images, o f s u b j e c t i v e i m p r e s s i o n s 57) .  Meyrowitz,  1986: 2 4 7 ) . There i s no o t h e r way o f s e e i n g  experiencing c r e d i b i l i t y  respect.  ( G r i f f i n , 1992: 139;  images  (Meyrowitz, 1994:  I n t h e words o f one p r o d u c e r , : ".our^business i s b u i l t on  p e r c e p t i o n s ... you're dealingJ.withvxpure,fperoeptions a l l o f t h e time."  I t only  credibility,  makes  sense  distinction,  to  and  cultivate  the  journalistic  image  of  excellence,  e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e v i e w e r s remember TV images, more t h a n s p e c i f i c d e t a i l s about news c o n t e n t  ( E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 1991: 2 9 ) .  What I have i m p l i e d but not s t a t e d thus f a r i s a 'medium theory'  (Meyrowitz,  1985; 1994) approach  to • understanding the  c o m p l e x i t i e s o f why t e l e v i s i o n news i s c o n s i d e r e d by v i e w e r s t o be t h e most b e l i e v a b l e .  Audience  t r u s t g e n e r a t e d on t h e b a s i s  o f c r e d i b l e images and s t r a t e g i c appearances p o i n t s t o t h e power of  t h e medium  and  i t s c a p a c i t y t o ^command; «;respect/ w h i l e  • r e v e a l i n g v e r y l i t t l e , i n the^wayfl'o'f-^detailedv.information; •• The e f f e c t s o f t h e medium on v i e w e r p e r c e p t i o n s has l e s s t o w i t h t h e news t h a t i s conveyed and more t o do w i t h t h e a c t u a l method o f i t s transmission. is  underscored  T r u s t i n t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f TV news, c o n t e n t by  viewers'  predisposition  t e c h n o l o g y , and t h e n a t u r e o f t h e imagery television. 17  to  trust  the  t h a t i s p r o j e c t e d on  TV  has  sewn the  seeds  f o r i t s own  blind  acceptance  by-  p l a y i n g a p i v o t a l r o l e i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f c u l t u r e i n t h e mid and l a t e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . thinking,  S o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , ways o f  a c t i n g and b e i n g have a l l been a l t e r e d  impact o f t h e t e l e v i s i o n medium.  through  the  TV has not s i m p l y changed t h e  c o n s c i o u s n e s s of a c u l t u r e , i t has reshaped the v e r y f a b r i c of social  reality  and how  people experience i t .  The  medium  has  c r e a t e d a c u l t u r e which m i r r o r s i t s ownvimagevand, as a r e s u l t , has become the way p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e ,.'individual,j,.and c o l l e c t i v e existence.  TV  has  creating  and  actually  happens  1994:  s e t the  reinforcing  stage  cultural  " i n , on  and  f o r i t s own  domination  assumptions  that  through t e l e v i s i o n "  by  'reality' (Meyrowitz,  72). T r u s t i n • t h e medium breeds t r u s t i n - t h e message w h i c h i s  shaped  and  defined  characteristics which  feeds  a  by  the  unique  of t e l e v i s i o n . culture's  TV  addiction  format  and . e x p r e s s i v e  i s an e x p r e s s i v e p l a t f o r m to  sensory  embellishment.  T h i s i s why assessments o f the a u t h e n t i c i t y of TV news a r e made more on t h e b a s i s of what 4:he '• news..rlooks, ...sounds and like,  than  on  the  a c t u a l - essence  of  news  'feels'  content.  The  c u l t i v a t i o n o f b e l i e v a b l e images f o r d i s p l a y on the e l e c t r o n i c s t a g e o f d a i l y e x p e r i e n c e i s d r i v e n by the format o f t e l e v i s i o n which  stimulates  audience  perceptions of  the  authoritative  c e r t a i n t y o f b o t h the message and the medium. TV news i s c o n s t r u c t e d and d e l i v e r e d w i t h i n t h e parameters of  an e n t e r t a i n m e n t format  ( E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 1991: 18  36;  Snow,  1994:  47).  Format  considerations,  like  credible  and  d i s t i n c t i v e images, are a t l e a s t as, i f not more, i m p o r t a n t t h a t actual  news c o n t e n t  entertainment  (Snow, 1994:  format  after,  35,  a c t u a l l y heightens  t r u s t w o r t h y image s i n c e i t , modelled  34,  offers  40). the  In f a c t ,  necessity  the  for  a  l i k e the TV a d v e r t i s i n g format i t i s  viewers  no  opportunity  to  judge  or  c h a l l e n g e the t r u t h c l a i m s t h a t are p r e s e n t e d ( E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 1991:  35-37).  Te 1 e v i s i o n . news i s . not.. about d i s c u s s i o n  and debate, i t i s about trust:;that^there..is-jno..need f o r debate, that  t r u t h claims  format  need not  demands t h a t  dramatic  and  interspersed knowledge  daily  be  events  captivating with  and  short  authority.  challenged. be  sounds clips A  entertainment  sensationalized and  of  The  visuals  people  trustworthy  through  that  asserting  image  are their  serves  as  a  p r o t e c t i v e mechanism t o s h i e l d from v i e w e r s t h a t TV news i s as much a p r o d u c t of the c r e a t i v i t y and i m a g i n a t i o n of and  sources  stories  as  i t i s an  t h a t are  covered  'objective' (ibid:  26) .  journalists  representation A trustworthy  of  the  image i s  p i v o t a l s i n c e the purpose of ;;TV*:news ,:is-:to /convince v i e w e r s t h a t it  d e l i v e r s accurate  and .•relTable:;;accountsu:of,, the  ' t r u t h ' as  opposed t o s u b j e c t i v e , e n t e r t a i n i n g , r e c o n s t r u c t i o n s of d e s i g n e d t o meet format s p e c i f i c a t i o n s (Lasch, 1979: But  what i s a- t r u s t w o r t h y  credibility  and  distinction?  audience s p e c i f i c . the end,  newscast image t h a t The  answer t o t h i s  137,  reality 142).  represents question  is  A p r o d u c e r s u c c i n c t l y s t a t e d t h a t news, i n  i s about "meeting the needs and e x p e c t a t i o n s o f t a r g e t 19  groups."  The c o n s t r u c t i o n and p r o j e c t i o n o f a t r u s t w o r t h y image  r e q u i r e s t h a t s t a t i o n s not o n l y t a p i n t o the t a s t e s o f d e s i r e d v i e w e r s , but c l a i m those t a s t e s as t h e i r own,  and d i s p l a y them  d u r i n g t h e i r d a i l y news shows (Bourdieu, 1984).  A trustworthy  image comes t h r o u g h e f f e c t i v e d i s p l a y s o f e x p r e s s i v e equipment t h r o u g h the show o f s i g n s and symbols which r e f l e c t the t a s t e s , the v a l u e s , o f a s t a t i o n ' s t a r g e t news audience 1973).  The  satisfies  (Goffman [1959]  u l t i m a t e image - o f . - d i s t i n c t - c r e d i b i L i t y i s one  the t r u s t  their particular  needs of d e s i r e d v i e w e r s  by  appealing  i n E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 1987:  51).  The  (Cayley,  o f a l l k i n d s of e x p r e s s i v e equipment d e s i g n e d trust  (Goffman  [1959]  1973:  22,  cited  TV s c r e e n , o r  " f r o n t r e g i o n " of a news program, i s an e l a b o r a t e s t a g e d  viewer  to  sensibilities.  T e l e v i s i o n news i s a t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n  full  that  107,  the  setting  to  elicit  134).  Since  t e l e v i s i o n i s a v i s u a l , a u d i b l e medium, a n y t h i n g t h a t appears on the s c r e e n and emanates from the speaker the  expressive  distinction.  The  capacity  to  i s a s t a g e prop w i t h  represent  credibility  and  c h o i c e of~- news ^content, Ehowjai-t^'s o r g a n i z e d ,  w r i t t e n and f i l m e d , are among••'itlie.'*many^;sub.j e.ctl\'v;.e^elements r  of a  s e t w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e t o the f e e l of a newscast, the image o f a station.  G r a p h i c s , l o g o s and background elements t o g e t h e r w i t h  theme music, the presence animation  are  v i e w e r s , 'we  other  o r absence o f -news.desks and  important  props  which  also  can be t r u s t e d ' , 'we have i n t e g r i t y ' ,  f e e l a t home i n t h i s newscast  setting'. 20  opening  suggest  to  'we hope you  Although expressive  differences  may  be  equipment does d i f f e r  subtle  from  sound, c o l o u r , d e s i g n and c o m b i n a t i o n . a  credible  image  rest  on  in  station  some  cases,  to station i n  A d i s t i n c t i v e s t y l e and  the ornamentation  of the  screen  v i e w e r s ' e x p e r i e n c e when t h e y t a k e • i n a newscast on t e l e v i s i o n . A t r u s t w o r t h y image o f j o u r n a l i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e comes n o t s i m p l y through  i n d u s t r y n o t i o n s o f s u p e r i o r s t o r y coverage and t o p i c  s e l e c t i o n , b u t t h r o u g h t h e e x p r e s s i v e - qualiti-es ,of;.anything t h a t r  appears on t h e s c r e e n  includingits.*'..labelLing-.; ^packaging  and  presentation.  News Anchors:  Successful  The Embodiment of D i s t i n c t i v e  bodies  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l image  are at the core  (Featherstone,  of  1991: 191;  Credibility  any s u c c e s s f u l Turner, 1984:  111) . As p i e c e s o f " e x p r e s s i v e equipment", TV news anchors a r e , i n many ways, more e f f e c t i v e than non-human p a r t s o f t h e s e t t i n g (Goffman  [1959] 1973:220).  While  c o n t e n t , g r a p h i c s and l o g o s  a r e i m p o r t a n t c o n t r i b u t o r s t o a s t a t i o n ' s image, t h e y don't have the same power anchors do t o ^ p h y s i c a l l y '-embody ^ c r e d i b i l i t y and distinction.  The v a l u e of'news>vanchors, li'es;-in^their a b i l i t y t o  p e r s o n i f y both trustworthiness  :  o f these to  trust  components and t o p r o j e c t t h a t  the viewing  audience.  One  respondent  c a p t u r e d t h e power o f t h i s p o t e n t i a l when he d e c l a r e d t h a t "the anchor i s t h e message". Whether anchors a r e aware o f i t o r n o t , t h e i r body language speaks volumes t o t h e p u b l i c .  I t provides a d e f i n i t i o n of the 21  self,  of t h e i r p e r s o n a l  1971;  Shilling,  1993;  reflects  not  only  beliefs,  emotions,  situation  (Goffman  Turner, 1984).  their  character  attitudes,  (Bourdieu, -1984;. F e a t h e r s t o n e ,  1961;  Their t e l e v i s i o n but  tastes 1991;  [1959] 1973;  also and  their  values,  aesthetic  Shilling,  image  ideals  1993).  A l l of  t h e s e q u a l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e f o r v i e w e r assessment i d e a l l y suggest to  the a u d i e n c e t h a t the  anchor i n q u e s t i o n  is a  trustworthy  messenger. D e l v i n g i n t o the c o m p l e x i t i e s . i o f r a n a n c h o r ' s image r e q u i r e s the  visualization  1973:  24)  as  of  their  "personal  a composite of  b r o k e n down i n t o two  general  components of t h e i r p e r s o n a l  signs types  front"  and  (Goffman  [1959]  symbols w h i c h can  (Finkelstein,  1991).  f r o n t are a u t h e n t i c and  be  Some  genuine,  and exude the c o r e , d i s t i n c t i v e essence of the a n c h o r - p e r s o n as a  unique  visual  inner  person.  extremely and  and  outer  These  behavioral,  components  d i f f i c u l t t o change.  race  together  with  f a c i l i t i e s and charisma.  are  spiritual,  verbal  and  e i t h e r impossible,  They i n c l u d e gender, age,  personality, vocal  quality,  Physiognomypis^incibudedihere  or size  innate  top:  the  s i z e and shape of t h e i r • 1 ip*st,vseyes^iearsi/'.f.-chin.,-ariose and. t e e t h , and  the  unique c o m b i n a t i o n  their  face.  Other a u t h e n t i c components of an anchor's image i n c l u d e  their  disposition, their  life  how  of  these  they experience  experiences.  anchor's c h a r a c t e r  life  features  and  on  the a c c u m u l a t i o n  of  These f a c t o r s a l l c o n t r i b u t e t o  an  - t h e i r v a l u e s , a t t i t u d e s , p e r s o n a l i t y and  tastes. 22  All  t h e s e components of an  relatively fixed.  anchor's p e r s o n a l f r o n t  They do not v a r y g r e a t l y , i f a t a l l ,  are  from one  day t o the next e x c e p t , p o s s i b l y , t h r o u g h t h e r a p y , s u r g e r y , o r a d d i t i o n a l l i f e e x p e r i e n c e . These elements o f an anchor's image are,  essentially,  between  anchors  what, c o n t r i b u t e themselves,  television  stations.  distinction  cannot  different  An be  to  their  remarkable  newscasts,  anchor's  embodiment  d u p l i c a t e d : by  differences  and  competing  of  authentic  a n o t h e r .anchor  or  a  station.  Other cultivated,  components  of  an  anchor's  nurtured or manipulated.  personal  front  These s i g n s and  are  symbols  c o n s i s t o f the more s u p e r f i c i a l elements of an a n c h o r - p e r s o n ' s image t h a t a r e s t y l e d and shaped. design  of  things  like  clothing,  They i n c l u d e the c o l o u r and make-up,  a n y t h i n g t h a t enhances b o d i l y appearance. too.  A d e s i r e d pace, tone and'cadence  jewelry  and  hair:  Speech i s m a l l e a b l e  can be n u r t u r e d .  Other  c u l t i v a t e d components of an anchor's p e r s o n a l f r o n t i n c l u d e the s t y l e o f r e a l and imagined i n t e r a c t i o n , p l u s any p r a c t i c a l  and  t h e a t r i c a l s k i l l s t h a t can. be, o r have been, p i c k e d - u p . These  cultivated  components . of ".fan;, anchor' s  r e l a t i v e l y u n f i x e d and can be e a s i l y m a n i p u l a t e d .  front  are  They a r e ,  e s s e n t i a l l y , what engender the p e r c e p t i o n o f anchors as c r e d i b l e p u r v e y o r s o f l o c a l news and o t h e r e v e n t s from around t h e w o r l d and a c r o s s the n a t i o n . l o o k s , sounds  The embodiment of c u l t i v a t e d c r e d i b i l i t y  and f e e l s r e m a r k a b l y s i m i l a r between anchors a t  t h e same and competing l o c a l s t a t i o n s . 23  News a n c h o r s , from t h i s  p e r s p e c t i v e , are r e l a t i v e l y The  signs  of t r u s t  interchangeable.  that  mark  an  effective  anchor  are  c o m p r e h e n s i b l e w i t h i n t h e shadowy  confines  opposing  I t must be made c l e a r t h a t  elements j u s t p r e s e n t e d .  of the f u s i o n of  c u l t i v a t e d c r e d i b i l i t y and a u t h e n t i c d i s t i n c t i o n a r e t y p o l o g i e s f o r the a n a l y s i s i n the f o l l o w i n g chapters boundaries  of both  o f t h i s paper. The  c a t e g o r i e s a r e permeable, and elements o f  each a r e i n t e r w o v e n w i t h the other., .But b e f o r e , moving,on. t o t h e s p e c i f i c t r u s t s i g n s expected o f .anchors,:,in i t h e local., b r o a d c a s t 1  r e g i o n s t u d i e d , i t i s important image  serves  to  'anchor'  to c l a r i f y  the t r u s t  needs  how  their  of  overall  s t a t i o n s and  viewers. C l e a r l y , a news anchor's image i s e x t r e m e l y p o t e n t capacity  to  audience. their  communicate  numerous  I t provides viewers  personal  situation  to  a  television  w i t h not o n l y a d e f i n i t i o n o f  but a l s o w i t h  newscast and t h e t e l e v i s i o n [1959] 1973; 1961).  messages  in its  station  a definition  (Edelman,  of the  1964; Goffman,  A d i s t i n c t l y c r e d i b l e anchor r e p r e s e n t s t h e  s t a t i o n and s e r v e s as a f r o n t for-,the,-ientire';;organ'izata:on.. , T h i s - i s why news anchor image * i s so ^important.. .. :Tt can. d e f i n e t h e s t a t i o n as t r u s t w o r t h y i n t h e mind o f t h e audience. makes  sense  f o r executives  i n television  t o use  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l emblems t o r e p r e s e n t t h e i r p o s i t i o n 1991;  I t only bodies  as  (Finklestein,  H o c h s c h i l d , 1983). Television  in  general,  and  the  TV  news  format  in  p a r t i c u l a r , has an edge over o t h e r mass media news formats when 24  it  comes t o g e n e r a t i n g audience t r u s t .  Television facilitates  the d i s p l a y of embodied t r u s t s i g n s i n a way nor r a d i o can  that neither p r i n t  ( E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 1991) .  Newspapers  magazines, on the one hand, are f o r c e d t o n u r t u r e r e a d e r strictly  through  static  visual  information  and  trust  about  its  'trustworthy' r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s i n c l u d i n g , i m p o r t a n t l y , sources authorized  knowers  (Ericson,  Baranek  &  Chan,  1987;  1989) .  Readers must base t h e i r judgements about a paper.'s.character b e l i e v a b i l i t y on the p r i n t e d - w o r d s editors,  as  and  and t i n y s t i l l photographs of  r e p o r t e r s and c o l u m n i s t s and news s o u r c e s .  Radio,  on  the o t h e r hand, a t t e m p t s t o c u l t i v a t e l i s t e n e r t r u s t t h r o u g h the fluid  auditory  cues  of  i t s announcers but  fails  l i s t e n e r s w i t h v i s u a l i n f o r m a t i o n about them. r a d i o are r e s t r i c t i v e formats.  to  provide  Both p r i n t  N e i t h e r medium can o f f e r  and  their  a u d i e n c e a comprehensive r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h e i r s p o k e s p e o p l e . V i e w e r assessments of t h e i r t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s are based l a r g e l y on i m a g i n a t i o n , m y s t e r y and l i m i t e d e x p r e s s i v e i n f o r m a t i o n . The  most  effective  way  to  generate  audience  trust  and  l o y a l t y i s not t h r o u g h mystery,•)but t h r o u g h a u d i e n c e p e r c e p t i o n s t h a t t h e r e i s v e r y l i t t l e mystery.about those who organization. media ( i b i d ) . like.  T e l e v i s i o n i s the l e a s t m y s t e r i o u s  f r o n t a media of a l l news  I t s r i c h a u d i t o r y and v i s u a l d i m e n s i o n s are  T e l e v i s i o n news anchors are p r e s e n t e d  moving, t a l k i n g p i c t u r e s .  The  to viewers  life-  through  audience i s g i v e n f a r more,  much r i c h e r , e x p r e s s i v e i n f o r m a t i o n about TV anchors t h a n are about the announcers and w r i t e r s t h a t f r o n t r a d i o and 25  and they  print  news o r g a n i z a t i o n s .  The format f e a t u r e s o f t e l e v i s i o n  ensure  t h a t c h a r a c t e r assessments o f anchors a r e based, n o t on mystery, but  on t h e abundance o f a u t h e n t i c  and c u l t i v a t e d  expressive  s i g n s t h a t t h e y p r o j e c t onto t h e t e l e v i s i o n s c r e e n . The full  TV s c r e e n i s not s i m p l y an e l a b o r a t e s t a g e d  of expressive  which  connects  equipment,  i t i s also  viewers t o s t a t i o n s  system (Giddens, 1990: 83-88).  setting  t h e "access  point"  and t h e news p r o d u c t i o n  S i n c e anchors-:have t h e power t o  d e f i n e s t a t i o n s as t r u s t w o r t h y , i t i s c r i t i c a l t h a t t h e y appear :  at  this  access  point.  Through  their  regular  television  appearances, anchors p r o v i d e t h e l i n k between v i e w e r and s t a t i o n trust  (ibid:  115) .  Viewer t r u s t  i n particular  s t a t i o n s and  newscasts depends on p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e a n c h o r s ' b e l i e v a b i l i t y and  on  Personal  a  sense trust  of  connection with  relations  with  them  anchors  p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y rewarding f o r viewers.  (ibid: are  113-115) .  powerful  and  E f f e c t i v e anchors who  p r o j e c t s i g n s o f t r u s t can make t h o s e who watch them f e e l  safe  and s e c u r e about t h e news t h e y d e l i v e r - t h a t i t i s a c c u r a t e and reliable.  The presence o f news • anchors a t TV'-s a c c e s s p o i n t can  l i t e r a l l y 'anchor' t h e complementary'trust-needs, o f s t a t i o n s and v i e w e r s i n a way t h a t t h e e x p e r t news p r o d u c t i o n system  itself  cannot. The  ' a n c h o r i n g ' e f f e c t , though, i s not a g i v e n .  There i s  no g u a r a n t e e t h a t a s t a t i o n ' s d e s i r e d audience w i l l p e r c e i v e i t s anchors  to  be  trustworthy  (ibid:  90-99) .  As  mentioned,  e x p r e s s i v e t r u s t signs are s u b j e c t i v e , not o b j e c t i v e , i n d i c a t o r s 26  of t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s .  Anchors embody d i s t i n c t i v e c r e d i b i l i t y o n l y  t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e audience i s c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h e y those  qualities.  connects  F o r t h i s reason,  viewers  with  anchors  represent  the t e l e v i s i o n screen  is a  place  of  tension  that and  v u l n e r a b i l i t y f o r b o t h a u d i e n c e s and s t a t i o n s . V i e w e r d e c i s i o n s about w h i c h s t a t i o n p r o v i d e s t h e most t r u s t w o r t h y news h i n g e s on their  c h a r a c t e r assessments o f t h e v a r i o u s a n c h o r s .  I t only  makes sense t h a t v i e w e r s are. drawn. t o watch...newscasts h o s t e d by anchors t h a t d i s p l a y authentic,-and . c u l t i v a t e d , , . q u a l i t i e s they  recognize  component  t o be d i s t i n c t l y  means  that  viewer  credible.  trust  must  This be  that  subjective  worked  a t and  n e g o t i a t e d w i t h t h e audience. I have a l r e a d y s t a t e d t h a t t h e g o a l f o r s t a t i o n s i s t o w i n sought local  after  viewers  by f u l f i l l i n g  news p r o d u c t i o n s .  their  t r u s t -needs  during  I a l s o have argued t h a t s t a t i o n s do  t h i s by t a p p i n g and f l a u n t i n g t h e t a s t e s and s e n s i b i l i t i e s o f those  viewers.  station plays  I f t h e f r o n t o f t h e anchor and, hence, t h e on t h e a f f e c t i o n s o f d e s i r e d v i e w e r s ,  commands  t h e i r r e s p e c t , and d i s p l a y s i t h e ^ a p p r o p r i a t e . s.igns;.:;of c r e d i b i l i t y and  distinction,  i t w i l l murtur.e laudience. ...loyalty and b r i n g  success t o the s t a t i o n . though,  requires  understanding  D i s p l a y i n g t h e t r u s t needs o f v i e w e r s ,  that  o f who t h e i r  stations  and  anchors  have  some  t a r g e t audience i s (Cantor, 1994;  Ettema & Whitney, 1994). Each o f t h e t h r e e TV news o p e r a t i o n s s t u d i e d i s d r i v e n by an audiencemaking p h i l o s o p h y which I have c o i n e d ' i n t e r c a s t i n g ' . 27  I n t e r c a s t i n g i s l i t e r a l l y the f u s i o n of narrow and b r o a d c a s t i n g . The n a r r o w c a s t i n g d i m e n s i o n r e p r e s e n t s a contemporary t e l e v i s i o n audience t a r g e t i n g 1994) .  (Barnes & Thomson, 1994;  Cantor,  The g o a l i s t o c a p t u r e a s p e c i f i c segment o f 'the mass  audience. audience  The b r o a d c a s t i n g d i m e n s i o n r e p r e s e n t s the t r a d i t i o n a l targeting  approach  M e y r o w i t z , 1985). mass  trend i n  Baranek  & Chan,  1991;  The g o a l i s t o a t t r a c t a l a r g e s h a r e o f the  undifferentiated  intercasting  (Ericson,  audience.  :-Both- .^components  of  p h i l o s o p h y shape- .^respondents'... ..accounts  of  this the  s u b j e c t i v e q u a l i t i e s of an e f f e c t i v e news anchor p e r s o n a . Respondents draw  a  from each s t a t i o n c l e a r l y c i t e d the d e s i r e t o  'younger'  specific  target  segment range  of  varies  the mass a u d i e n c e . slightly  between  While  the  stations,  the  attempt t o connect w i t h the 25-49 y e a r , o l d age group is>common t o a l l t h r e e . I n t e r v i e w d a t a suggest t h a t t h i s tendency  towards  n a r r o w c a s t i n g i s p a r t i a l l y d r i v e n by p r e s s u r e from a d v e r t i s e r s who  are  of  the  audience, e s p e c i a l l y those i n t h e i r e a r l y t o m i d - t h i r t i e s .  The  belief  currently  after  this  particular  segment  i s t h a t brand l o y a l t y f o r p r o d u c t s is--developed d u r i n g  these years. The push t o a t t r a c t t h i s segment of the a u d i e n c e i s a l s o fuelled  by  the  advertising  stations  philosophy  stressed  the  'young'  since  importance this  themselves just of  and  i s informed  mentioned. attracting  likely  the  respondents  v i e w e r s when t h e y  i s when t h e y a r e most  s t a t i o n l o y a l t y as w e l l .  Many  by  to  are  develop  I f , however, any of the t h r e e s t a t i o n s 28  were  committed  only  to  this  narrowcasting  approach,  their  programming and imagery would be d e s i g n e d t o a p p e a l o n l y t o t h e t r u s t needs o f a c t u a l and p o t e n t i a l v i e w e r s w i t h i n the t a r g e t demographic.  CITY-TV i n Toronto, O n t a r i o i s one  s t a t i o n w i t h an unwavering 'disco-journalism'  example o f a  commitment t o n a r r o w c a s t i n g .  newscast  style  is  designed  to  s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the young 'Much Music' g e n e r a t i o n .  Its  appeal  While  the  image o f i t s anchors and a l l other-expressive.-.equipment on the set  a r e t a i l o r e d t o the needs .-and,''tastes o f t h i s , s p e c i f i c t a r g e t  group,  the newscasts  are sure t o t u r n o f f many o t h e r v i e w e r s .  The s t a t i o n s i n the l o c a l news market s t u d i e d a r e not w i l l i n g t o take that r i s k . Each  station's  commitment  to  attract  a  'younger'  demographic i s tempered by the d e s i r e t o remain a c c e s s i b l e t o a c t u a l and p o t e n t i a l v i e w e r s o u t s i d e of the 25-49 age b r a c k e t . News anchor imagery,  t h e n , must not o n l y c a t e r t o t h e needs o f  younger v i e w e r s , but a l s o s e r v e the t r u s t needs o f t h e mass a u d i e n c e .  entire  The most e f f e c t i v e anchor image f o r a b r o a d c a s t  a u d i e n c e i s one l e a s t l i k e l y t o be c o n s i d e r e d u n t r u s t w o r t h y by t h e m u l t i t u d e of d i v e r s e v i e w e r s that- :might be w a t c h i n g . anchor 1985:  persona 73)  to  considered the  masses  "Least  Objectionable"  i s more  likely  to  An  (Meyrowitz,  remain  on  more  t e l e v i s i o n s c r e e n s than one w i t h h i g h a p p e a l t o o n l y a c e r t a i n segment o f the heterogeneous One  anchor  aware  of  aggregate. both  the  narrow  dimensions t o her s t a t i o n ' s audiencemaking 29  and  broadcasting  approach s t a t e d t h a t ,  " H o p e f u l l y we  can make a younger audience  interested  program w i t h o u t f o r f e i t i n g the v i e w e r s we know we depend  on  which  i s generally  an  older  i n our  can a l r e a d y  audience."  Another  respondent from a d i f f e r e n t s t a t i o n a l s o s t r e s s e d the importance o f r e t a i n i n g a l a r g e share o f the mass . audience w h i l e a t the same time a p p e a l i n g t o the s p e c i f i e d 'younger'  demographic.  Demographics have become more i m p o r t a n t t h a n s h e e r numbers o v e r the l a s t , say, f i v e o r s i x y e a r s . But f o r us, we hope t h a t we c a t e r t o a l l k i n d s of p e o p l e , .all,;kinds.;.-.of. ages, a l l k i n d s o f j o b d e s c r i p t i o n s :and" so on. We,don't program s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r anyone, a l t h o u g h .segments o f \ t h e ; p r o g r a m do. These  comments  clearly  suggest  that  audience  s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , w h i l e i m p o r t a n t , does not o v e r r i d e the t o b o l s t e r t o t a l audience s i z e . be  understood  industry.  If  a d v e r t i s e r s who  through  On one l e v e l , i n t e r c a s t i n g can  i t s relationship  effective,  attempt  i t not  to  only  the ' a d v e r t i s i n g  serves  to  want t o d e v e l o p brand l o y a l t y i n t h e  appease 'younger'  segment o f t h e v i e w i n g audience, but a l s o s a t i s f i e s a d v e r t i s e r s who  a r e i m p r e s s e d by mass audience numbers (Barnes & Thomson,  1994:  85,  .intercasting  is  i n f o r m e d by the awareness t h a t :news,:audiences..are, d i f f i c u l t  to  target.  87,  91).  On  a  different  level,  A c c o r d i n g t o one p r o d u c e r ,  t h o s e t h a t are i n t e r e s t e d , i n • c u r r e n t ' e v e n t s t u r n i t on and t h e y can be i n any age group. Even though a t t i m e s t h e r e i s an e f f o r t made t o put a younger s p i n on t h i n g s , t h o s e who watch news, watch news. Those who don't,, t h e r e ' s no way you're g o i n g t o get them anyway. This their  belief  i s what keeps these  efforts  to  reach  the  stations  mass audience  from  relinquishing  while attempting,  s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , t o d e v e l o p 'younger' v i e w e r l o y a l t y . 30  The c h a l l e n g e , t h e n , f o r anchors i n t h i s TV news r e g i o n i s b a l a n c i n g t h e t r u s t needs o f an i n t e r c a s t p r o j e c t e d o n - a i r imagery. and symbols  must appear  audience t h r o u g h t h e i r  T h e i r a u t h e n t i c and c u l t i v a t e d d i s t i n c t i v e and c r e d i b l e  to  signs  'younger'  members o f t h e audience w h i l e not a p p e a r i n g u n t r u s t w o r t h y t o any o t h e r s who might trust outlined best  meet  be w a t c h i n g .  The s p e c i f i c  i n the following  signs of  anchor  c h a p t e r s a r e those c o n s i d e r e d t o  t h e demands o f t h i s  i n t e r c a s t . .audience,  narrow and b r o a d c a s t i n g dimensions.  31  both the  CHAPTER TWO:  A WAY OF LOOKING  Beauty, the Beast, and Real Looking Anchors  A f i t t i n g p l a c e t o b e g i n i s w i t h t h e unadorned body, t h e naked  face,  contributes stations. different looks  that  t h e most b a s i c element o f o n - a i r appearance t o the authentic Everyone,  facial exist  d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s o f anchors and  except p o s s i b l y i d e n t i c a l  appearance.  that  But d e s p i t e  i n the general  twins,  has a  t h e ...wide range o f  population, there  are l i m i t s  w i t h i n t h a t range t h a t a r e d e s i r a b l e , and o u t s i d e o f w h i c h c a n cause problems f o r news anchors on t e l e v i s i o n .  I n o t h e r words,  a d i s t i n c t i v e f a c e i s an e s s e n t i a l g i v e n , b u t n o t s u i t a b l e i f too  rare or atypical.  limits  i s believed  Crossing  the boundaries of acceptable  t o undermine  the c r e d i b i l i t y  o f , and  a t t r a c t i o n t o , t h e anchor, t h e i r newscast, and t h e TV s t a t i o n . Any attempt t o c a t e g o r i z e f a c i a l appearance a l o n g an ' o b j e c t i v e ' continuum i n v o l v e s t r e a d i n g on t e r r i t o r y t h a t , f o r some, c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d not o n l y p r o v o c a t i v e and o b j e c t i o n a b l e , impossible  on  grounds  that  any assessment  but a l s o  of. b e a u t y  or  u n a t t r a c t i v e n e s s i s s u b j e c t i v e and. i n d i v i d u a l . ...The g o a l here i s not t o c h a l l e n g e t h a t s t a n c e , agreement. this  i t i s one on w h i c h t h e r e i s f u l l  Subjectivity i s , after a l l ,  analysis.  a t the foundation of  But o b j e c t i f y i n g appearance  and a s s i g n i n g  v a r i o u s l o o k s t o s e c t i o n s a l o n g a continuum o f a t t r a c t i v e n e s s i s essential  t o the understanding of the r o l e various  looks are  b e l i e v e d t o p l a y i n t h e s u b j e c t i v e assessments o f an a u d i e n c e . 32  W i t h t h i s i n mind, o b j e c t i f y i n g the u n a c c e p t a b l e  extremes  o f f a c i a l appearance i s c r i t i c a l f o r f u l l comprehension o f what actually looking  i s deemed l e g i t i m a t e . people:  the  At  one  extreme i s ' p e r f e c t '  o u t s t a n d i n g l y handsome,  the  flawlessly  b e a u t i f u l , those whose f a c e appears as though i t may c o n s t r u c t e d by a c o s m e t i c surgeon. to t h i s cutter  as  " B a r b i e and  anchor"  border.  One  anchorman who  that  Ken"  has  o r the  high  make-up a r t i s t  have been  Some i n t e r v i e w e e s r e f e r r e d " c l a s s i c American  appeal „. s o u t h .of v  .recalled  her  cookie  1  the  Canadian  impression  of  an  once worked, f o r a s h o r t time, i n t h i s market and  f i t this description:  "He was  the t i n y p e r f e c t l i t t l e  He l o o k e d l i k e he came out o f a box.  You  person.  j u s t c a r r i e d him i n ,  took him out o f the box, and s a t him i n the c h a i r .  That's v e r y  American, we're not i n t h a t market."  stated this  same p o i n t d i f f e r e n t l y when she  One  producer  s a i d t h a t an anchor "can't  be  t o o good l o o k i n g because c o u l d you imagine a supermodel r e a d i n g the news?  They j u s t wouldn't b r i n g the c r e d i b i l i t y " .  other producers referred  to  Several  and d i r e c t o r s agreed w i t h t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e and  themselves  as  :  viewers  when .they ..suggested  p e o p l e a r e l e s s l i k e l y t o trust~news.."anchors,.:that..look  that  unflawed  and u n r e a l .  T h i s and o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o 'American' anchors i s i n no way meant t o i m p l y a p a r a l l e l a n a l y s i s o f what c o n s t i t u t e s t r u s t w o r t h y anchor e x p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s c o n t e x t . For the purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s , respondent r e f e r e n c e s t o 'American' anchors s h o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d o n l y as attempts t o e s t a b l i s h l o c a l market i d e n t i t y as d i s t i n c t and s e p a r a t e from t h e i r U n i t e d S t a t e s c o u n t e r p a r t s which have i n f i l t r a t e d c a b l e stations locally. 1  33  'Perfect' cultivate  a  l o o k s can be c o u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e credible  newscast  and  i n attempts  station  image  ' p e r f e c t ' l o o k i n g people a r e so c l o s e l y l i n k e d w i t h the movies, and t h e h i g h f a s h i o n i n d u s t r y .  because  Hollywood,  I n t h e words o f  another  producer,  station  "doesn't want t o l o o k as i f i t ' s j u s t p u t t i n g p r e t t y  people  t h e news  to  on t h e a i r " w i t h o u t  " i s not a f a s h i o n show" and h i s  any ' f o u n d a t i o n  f o r what  they're  doing.  Even though TV news i s as-.much .entertainment  as soap  operas,  f a s h i o n shows and. f e a t u r e .films  Chan, 1991: 26, 2 7 ) , most p r o d u c e r s  (Ericson,  Baranek  &  and d i r e c t o r s i n t h i s TV  market s a i d t h e y want t o draw a d i s t i n c t i o n between news and t h e s e o t h e r forms o f e n t e r t a i n m e n t . equate  news  anchors  presentations.  with  the  They don't want v i e w e r s t o stars  of  other  theatrical  ' P e r f e c t ' l o o k i n g - a n c h o r s make . i t . d i f f i c u l t f o r  v i e w e r s t o make t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n s i n c e movie s t a r s , models and soap opera c h a r a c t e r s a r e o f t e n f e a t u r e d s o l e l y on t h e b a s i s o f t h e i r e x t r e m e l y a t t r a c t i v e appearance.  A l s o , these o t h e r genres  a r e promoted as f i c t i o n and t h e s u p e r f i c i a l a t t r i b u t e s o f t h e s t a r r i n g c h a r a c t e r s h e l p to^promo.te'viewers'.-escape and  otherworldliness .  into fantasy  News, "however,- i s . .promoted as n e i t h e r  f i c t i o n n o r f a n t a s y and t h e t a s k o f anchors i s n o t t o p r o p e l viewers The  i n t o t h e w o r l d o f escape but i n t o g r i m d a i l y  chance t h a t ' p e r f e c t ' l o o k i n g anchors w i l l  serious  tone  complement t h e  o f t h e genre and be p e r c e i v e d by v i e w e r s  t e l l i n g t h e ' t r u t h ' and t o u n d e r s t a n d promoting  reality.  t h e news e v e n t s t h e y a r e  i s undermined by t h e s t e r e o t y p i c a l 34  t o be  impression  that  e x t r e m e l y g o o d - l o o k i n g p e o p l e a r e s u p e r f i c i a l and, somehow, n o t i n t e l l i g e n t . I n s i d e r s i n t h i s t e l e v i s i o n market a r e u n w i l l i n g t o r i s k t h e unfounded p e r c e p t i o n t h a t o v e r l y a t t r a c t i v e anchors a r e more  interested  i n being  'stars'  than  serious,  seasoned,  t r u s t w o r t h y messengers. ' B a r b i e and Ken' not o n l y have t h e p o t e n t i a l o f appearing t o l a c k c r e d i b i l i t y , t h e y a l s o have t h e c a p a c i t y t c make v i e w e r s feel ugly.  Images, naturally-invite.:comparisonSc..(Featherstone,  1991: 7 8 ) , b u t t h e f a c e o f an -anchor.should n o t be so e x q u i s i t e t h a t i t encourages  v i e w e r s t o r e f l e c t on what t h e y do n o t , and  might n e v e r l o o k l i k e .  The i d e a b e h i n d a d i s t i n c t i v e ,  credible  image i s not t o make v i e w e r s f e e l c h a l l e n g e d o r t h r e a t e n e d i n terms o f t h e embodiment o f t h e i r own a u t h e n t i c d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s . An  informant  articulated  this  point while r e f l e c t i n g  on h e r  f e e l i n g s as a v i e w e r about t h e anchors a t h e r s t a t i o n : Our p e o p l e a r e a t t r a c t i v e but t h e y ' r e ' n o t stunning. Like, t h e y ' r e not unusual.-. Most of- o u r p e o p l e , i f y o u saw them j u s t out i n t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c , you wouldn't s t o p on t h e s t r e e t and s a y , " I s n ' t t h a t a f a b u l o u s l o o k i n g p e r s o n ? " You might n o t i c e them b u t you wouldn't gaze a t them i n stunned s i l e n c e . We don't want B a r b i e and Ken r e a d i n g t h e news. I don't want t o feel.;.competitiv.e'while..l'.m w a t c h i n g the news. I don't want to. b e ' i n t e r r u p t e d by. w o r r y i n g about comparing m y s e l f t o t h a t p e r s o n . ' P e r f e c t ' l o o k i n g anchors r u n t h e r i s k o f o f f e n d i n g v i e w e r s by making them f e e l comparisons  unattractive  w i t h them.  and i n f e r i o r  ' I f an anchor's  through  their  looks leave  own  viewers  f e e l i n g l e s s a t t r a c t i v e t h a n b e f o r e t h e y tuned i n t o t h e news on t h a t c h a n n e l , t h e y may choose t o d i s l i k e t h a t anchor watching  that  newscast,  r e d u c i n g any chance o f d e v e l o p i n g a 35  ^  and s t o p  sense o f l o y a l t y t o t h a t anchor, newscast o r s t a t i o n .  I t could,  of c o u r s e , be argued t h a t t h e extreme a t t r a c t i v e n e s s o f o t h e r entertainers  could  comparisons. to  restate  cause  equally  devastating  audience  While t h i s c e r t a i n l y i s p o s s i b l e i t i s important that  those  characters  a r e supposed  to  embody  o t h e r n e s s and f a n t a s y which i s t h e a n t i t h e s i s o f t h e grounded, serious,"everyday  r e a l i t y t h a t anchors a r e h i r e d t o r e p r e s e n t .  The  of viewer  comparisons  the  of  implications  appearance  with  looks  o f ;.their  anchors  and  own  other  facial  dramatic  c h a r a c t e r s a r e s u r e l y t i e d t o t h e d i f f e r e n t s e t s o f assumptions upon w h i c h t h e r e s p e c t i v e genres a r e based.  The purpose here i s  not t o d e l v e i n t o a d e t a i l e d comparative a n a l y s i s o f t h e impact that  exquisite  looking  anchors  and o t h e r  entertainers  b e l i e v e d t o have on t h e l o y a l t y o f an a u d i e n c e . made based on i n t e r v i e w d a t a i s s i m p l y anchors a r e " f a t a l l y a t t r a c t i v e "  that  (Bourdieu,  are  The p o i n t t o be  'perfect'  looking  1984: 193) t o t h e  e x t e n t t h a t s t a t i o n c r e d i b i l i t y and v i e w e r esteem i s c h a l l e n g e d or  threatened. T r a n s c e n d i n g t h e norms•><of .human .'facial .'appearance c a n a l s o -  occur  at the opposite  end -of :the • a t t r a c t i v e n e s s  continuum.  F a c i a l appearance a t t h e extreme o f u n a t t r a c t i v e n e s s  i s equally  undesirable According physical  for television t o -various  deformity",  news anchors f o r s i m i l a r  respondents, "scars"  a person w i t h  or "birth  defects"  l i k e l y , n o t break i n t o t h i s s i d e o f t h e b u s i n e s s .  an  reasons. "obvious  will,  most  Neither  will  someone w i t h "buck t e e t h " , " e x c e s s i v e w e i g h t " o r "gross acne". 36  One s t a t i o n e x e c u t i v e c l a i m e d t h a t " r e p u l s i v e p e o p l e attract  an a u d i e n c e . . . maybe t h e r e ' s a c u r i o s i t y  wouldn't  factor  would l a s t f o r a c o u p l e o f days, b u t beyond t h a t p e o p l e  that don't  l i k e t o l o o k up and see u n a t t r a c t i v e p e o p l e . " The t h r e a t t h a t t h e s o - c a l l e d ' r e p u l s i v e ' poses t o s t a t i o n s u c c e s s and v i e w e r l o y a l t y i s s i m i l a r t o t h e problem the ' p e r f e c t ' people, the r a v i s h i n g . risk.  Extremely  invalidated,  unattractive  posed by  Again, c r e d i b i l i t y i s at  people  • are,•..at.. t h e mercy o f  s t e r e o t y p i c a l ;assumptions-  that  such  people are  s t u p i d or simple.  And w h i l e ' r e p u l s i v e ' p e o p l e a r e u n l i k e l y t o  make o t h e r s  competitive or i n f e r i o r ,  comparisons  feel  they  still  invite  t h a t may be u n p l e a s a n t r e m i n d e r s , f o r some, o f what  t h e y , themselves, someday, resemble.  look l i k e ;  and f o r o t h e r s , what t h e y  might,  From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , - t h e u n a t t r a c t i v e a r e  no l e s s p o t e n t i a l l y t h r e a t h e n i n g t o v i e w e r s than t h e s t u n n i n g . An e x t r e m e l y i m p e r f e c t l o o k i n g anchor i s ' f a t a l l y u n a t t r a c t i v e ' t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t e i t h e r s t a t i o n c r e d i b i l i t y i s undermined, o r viewer  fears  and s e n s i t i v i t i e s  are challenged or threatened.  E i t h e r extreme o f f a c i a l appearance i s . n o t t h e : t y p e o f a u t h e n t i c d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t i n s i d e r s ' i n y t h i s ^ t e l e v i s i o m m a r k e t s a y would be e f f e c t i v e on t h e i r One p r o d u c e r viewers, bluntly:  stations. and former  and t h e l o c a l  anchor  industry  spoke  f o r h i s station,  i n general  when he  stated  "You don't want them t o say, 'Gee, i s t h a t one e v e r  u g l y ! ' ; o r , 'That one i s so p r e t t y I can't b e l i e v e i t ! ' . . . Y o u ' v e got  t o be m i d d l e  of the road 37  somewhere."  The a b i l i t y  to  a r t i c u l a t e t h e a c c e p t e d s t a n d a r d comes t h r o u g h the p r o c e s s o f elimination. on  the  Any type of f a c e t h a t f a l l s between the  attractiveness  continuum  i s considered  extremes  ideal.  The  r e q u i r e m e n t i s t h a t an anchor's f a c e l o o k a u t h e n t i c a l l y d i s t i n c t t o the e x t e n t t h a t the anchor The  wide range  appears  of p l e a s a n t l o o k s t h a t  p l e a s a n t , not fall  jarring.  somewhere i n t h e  m i d d l e a r e b e l i e v e d t o be e x p e r i e n c e d by v i e w e r s as c o m f o r t a b l e , n o n - t h r e a t e n i n g and News anchors  credible. w i t h a ""''.middle-of-the-road' ^appearance  are  b e l i e v e d by many respondents t o be p e r c e i v e d by v i e w e r s as " r e a l people".  To be s u r e , any assessments  and  'real'  l o o k s a r e based  n e i t h e r on o b j e c t i v e nor q u a n t i f i a b l e  facial  characteristics  but  on  subjective  of ' r e a l i t y '  viewer  assessments  anchors r e f l e c t what most p e o p l e i n . t h e i r - own look  like  (Hartley,  1982:  12).  reality  that  actually  I n t e r v i e w d a t a suggest  that  ' r e a l ' l o o k i n g anchors are a " c a r i c a t u r e " o f the mass audience (ibid:  96).  appearance  They  have  a  down-to-earth,  everyday  and don't l o o k so d i f f e r e n t from t h e average  facial viewer  t h a t t h e y seem ' a l i e n ' . A news p r o d u c e r r e c a l l e d .two ^examples: o f the looks  have  played  in  the  effectiveness  of  role./real'  anchors.  His  d e s c r i p t i o n s i l l u s t r a t e t h i s l o g i c a t work i n d i f f e r e n t  ways.  He s a i d the anchorman i n q u e s t i o n "doesn't l o o k l i k e a Ken d o l l , he  l o o k s more c r e d i b l e  i n that  s u b t l e way  because he's  less  handsome and l e s s p e r f e c t , v i e w e r s w i l l a c t u a l l y g i v e him more credence."  The  anchorwoman he r e f e r r e d t o was 38  "the g i r l  next  door image".  He s a i d  "she wasn't a supermodel, b u t was n i c e  l o o k i n g , t r u s t w o r t h y and f r i e n d l y " .  The p r i n c i p l e s  t h e s e d e s c r i p t i o n s and t h e s e n t i m e n t s  expressed w i t h respect t o  the  news  sensibility  anchor  appearance  and t h e attempt  between anchors and v i e w e r s  standard  suggest  t o minimize  a  at play i n  'vox pop'  t h e appearance  gap  (Lasch, 1979: 159, 162) . The f a c i a l  appearance, then, o f ' r e a l ' l o o k i n g anchors does n o t c r o s s t h e ' f a t a l ' boundaries  of attractiveness..already-mentioned.  Those  whose l o o k s a r e w i t h i n the->stated-"..limits .are.„..considered t o be p e r c e i v e d by v i e w e r s as t h e most t r u s t w o r t h y . news  anchors,  according  to  the  stated  Perfect looking  anchor  ideal,  are  a u t h e n t i c and c r e d i b l e because t h e y don't l o o k ' u n r e a l ' . B e f o r e moving on t o t h e a n a l y s i s o f a n o t h e r news anchor body language, i t i s i m p o r t a n t t h e r e a r e always e x c e p t i o n s t o r u l e s .  component o f  t o acknowledge.that  I n t h e c u r r e n t and p a s t  h i s t o r y o f t h i s t e l e v i s i o n market ' e x c e p t i o n a l ' l o o k i n g anchors who come c l o s e t o o r t r a n s c e n d t h e o u t e r appearance l i m i t s have, i n f a c t , made i t t o a i r . T h e i r success o r f a i l u r e w i t h  viewers  and r a t i n g s has depended, -largely-, -on .the^extent_:to which, o t h e r -components o f t h e i r o n - a i r -image- counteract.,their. extreme l o o k s ;  and  the challenges they c r e a t e .  For these people,  and those  l i k e them, o t h e r elements o f t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n p e r s o n a t a k e on a heightened potentially  importance i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o compensate f o r t h e i r ' f a t a l ' appearance and t h e t h r e a t s t h a t appearance  can pose t o c r e d i b i l i t y .  39  News Anchors as Business E x e c u t i v e s or  Bankers  The b o d i e s and f a c e s of news anchors s e r v e as canvases  and  hangers on w h i c h o t h e r s i g n s and symbols can be d i s p l a y e d on the set.  Things  like  c l o t h i n g , make-up,  jewelry  and  hair  are  ' s e l e c t e d and combined f o r show on the a i r . I d e a l l y , the  choices  made  the  desired  and  is  will  contribute  impression  of  acceptable  to  distinct  the  cultivation  credibility.  What  is  i s b e s t a n a l y z e d . i n a ..'similar.,, f a s h i o n t o the  appearance s t a n d a r d s i n the: p r e v i o u s . . s e c t i o n . the  of  grooming  continuum  i s the  wide  not  facial  .What e x i s t s , a l o n g  range . of  facial  paints,  h a i r s t y l e s , c l o t h e s and a c c e s s o r i e s t h a t c o u l d p o s s i b l y be used t o enhance an anchor's appearance.  But t h e r e are l i m i t s w i t h i n  this  and  range  considered  that  are  desirable,  unacceptable  outside  f o r news .anchors .on  of  which  are  television.  In  o t h e r words, not a l l costumes are b e l i e v e d t o be i n o f f e n s i v e t o the masses o r t o r e f l e c t the c r e d i b i l i t y r e q u i r e d by s t a t i o n s and v i e w e r s of anchors. The  analysis  of  a  trustworthy  costume  comes,  t h r o u g h a c c o u n t s of what is'-vconsideredridntoierable.  partly,  The  'fatal'  extremes of ornament a t i o n ^mark ;the ^boundaries -.between what i s and  i s not  considered  too  unique o r  distinctive.  Excessive  d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s i n f a c i a l and b o d i l y d e c o r a t i o n i s e x a c t l y what employees i n t h i s t e l e v i s i o n market s a i d i s t o o p r e c a r i o u s its  capacity  perceptions.  to  elicit  potentially  damaging  audience  I n the words of v a r i o u s r e s p o n d e n t s , the  extremes t o be a v o i d e d i n c l u d e a n y t h i n g t h a t c o u l d be 40  in  'fatal'  considered  by  viewers  too "flashy",  "trendy",  "weird"  or "dishevelled".  A l s o on t h e l i s t o f t h i n g s they s a i d s h o u l d be s i d e s t e p p e d a r e those  that  could  be c o n s t r u e d  "casual" or "formal". likely  t o offend  as t o o "cheap",  "expensive",  The s t y l e o f an anchor's costume l e a s t  a  viewer's  better  judgement  and/or t h e  p r e f e r r e d c h a r a c t e r o f a s t a t i o n and i t s announcers, i s a s t y l e t h a t w i l l most l i k e l y n o t be thought  o f as t o o a d v e n t u r o u s o r  w i l d g i v e n t h e r e s t o f the m e w s c a s t u s e t t i n g . . T h e wide range o f specific  ill-suited  interviews  body • .props - t h a t - were -mentioned  i n c l u d e "denim s h i r t s " ,  "the l a t e s t  fashions  P a r i s " , and a n y t h i n g "low c u t " , as w e l l as " p i n s t r i p e d and  " b i g chunky e a r r i n g s and n e c k l a c e s " .  concern.  during from  suits"  Quantity i s another  Some s a i d i t i s a bad i d e a t o c u l t i v a t e t h e p e r c e p t i o n  t h a t an anchor has t o o many costumes. from a woman who, over  The f o l l o w i n g quote i s  t h e y e a r s , has a s s i s t e d w i t h  anchors'  wardrobes: I don't b e l i e v e t h e y s h o u l d have t o o many c l o t h e s because t h e n I t h i n k i t sends a message t o p e o p l e t h a t a r e w a t c h i n g t h a t t h e y a r e somehow r i c h e r o r b e t t e r . . . I t ' s almost l i k e you c a n have t h e p u b l i c b u i l d up a resentment t o them, I would t h i n k , i f t h e y ' r e a l w a y s - c o m i n g : i n . . w i t h g r e a t new s t u f f t h a t ' s f l a s h y and t r e n d y . As  previously  (Featherstone,  stated,  1991: 7 8 ) .  images  Based  invite  comparisons  on t h i s . s u p p o s i t i o n , t h e  costumes o f an anchor s h o u l d n o t be so e x q u i s i t e o r p l e n t i f u l t h a t t h e y encourage v i e w e r s t o r e f l e c t on what t h e y do n o t , and might  never  have  i n their  own c l o s e t s .  t r u s t w o r t h y costume i s n o t t o make v i e w e r s  The i d e a b e h i n d  a  f e e l challenged or  t h r e a t e n e d i n terms o f t h e c u l t i v a t i o n o f t h e i r own d i s t i n c t l y 41  c r e d i b l e p u b l i c persona. A l s o on t h e 'out' l i s t eye-shadow and l i p g l o s s . deemed  taboo,  'bullet p r o o f .  i s o v e r l y done make-up,  coloured  Long h a i r , f o r men and women, i s a l s o  as i s 'blond  lacquered  hair  and h a i r  that i s  H a i r that f i t s these d e s c r i p t i o n s i s considered  t o make news anchors l o o k t o o much l i k e  ' B a r b i e and Ken'.  The  p o t e n t i a l e f f e c t on v i e w e r s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y ' f a t a l ' , e s p e c i a l l y if  combined w i t h a f a c e a l s o .perfect , a n d - c h i s e l l e d .  One news  d i r e c t o r r e c a l l e d h e r i m p r e s s i o n ' o f -an anchoretearn she saw i n a d i f f e r e n t TV market t h a t f i t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n .  She used them as  an example o f what i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e and p o t e n t i a l l y damaging. We always c a l l e d i t t h e B a r b i e and Ken show because t h e y r e a l l y d i d l o o k l i k e Ken and B a r b i e d o l l s and t h e y came a c r o s s t h a t way. And I f o r one, as a v i e w e r , never f o r one minute b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e y had any j o u r n a l i s t i c c r e d i b i l i t y whatsoever...And I t h i n k t h a t most Canadian s t a t i o n s have, e i t h e r c o n s c i o u s l y o r not, t r i e d t o s t a y away from t h a t t o a c e r t a i n e x t e n t because i t has been more o f an American t h i n g t o have y o u r p r e s e n t e r s j u s t be t h e l a t e s t i n t h e h o t look i n fashion. The  fashion  show a n a l o g y  anchors t h a t a r e s h a l l o w  and r e f e r e n c e  t o 'Barbie  i n d i v i d u a l s who c a r e  and Ken'  more about how  t h e y l o o k t h a n w i t h t h e words>they a r e s p e a k i n g ..again s u g g e s t s a d e s i r e t o separate  c r e d i b l e news from, s t y l i z e d . e n t e r t a i n m e n t  programming. P e r f e c t l y s c u l p t e d and s h e l l a c k e d h a i r i s no more d e s i r a b l e t h a n c u r l y , u n c o n t r o l l a b l e h a i r w i t h a mind o f i t s own. unwanted  perception  i s that  curly, twisted  locks  s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r o f t h e anchor whose head i t ' s on.  The  reflect  a  According  t o one woman who has worked w i t h anchors' h a i r , n a t u r a l c u r l s 42  and perms have the tendency t o make them seem " f l a k y " . "it  makes them l o o k l i k e t h e y ' r e s p i n n y ,  have  it  organized".  Television  l i k e they  technology  curly  hair  i s i n front  of  just  said don't  enhances  p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h i s n e g a t i v e audience p e r c e p t i o n . with  She  the  I f a person  a chroma-key background,  the  chroma-key w i l l show through the spaces i n s i d e o f , and between, the  curls.  The  result,  on  screen,  p a t c h e s a l l over the p e r s o n ' s head. t h r o u g h o u t a head o f q u i t e odd.  blue  splotches  distinctive,  by  blue  p e r c e i v e d ;by  viewers  c o u l d make an anchor appear  as  'alien',  Combine s p i n n y and f l a k y w i t h random g r e e n o r and  the  c o u l d be  credibility  green or  Coloured patches s c a t t e r e d  c u r l s r ;could ;>be  I f anything  t h i s would be i t .  i s either  not  overall  insulting  appearing  impression, t o the  quite  while  certainly  a u d i e n c e and  threaten  ' s e r i o u s ' enough f o r  the  d a i l y l o c a l news genre. The  ' f a t a l ' . i r e g i o n on t h e ; grooming continuum a l s o i n c l u d e s  unpainted here  anchor f a c e s .  since  appearance  that  The term ' f a t a l ' i s h i g h l y a p p r o p r i a t e  i s how  when t h e i r  most  anchors  described  their  on-air  and  without  f a c e . i s .under ::hot / l i g h t s  c o l o u r , powder o r .t£o.undatdon..v^Some-i:anc.hors said., t h e y  proper  l o o k l i k e a "ghost", o t h e r s thought t h e y l o o k e d " s i c k l y " . up e x p e r t s s t r e s s e d t h i s p o i n t t o o . they  said,  looks  very  "gritty",  The  Make-  naked f a c e on camera,  "sweaty"  and  "blotchy".  It  c o u l d be  argued t h a t t h i s l o o k s ' r e a l ' , b u t , most l i k e l y ,  not  pleasant  or  healthy.  anchors  with  their  A n o t h e r p o i n t mentioned was beard  line 43  not  covered  could  that create  male the  impression that they are s h i f t y . Any  of the l i s t e d  extremes  b o u n d a r i e s on t h e grooming considered extreme  credible  facial  engender  continuum  on t h e i r  appearance.  viewer t r u s t ,  that  surpass  are least  the likely  'fatal' t o be  own, o r i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h an Ornamentation most l i k e l y  i s also potentially  t o not  a n n o y i n g t o news  w a t c h e r s and i s , i n most c a s e s , a v o i d e d when p o s s i b l e r e g a r d l e s s o f anchor o r s t a t i o n . A t r u s t w o r t h y news anchor -costume, -that f a l l s  w i t h i n the  a c c e p t a b l e l i m i t s i s l e a s t l i k e l y t o draw any undue a t t e n t i o n t o t h e costume i t s e l f o r t h e anchor underneath i t .  One anchorman's  adornment d i c t u m , " I don't want anybody t o n o t i c e " , i s t h e b a s i c guideline  followed  grooming  by o t h e r anchors a l s o  choices.  respondents  An unassuming  t o be " g e n e r i c " ,  faced with  complex  uniform i s considered  "staid"  and " n e u t r a l " .  by  Other  catchwords ^commonly used by p r o d u c e r s , groomers and a n c h o r s a r e " c o n s e r v a t i v e " and "mainstream p r o f e s s i o n a l " .  What t h e s e terms  t r a n s l a t e i n t o on t h e b o d i e s o f anchors a r e ' s e r i o u s ' which, b a s i c a l l y , equivalent  are suits,  f o r women.  ties  and s h i r t s  Face ,paint,  on men,  clothes  f o r men and t h e s h o u l d n o t be  n o t i c e a b l e and on women i t s h o u l d appear as n a t u r a l as p o s s i b l e . The g o a l i s s i m p l y t o c o u n t e r a c t t h e 'deadly' e f f e c t s o f h a r s h lights.  C o n s e r v a t i v e h a i r f o r male anchors i s n o t t o o c l o s e -  cropped, b u t s h o r t .  T h i s i s a l s o an o p t i o n f o r women.  Other  c h o i c e s f o r female anchors come under t h e r u b r i c o f ' s e r i o u s hair'.  A  woman  from  one  station's 44  grooming  department  explained: A:  When we t a l k about h a i r i n t h i s b u s i n e s s we t a l k about s e r i o u s h a i r . You have s e r i o u s h a i r f o r news, and you can have Mary H a r t h a i r i f you're d o i n g t h a t k i n d of e n t e r t a i n m e n t o r t a b l o i d show. So e v e r y t h i n g has a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of l o o k t o i t . So you want s e r i o u s h a i r f o r news.  Q:  What i s s e r i o u s h a i r ?  A:  Bobs.  Q:  What i s i t about bobs?  A:  Because i t doesn't go ;anywhere . I t . ' j u s t - s t a y s put and i t ' s g e n e r i c and i-t','s-«always . i n , . . and . i t . ' s c l a s s i c . I t ' s l i k e h a v i n g a navy blazer.; I t never-goes out of style. There are v a r i a t i o n s on the theme of i t , but i t ' s s t i l l a bob.  P r e d o m i n a n t l y bobs.  A producer continued  this  explanation  when q u e s t i o n e d on  the  same ' s e r i o u s h a i r ' i s s u e : Q:  What i s i t about h a i r t h a t ' s d e f i n e d h a i r t h a t ' s d e f i n e d as not s e r i o u s ?  as s e r i o u s  and  A:  I t ' s h a r d t o g r a s p , but don't you make t h a t c o n c l u s i o n when you're w a t c h i n g someone? Two anchors c o u l d be s a y i n g the same t h i n g , but t h e y p r o j e c t a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t image. You know, b i g p o o f y l a y e r s v e r s u s b l u n t . Maybe the words you use t o d e s c r i b e the h a i r c o u l d almost be used t o d e s c r i b e t h e i r s t y l e .  B o t h comments r e i n f o r c e p r e v i o u s l y made arguments w h i c h suggest the d e s i r e t o d i s t i n g u i s h news anchors from •.entertainers who  are  featured  are  convinced  i n other that  genres. • T h e s e  powerful  and  other  c o n n e c t i o n s . can  respondents  be. made between  an  anchor's c h a r a c t e r and the s t y l e of t h e i r t r e s s e s .  Generic h a i r  t h a t doesn't a t t r a c t undue a t t e n t i o n i s c o n s i d e r e d  appropriately  conservative  and  productions.  H a i r d e s i g n e d i n t h i s f a s h i o n i s b e l i e v e d by many  in  the  industry  serious  to  f o r the  facilitate 45  desired  tone of  audience  local  perceptions  news  of  c r e d i b i l i t y t h r o u g h i t ' s embodiment on anchors' heads. Respondents  often  used  analogous  reasoning  (Shearing  &  E r i c s o n , 1991: 492-96) t o convey t h e o v e r a l l s e n s i b i l i t y o f t h e grooming s t y l e e x p e c t e d o f anchors.  T y p i c a l l y , comparisons were  .made w i t h t h e . o r n a m e n t a t i o n s t y l e s o f those industries.  The  comments o f t h i s  who work i n o t h e r  female anchor r e f l e c t  her  attempt t o p r o v i d e t h e i n t e r v i e w e r w i t h a v e h i c l e f o r g r a s p i n g the s e n s i b i l i t y out o f which she .feels she  nought.,.-.and  ought n o t ,  present h e r s e l f . I don't always wear a s u i t , but whatever i t i s I'm w e a r i n g would be t h e same type o f t h i n g as a s u i t . I guess l i k e a b u s i n e s s e x e c u t i v e . . . o r i f you went t o see t h e manager o f the bank t o g e t a l o a n , what i s t h e bank manager w e a r i n g ? P r o b a b l y a s u i t and a t i e , o r i f i t ' s a woman, a s u i t . And i f t h e y were w e a r i n g a . m i n i - m i n i - s k i r t and had b i g r e d h a i r and twenty e a r r i n g s i t j u s t wouldn't l o o k a p p r o p r i a t e . I t wouldn't be t h a t c r e d i b l e . You'd t h i n k t h i s p e r s o n doesn't l o o k t h e way I expect a s e r i o u s bank p e r s o n t o l o o k . Others i n t e r v i e w e d a l s o r e f e r r e d t o  executives-and'bankers  as h a v i n g t h e a p p r o p r i a t e •'look', t h a t i s . s u i t a b l e f o r a n c h o r s . The s p e c i f i c a n a l o g i e s chosen r e f l e c t not o n l y s i m i l a r i t i e s i n appropriate  wardrobe, but a l s o i n terms o f t h e f u n c t i o n t h e  s t a t e d i d e a l costume i s b e l i e v e d to-.play. -Anchors, bankers and business  e x e c u t i v e s appear •: ready 'to  get down t o . b u s i n e s s ' , t o  d i s c u s s ' s e r i o u s ' i s s u e s l i k e h i g h f i n a n c e and d a i l y l o c a l news. Their  'look', together w i t h the r e s t of t h e i r personal  front,  s e r v e s t o enhance t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a t t r a c t i n g , t h e t r u s t and/or money o f e i t h e r c l i e n t s o r an audience.  The ' l o o k ' o f anchors  c o n t r i b u t e s t o t h e i r power t o a t t r a c t v i e w e r s , and t h r o u g h t h a t power t h e p o t e n t i a l t o a t t r a c t l u c r a t i v e a d v e r t i s i n g revenue. 46  A n o t h e r s o u r c e of bodily decoration  evidence that  i s considered  f o c u s group s t u d i e s .  conservative  facial  and  the most c r e d i b l e i s in-house  As d e s c r i b e d by one  interviewee:  We've done forums i n the p a s t and have had young d o c t o r s and o t h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n the a u d i e n c e . And p e o p l e seem t o b e l i e v e somebody who's w e a r i n g a t i e more t h a n somebody who has an open s h i r t . . . the response i n the a u d i e n c e f o r the p e r s o n who's w e a r i n g the t i e i s t h a t t h e y know what t h e y ' r e t a l k i n g about as opposed t o the p e r s o n who i s n ' t . So image i s r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t t h a t way. One  result  interchangeable  is  that  anchors  ..are. . o f t e n  considered  i n terms of W t h e i r : o v e r a l l r o u t e r ^appearance .  The  c o n c l u s i o n of one anchor about"the adornment of h e r s e l f and  her  competitors A  news  i s t h a t t h e y " a l l end up l o o k i n g the same somehow."  director  echoed  this  sentiment  by  suggesting  that  " o u t s i d e r s l o o k i n g i n a t ' t h e s i t u a t i o n p r o b a b l y wouldn't see huge d i f f e r e n c e " .  What i s suggested here and  s t a t e d by  a  others  i s t h a t news anchors are r e l a t i v e l y i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e i n terms of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l o r n a m e n t a t i o n and  packaging.  I t must be n o t e d , though, t h a t no two c o n s e r v a t i v e are  identical.  extremely threatening  On  the  similar  and  to viewers.  suitably credible.  o v e r a l l scale  they  are  to  unlikely  are, be  costumes  of  course,  offensive  Most ...are a l s o s u r e t o be  or  considered  But i t cannot be d e n i e d t h a t a t the l e v e l of  s p e c i f i c s , w i t h i n the narrow range of what i s deemed l e g i t i m a t e , there  are,  i n fact,  v a r i a t i o n s between anchors and  stations  r e g a r d l e s s of how minor and s u b t l e those d i f f e r e n c e s a r e . the  s t a t e d wardrobe r e s t r i c t i o n s  there  Within  i s always room f o r  a  p a r t i c u l a r s t a t i o n t o have i t s anchors' costumes compliment the 47  d e s i r e d , d i s t i n c t i v e s t y l e of t h a t s t a t i o n and on  the  newscast s e t  - i n c l u d i n g the  a l l other  body p r o p s of  props  any  other  anchors p r e s e n t .  Without a t t e n t i o n t o such c r i t i c a l d e t a i l s the  overall  of  'off.  balance  the  picture  on  screens  will  be  The message t o v i e w e r s about t h e i r t a s t e s , as r e f l e c t e d  through  TV  newscast  pictures, w i l l  t o t a l i t y of a s t a t i o n ' s e x p r e s s i v e b a l a n c e d and is  viewers'  consistent.  not  be  congruous  equipment i s not  if  the  internally  .What t h i s means .in..terms of wardrobe  t h a t a s t a t i o n ' s a n c h o r s v c a n ..groom: t h e m s e l v e s i n a manner  that  is  either  more o r  less  conservative.  The  particular  d i r e c t i o n i s , i d e a l l y , i n a l i g n m e n t w i t h the s t a t i o n ' s dominant s t y l e and  not  too extreme i n e i t h e r d i r e c t i o n .  whose s t a t i o n ' s d e s i r e d  image i s s l i g h t l y  One  less  producer,  conservative,  s t r e s s e d the importance of f i n d i n g ways t o a l t e r wardrobe, t o s e t y o u r s e l f a p a r t so you can say, 'We're a l o t h i p p e r t h a n the anchors at o t h e r l o c a l s t a t i o n s . ' But you don't want t o be so h i p t h a t the o v e r l a p audience t h a t you need t o have i s a l i e n a t e d . . . I t ' s k i n d of a r i s k y t h i n g t o be g e t t i n g i n t o because you know t h a t anybody who t h i n k s t h a t some f a s h i o n i s a g o o f y f a s h i o n , which i s p r e d o m i n a n t l y g o i n g t o be y o u r o l d e r v i e w e r s , are g o i n g t o l o o k a t i t and say, ' I t l o o k s r i d i c u l o u s ! ' . . .So you don't want t o a l i e n a t e anybody. I guess i t ' s .a .sort of t i m i d , conservative approach t o b e i n g avant-garde. This  producer's  comments e x e m p l i f y  both  the  limits  p o s s i b i l i t i e s , the need f o r d i s t i n c t i o n and c r e d i b i l i t y , and capacity  f o r b o t h q u a l i t i e s t o be  e x p r e s s e d on  the  bodies  anchors t h r o u g h the d i s p l a y of costumes t h a t don't t r a n s c e n d ' f a t a l ' b o u n d a r i e s of e i t h e r i n d u s t r y o r s t a t i o n Within t h e i r own  the  parameters j u s t mentioned,  the of the  standards.  anchors e i t h e r  shopping o r are r e g u l a r l y s u p p l i e d by a l o c a l 48  and  do  retailer  or d e s i g n e r . granted  final  restrictions individual also  on  The p o i n t s t r e s s e d here i s t h a t anchors a r e always veto  power  and l i m i t s  over  placed  what  they  on t h e i r  wear, choices.  d e s p i t e the They  make  s e l e c t i o n s based not o n l y on what i s a c c e p t a b l e , but their  own  authentic,  distinctive  however s u b t l y t h a t may be r e f l e c t e d . to make-up and h a i r .  taste  and  style,  The same l o g i c i s a p p l i e d  Also d i s t i n c t i v e  i s the way each anchor  'wears' what they have on,- how t h e i r grooming,,choices enhance their distinctive,  t r u s t w o r t h y f a c i a l ' appearance,, and how both  components o f image i n t e r a c t with other aspects o f t h e i r on-air.  49  persona  CHAPTER THREE:  A WAY OF ACTING  Anchors as C h a r a c t e r s and the People Who P l a y Them  The  personal  structure,  lips,  front  o f news  anchors  c l o t h i n g and h a i r .  i s more  than  I t also includes  demeanour, t h e i r manner, t h e i r way o f i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h on t h e a i r .  bone their  viewers  The e x p e c t e d way o f b e i n g i s w e l l summarized by a  male anchor who s a i d t h a t h i s " c a r d i n a l r u l e .has-always been 'be yourself". being  T h i s way o f t h i n k i n g > about -an ..appropriate way o f  i s consistent regardless  anchor w i t h  many y e a r s  o f respondent.  of experience  Another  recalled  r e c e i v i n g 'be  y o u r s e l f a d v i c e as a young b u r g e o n i n g b r o a d c a s t e r . this  was t h e way t o be i f he was g o i n g  business.  A  female  anchor  male  He was t o l d  t o do w e l l i n t h i s  articulated  this  same  point  d i f f e r e n t l y w h i l e r e f l e c t i n g on h e r fans and t h e r e a s o n s f o r why t h e y might l i k e her.  She s a i d , " I t h i n k what a p p e a l s  about me i s t h e genuineness t h a t comes a c r o s s . t o be something t h a t I'm not."  t o people  I'm n o t t r y i n g  I n o t h e r words, 'being y o u r s e l f  on t h e s e t and w i t h v i e w e r s i s • b e l i e v e d •to; be. i p e r c e i v e d as b e i n g genuine yourself  and r e a l .  According  i s the only  to industry  way f o r news anchors  insiders, t o be.  d i r e c t o r suggested t h a t t h i s o n l y makes sense s i n c e anchors a r e n o t • a c t o r s . "  What t h e y • a r e  " r e a l people"  can r e l a t e t o .  that viewers  'being A news  "television  i n s t e a d , he s a i d , a r e  At t h e r o o t o f t h i s r e a s o n i n g , and t h e problem w i t h i t , i s the assumption t h a t i n t e r a c t i o n between v i e w e r s 50  and anchors i s  face-to-face  and  authentic,  even  mediated t h r o u g h e l e c t r o n i c s  though  (Meyrowitz,  the  interaction  1985).  This  is  may  be  t r u e , t o some e x t e n t , from the v i e w e r s ' p e r s p e c t i v e , s i n c e t h e y o b s e r v e the f a c e s and conduct of anchors as t h e y appear on s c r e e n s of t h e i r t e l e v i s i o n - s e t s . the p e r s p e c t i v e of anchors who, the  news, have no  audience.  The  sight,  live  anchors i s , t o be  However, i t i s not t r u e from  w h i l e i n the s t u d i o d e l i v e r i n g  whatsoever, of  any  of  neither  I t must a l s o be n o t e d t h a t the  of images and i n f o r m a t i o n i s not r e c i p r o c a l .  flow  It i s entirely  one  e x c e p t f o r o c c a s i o n a l v i e w e r c a l l s o r l e t t e r s of p r a i s e  and  complaint.  In  this  sense,  the  supposed  interaction  anchors and t h e i r audience i s not i n t e r a c t i o n at Authentic those  they  face-to-face  watch' anchor  r e a l i t y t h a t i s staged that  anchors  are  not  'interaction'  l o c a l (newscasts  (Lasch, 1979: actors,  160).  they  fact,  present,  as  i f t h e y are  i s an  1  With  i f the  sentient inanimate  so-called  members lens  of  of the  the  face-to-face television  camera t h a t  and  illusion  of  no  physical  i f they are,  on .the s e t  images and i n f o r m a t i o n w h i l e s i t t i n g f a c e - t o - f a c e . as  all.  D e s p i t e the argument  are.  together  between  between v i e w e r s  p r e s e n c e of audience members, anchors >act as  act  their  point  e%ectr>6nd'cally ^mediated,, but  genuine nor f a c e - t o - f a c e .  way  member of  i n t e r a c t i o n - ' - . f r o m t h e ^vantage  sure,  the  exchanging  News anchors  'interaction' audience,  in  not  is  with  with  i s actually positioned  the in  f r o n t of t h e i r f a c e . T h i s 'be y o u r s e l f p h i l o s o p h y as e x p r e s s e d by t h o s e c i t e d , 51  and o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t s , i s u s e f u l f o r a n c h o r s , not l i t e r a l l y ,  but  as a model f o r t h e i r e x p e c t e d o n - a i r a c t i o n ( S h e a r i n g & E r i c s o n , 1991 4 92-96) .  The b e s t c h a r a c t e r f o r anchors t o p o r t r a y i n t h i s  c u l t i v a t e d news p l a y i s themselves, the p e r s o n t h e y know b e s t . T h i s approach, i n the end, appear t o v i e w e r s  i s the one  most c r e d i b l e . a n d  b e l i e v e d most l i k e l y genuine.  The  to  analogous  r e a s o n i n g o u t l i n e d here i s not u n l i k e the p a r a l l e l l o g i c used t o i n c i t e - a n c h o r s t o groom ' as i f ' they were b a n k e r s _ o r e x e c u t i v e s . 'Being  yourself  on  the  - a i r and  with  viewers  is  also  a  s u b j e c t i v e metaphor which s u g g e s t s a s e n s i b i l i t y a p p r o p r i a t e t o anchoring:  'Being  y o u r s e l f , f o r anchors, means a c t i n g t h a t  way. Those w i t h the a b i l i t y t o c r e a t e the i l l u s i o n of a u t h e n t i c i n t e r a c t i o n are s a i d by respondents t o "melt the l e n s " and r i g h t t h r o u g h the camera" as though the camera was to r e a l . face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n .  The  the gateway  camera's t r u e f u n c t i o n ,  though, i s t o s i m p l y f a c i l i t a t e the c r e a t i o n of t h i s I t i s important  "go  illusion.  t o note t h a t t h i s s t a g i n g i s not v o i d of genuine  a u t h e n t i c i t y s i n c e the models ' f o r . a c t i o n are,- - e s s e n t i a l l y , based on  real,  distinctive,  i n d i v i d u a l .people,  that  i s the  anchors  o u t s i d e of t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l r o l e and costume. Anchors who give  do not a c t themselves w h i l e o n - a i r are s a i d t o  questionable  performances .through  c o n s t r u c t the i l l u s i o n of a ' r e a l ' way aren't his  there.  One  recollection  their  inability  to  of b e i n g w i t h p e o p l e  who  male anchor i l l u s t r a t e d t h i s p o i n t of  an  anchorwoman who, 52  years  ago,  through switched  characters.  He s a i d she stopped a c t i n g h e r s e l f based on t h e  a d v i c e o f t a l e n t coaches, and t h e r e s u l t o n - a i r was d i s a s t r o u s . There was t h i s anchor who was b r i l l i a n t . She was r e a l l y b r i g h t , very a t t r a c t i v e . She would have been g r e a t . But she went t o t h i s t r a i n i n g s e s s i o n and, i n my o p i n i o n , t h e y ruined her. You know, t h e y j u s t t r i e d t o make h e r do t h i n g s she wasn't c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h . They s a i d , "you s h o u l d do t h i s when you read, you s h o u l d do t h a t when you r e a d " and " h o l d eye c o n t a c t a f t e r e v e r y sentence" and a l l t h e s e b i z a r r e t h i n g s t h a t somebody t h i n k s works...but I've always been o f t h e o p i n i o n t h a t you e i t h e r be y o u r s e l f o r i t doesn't work, and i t d i d n ' t work f o r h e r . She f o l l o w e d a l l o f t h o s e . r u l e s and looked., t o me, v e r y u n c o m f o r t a b l e , k i n d o f s c o l d i n g . . . y o u c o u l d j u s t t e l l i t was a facade t h e r e . The facade o f any-anchor,should not be apparent,:but will  be  i f their  a c t i s based  on  another  person,  likely  real  or  imagined. .Meyrowitz (1985: 105) s t a t e s t h a t e x p r e s s i v e messages are e x t r e m e l y i n d i v i d u a l .  T h i s i s why i t i s so d i f f i c u l t f o r  most p e o p l e t o c o r r e c t l y i m i t a t e someone e l s e ' s e x p r e s s i o n s , o r to  create  According  expressions t o one v e t e r a n  as  dictated  by  another  anchorman, "don't t r y t o be a copy o f  somebody e l s e , o r y o u ' l l j u s t be a bad copy." the  pretence  individual.  i s discernable,  as i n t h e case  I n c a s e s where j u s t mentioned,  v i e w e r s may be u n c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h t h e anchor's manner, d i s t r u s t them  and  what  they're  saying,  and  therefore  .question  the  i n t e g r i t y o f t h e e n t i r e news p r o d u c t i o n . The b e s t way f o r t h e a c t o f . a n c h o r s t o seem a u t h e n t i c and credible  i s f o r them t o not a c t as c h a r a c t e r s  reflect  their  own  essential,  personal  illusion  o f a u t h e n t i c demeanour i s b e s t  image  w h i c h do not off-air.  achieved  The  when anchors  use t h e m s e l v e s as models f o r how t o a c t on t h e s c r e e n .  What i s  d i s t i n c t i v e about anchors a t t h e same and competing s t a t i o n s , 53  with  respect  characters  t o demeanour and  their  ways o f  r o l e s are based on  'interacting',  and  the p e o p l e  is  who  the play  them. W h i l e i t may be d i f f i c u l t , as Meyrowitz s t a t e s , t o p l a y the r o l e o f someone e l s e and t o a c c u r a t e l y mimic t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n s , i t i s no easy t a s k f o r anchors t o a c t out the r o l e of t h e m s e l v e s and t o a c c u r a t e l y mimic t h e i r own e x p r e s s i o n s . especially  evident  f o r young anchors  a c t i n g p o t e n t i a l as anchors. yourself find  One  developing  their  young anchor s a i d t h a t  'being  i s hard, and t h a t " i t t a k e s a w h i l e t o be n a t u r a l and  yourself on-air".  In  other  p r a c t i c e t o get the a c t down p a t . i n the b u s i n e s s to  still  The c h a l l e n g e i s  be who  words,  i t takes  time  and  Other anchors w i t h many y e a r s  spoke d i f f e r e n t l y .  They d i d n ' t say t h e y ' t r y '  t h e y a r e o n - a i r , they j u s t  act of  being  n a t u r a l , o v e r t i m e , becomes not an a c t a t a l l (Goffman,  1971:  239, 259).  Peter Berger's  It  Normally,  is critical  'become' t h e i r  The  (1963: 98) c l a s s i c l i n e c a p t u r e s  essence o f t h i s p r o c e s s : t h i s world.  'are'.  " I t i s very d i f f i c u l t  the  to pretend  in  one becomes what one p l a y s a t . " to  mention  roles with  that  respect  news  to  anchors  demeanour,  not  only  they  also  become, o v e r time and w i t h e x p e r i e n c e , the e x p e c t a t i o n s o f o t h e r components of t h e i r image and appearance.  The f o l l o w i n g example  i l l u s t r a t e s B e r g e r ' s p r i n c i p l e i n p r o g r e s s from the p e r s p e c t i v e o f a young anchor i n t r a n s i t i o n from ' a c t i n g ' a p p r o p r i a t e l y t o 'being' who  he i s n a t u r a l l y .  54  A:  I took out the e a r r i n g .  Q:  Why?  A:  Because I f i g u r e d t h a t i n d a i l y news p e o p l e don't want t o see a guy w i t h a g o l d s t u d .  Q:  So you  A:  Ya.  Q:  Why?  A:  W e l l I can't do t h i n g s t h a t are c o m p l e t e l y o f f the w a l l because t h e r e are g u i d e l i n e s and t h e r e ' s a format w h i c h I have t o f o l l o w . . .However, I want t o do what i s r i g h t f o r me. What I'm d o i n g I'm d o i n g f o r me. I'm not d o i n g i t f o r the s t a t i o n . Removing the e a r r i n g was f o r me, not the s t a t i o n . . . I t ' s who I am.  j u s t made t h a t d e c i s i o n ?  No one  t o l d you?  The p e r c e i v e d t a s t e of the s t a t i o n and genre i s 'becoming' t h i s anchor's own  s e n s i b i l i t y i n terms of who  he i s and  r e f l e c t s h i s a l t e r e d t a s t e t h r o u g h h i s grooming as an T h i s , combined w i t h o t h e r  he  anchor.  components of an anchor's image  a l l p a r t of the ' a c t ' t h a t becomes ' n a t u r a l ' f o r them. who  how  are  Anchors  come a c r o s s as d i s t i n c t i v e and c r e d i b l e , do so t h r o u g h t h e i r  a b i l i t y t o ' a c t ' themselves and t h e n 'become' o n - a i r , and i n the s t u d i o w i t h absent a u d i e n c e s , who  C u l t i v a t i n g the  The by  of A u t h e n t i c C o n v e r s a t i o n  s t a g e d i l l u s i o n of a u t h e n t i c  the s t a n d a r d  anchors.  Illusion  t h e y are as i n d i v i d u a l s .  interaction i s bolstered  upon which the news i s supposed t o be r e a d  by  I n t e g r a l t o the appearance of r e a l i n t e r a c t i o n i s the  capacity  f o r anchors t o  create  engaging  i n conversation  with  Analysis  of  this  the  perception  viewers  desired 55  that  reading  that  they  are  i s also  genuine.  style  suggests  j u x t a p o s i t i o n w i t h the ' f a t a l ' way o f s p e a k i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of anchors  i n previous times.  I t used  t o be  commonplace f o r  anchors t o r e a d t h e i r s c r i p t s as i f t h e y were news gods making pronouncements.  They appeared  as b i g g e r t h a n l i f e  authority  f i g u r e s t a l k i n g a t the audience i n the s t y l e o f U n i t e d S t a t e s n a t i o n a l news l e g e n d W a l t e r C r o n k i t e . of  The impact of t h i s  style  p r e s e n t a t i o n was r e i n f o r c e d by what r e s p o n d e n t s r e f e r r e d t o  as t h e " b i g b a l l s y " , "deep booming" anchor v o i c e . reading  method was  studied.  One  deemed u n a c c e p t a b l e  news d i r e c t o r  r e s p o n d e n t s when he s a i d , anymore."  Autocratic  projecting  their  audience  as  i n the . l o c a l  expounded  the  market  thoughts  of  many  " I t ' s an o l d format t h a t doesn't f l y  anchors  v o i c e s run  members  T h i s dominant  who the  shout risk  patronizing.  a t t h e camera w h i l e  of b e i n g p e r c e i v e d by  Not  only  i s this  style  c o n s i d e r e d by many i n t e r v i e w e e s t o be p o t e n t i a l l y o f f e n s i v e and 'off with  p u t t i n g ' by b e i n g t o o s t i f f and preachy, i t i s a l s o r i d d l e d credibility  problems  because  i t seems  artificial  and  phoney.  News god anchors and t h e i r way o f s p e a k i n g a t imagined  viewers  i s f a r too  removed  from  the  illusion  of  authentic  conversation w i t h viewers i n r e a l i t y . A make-up a r t i s t reading s t y l e s , currently  commented on the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n news  from the one  i n fashion.  She  j u s t mentioned  t o t h e new  took the p e r s p e c t i v e  of  format  herself,  f r i e n d s , c o l l e a g u e s , and p e o p l e everywhere, as v i e w e r s w a t c h i n g . Now we want t o comfortable, l i k e mentors. Because knows more t h a n i  be on a l e v e l where we f e e l really t h e y ' r e our buddies i n s t e a d of b e i n g our the w o r l d now wants t o assume t h a t i t t d i d b e f o r e . We as humans, i n s t e a d o f 56  s a y i n g " t e a c h me a l e s s o n " , a r e s a y i n g " j u s t don't t e a c h me, j u s t t e l l me." The  c u r r e n t 'standard, t h e p r o p e r c u l t i v a t i o n ,  reading scripted  the a d v i c e he g i v e s p o t e n t i a l them:  i s anchors  news as i f v i e w e r s a r e t h e i r p e r s o n a l  they are t e l l i n g i n t i m a t e s t o r i e s t o .  tests  i n f o r m me,  A news d i r e c t o r  young anchors  friends recited  b e f o r e he s c r e e n  " I t ' s l i k e you and your b e s t f r i e n d  a r e meeting  o v e r t h e back y a r d fence and you're r e c o u n t i n g something t h a t ' s happened." anchors  Audience  are doing  members  what  s h o u l d not g e t t h e sense  they're  doing,  r e a d i n g news o f f a  Teleprompter.  The s e n s i b i l i t y embedded i n t h e news  aphorism  be  can  stated  differently.  that  While  director's  anchors  are  p r e t e n d i n g t o be engaged i n an i n t i m a t e exchange, t h e y s h o u l d n ' t g i v e t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t t h e y a r e , b a s i c a l l y , a l o n e on t h e s e t t a l k i n g a t a camera and t o themselves.  Effective  anchors a r e  good a c t o r s , not o n l y i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o a c t t h e m s e l v e s , b u t also i n their a b i l i t y to ' l i f t the s t o r i e s  t h e words o f f t h e page', as i f  t h e y a r e r e a d i n g a r e spontaneous,  u n s c r i p t e d and  interactive. T h i s p r e s c r i b e d s e n s i b i l i t y i s supposed t o t r a n s l a t e a  way  of  speaking  that,  i n style,  tone  and  volume,  into is  c o n v e r s a t i o n a l and c h a t t y (Meyrowitz,  1985: 1 0 5 ) .  One young  anchor  storytelling  method i s  working  hard  to perfect this  c o n v i n c e d t h a t " i f you're t a l k i n g i n a c o n v e r s a t i o n a l tone i t ' s much  easier  f o r a person  s h o u t i n g a t them".  t o l i s t e n t o you than  i f you're  The i n t e n t , i n p a r t , i s t o make v i e w e r s f e e l  as though t h e y a r e on t h e same l e v e l as anchors, t h a t t h e y a r e 57  not b e i n g t a l k e d down t o , t h a t anchors a r e ' r e a l ' p e o p l e t h a t t h e y can r e l a t e t o . News anchors a r e c o n s i d e r e d  more c r e d i b l e and e a s i e r t o  i d e n t i f y w i t h i f t h e v o i c e s t h e y use t o t e l l s t o r i e s a r e ' r e a l ' sounding, not l i k e booming v o i c e standards  the voices of old-time  o f times  past  has g i v e n  t h a t a r e much more r e l a x e d .  anchors.  The deep  way t o v o c a l  quality  A p r o d u c e r who has been  i n t h i s b u s i n e s s f o r y e a r s s a i d t h a t , . t h e s e days, anchors "don't all  have g r e a t v o i c e s " and as l o n g as t h e y a r e c o m p r e h e n s i b l e  and a r t i c u l a t e t h e y don't have t o .  There a r e , o f c o u r s e ,  fatal  l i m i t s n o t t o be t r a n s g r e s s e d , which i n c l u d e any type o f v o i c e t h a t c o u l d sound i r r i t a t i n g t o those  i n t h e audience t h a t a r e  actually  said.  listening  acceptable  t o what i s b e i n g  The range o f t h e  i n c l u d e s any v o c a l q u a l i t y l i k e l y t o be  and p l e a s a n t .  comfortable  The l o g i c used here i s n o t u n l i k e t h e r e a s o n i n g  used t o e x p l a i n t h e v a l u e o f i m p e r f e c t anchor f a c e s .  Real voice  and r e a l f a c e s a r e more t r u s t w o r t h y because t h e y pose l e s s o f a threat. Anchors who a r e e f f e c t i v e  storytellers  a r e n o t t h a t way  s i m p l y because o f t h e i r a c t i n g a b i l i t y o r t h e i r tone, volume o r vocal quality. to  T h e i r c a p a c i t y t o ' l i f t t h e words o f f t h e page',  act 'conversational  and c h a t t y ' ,  i s contingent  upon t h e  s c r i p t t h e y a r e r e a d i n g and how, and by whom, i t was w r i t t e n . An e f f e c t i v e s c r i p t f o r l o c a l news s h o u l d l o o k somewhat l i k e a transcript  o f a s t o r y t h a t was a c t u a l l y  academic paper r i d d l e d  with  b i g words, 58  told,  not l i k e  an  complex t h o u g h t s and  semi-colons.  The fundamental r u l e  i s colloquial  f r e q u e n t use o f t h e words 'us' and 'you'. this writing  language and  The b e l i e f i s t h a t  t e c h n i q u e w i l l make t h e s c r i p t ' c l o s e t o home and  p e r s o n a l ' and easy f o r t h e anchor t o not o n l y a c t , but t o r e a d . The  attempt i s t o b r i d g e t h e gap o f p h y s i c a l d i s t a n c e between  anchors producer  and v i e w e r s by p e r s o n a l i z i n g stressed  the  importance  of  t h e news. this  A veteran  casual  writing  approach, and t h e power o f t h i s t y p e o f s c r i p t . - t o . draw v i e w e r s i n t o i d e n t i f y w i t h announcers t h r o u g h the'words coming o u t o f t h e i r mouths. We t e n d t o p e r s o n a l i z e o u r news a l o t more t h a n t h e y do i n the major networks. The word 'you' w i l l pop up i n o u r i n t r o and about f i v e o r s i x t i m e s d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f a show t o t r y t o go r i g h t t h r o u g h t h e TV s e t s and grab 'em by the t h r o a t s and slam t h e i r heads i n t o t h e s c r e e n ... T h a t ' s a b i g secret i n l o c a l t e l e v i s i o n I think. You n e v e r see the n a t i o n a l news d o i n g t h a t , o r v e r y damned r a r e l y . You n e v e r see them i n v i t i n g you t o p e r s o n a l l y i d e n t i f y w i t h something i n one o f t h e i r s t o r i e s . This personal s t y l e of w r i t i n g  l o c a l news i s b e l i e v e d by  r e s p o n d e n t s t o h e l p anchors appear as though t h e y have something i m p o r t a n t t o t e l l i n d i v i d u a l v i e w e r s . The v e r n a c u l a r i s t h e one most l i k e l y  used by many i n t h e audience i n everyday  casual  v e r b a l e n c o u n t e r s , and t h e one l e a s t l i k e l y t o be m i s u n d e r s t o o d . Constructing the i l l u s i o n of authentic conversation i s b e l i e v e d p o s s i b l e through the s u b t l e t i e s  of the s c r i p t e d  word.  The t r i c k t o w r i t i n g s c r i p t s t h a t enhance t h e a c c e s s i b i l i t y and  trustworthiness  of  t e c h n i q u e j u s t mentioned.  anchors  amounts  t o more  than  the  E f f e c t i v e s c r i p t s and s t o r i e s - t h a t  when r e a d by anchors sound  as i f t h e y a r e n o t w r i t t e n 59  - are  scripted  in  a  manner  that  reflects  how  t h e m s e l v e s would be most i n c l i n e d t o t e l l different likely  anchors would  not  the  choose  same, but  t a i l o r e d t o the p e r s o n a l  to  particular  those s t o r i e s .  recount  distinctive.  a  If  How  given  story  is  scripts  are  not  s t y l e s of anchors, t h e r e i s a  chance t h a t the news t h e y are r e a d i n g w i l l  not  greater  come a c r o s s  s t o r i e s , but as w r i t t e n pronouncements t h a t d e s t r o y the of a u t h e n t i c  anchors  as  illusion  conversation.  Some anchors  write  t h e i r - own . s c r i p t s , . but  others  have  s p e c i a l w r i t e r s or producers responsible f o r s c r i p t p r e p a r a t i o n . Anchors w i t h p r o d u c e r s and w r i t e r s t o do the work f o r them are the ones most l i k e l y t o run problems  with  the  audience.  comparison of anchors who scripts  are  effectiveness  written, as  i n t o c r e d i b i l i t y and  and  One  producer  authenticity  gave  a  detailed  do and don't get i n v o l v e d i n how the  d i f f e r e n t i a l outcomes  distinctive,  trustworthy  in  their their  conversational  storytellers. The anchors who are not i n v o l v e d i n the w r i t i n g p r o c e s s w i l l have t r o u b l e d e l i v e r i n g i n a c o n v e r s a t i o n a l s t y l e because i t ' s not a c o n v e r s a t i o n . They're o f t e n r e a d i n g something f o r the f i r s t time. They haven't w r i t t e n i t t h e m s e l v e s so i t ' s not t h e i r - o w n c o n v e r s a t i o n a l . s t y l e . And I f i n d t h a t i f you're t r y i n g t o emulate someone's s t y l e i t n e v e r sounds l i k e t h e i r own. And so i t can n e v e r be c o n v e r s a t i o n a l because i t ' s always g o i n g t o sound s l i g h t l y stilted. And so I t h i n k t h a t the anchors who don't w r i t e have a h a r d e r time w i t h t h a t , d e f i n i t e l y . Because t h e y ' r e r e a d i n g someone e l s e ' s words so how can i t sound l i k e t h e i r own? The anchors who are i n v o l v e d i n the w r i t i n g can r e a d i t , get t o know i t a b i t , change i t t o s u i t t h e i r p e r s o n a l s t y l e , and I t h i n k then i t does sound more c o n v e r s a t i o n a l , l i k e t h e y ' r e t a l k i n g t o you, not j u s t r e a d i n g , w h i c h I guess i s the u l t i m a t e g o a l . The  message here, w i t h  respect 60  t o ways of  speaking,  is  identical  t o t h e message made w i t h r e s p e c t t o ways o f b e i n g .  Expressive  messages a r e i n d i v i d u a l i z e d ,  at least  w i t h i n the  format c o n s t r a i n t s o f t h e t e l e v i s i o n medium and l o c a l s t a t i o n ' s style.  This i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n  i s why i t c a n be d i f f i c u l t f o r  anchors t o c o r r e c t l y i m i t a t e the c o n v e r s a t i o n a l s t y l e o f t e l l i n g stories facade  as w r i t t e n by a n o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l .  I n c a s e s where t h e  i s t r a n s p a r e n t , v i e w e r s may be u n c o m f o r t a b l e  with the  anchor's way o f s p e a k i n g , d i s t r u s t them and t h e i r , news s t o r i e s , and q u e s t i o n t h e v a l i d i t y o f t h e news show ,they a r e p e r c e i v i n g . The b e s t way f o r anchors t o seem a u t h e n t i c and c r e d i b l e i s f o r them t o g e t i n v o l v e d i n t h e p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g t h e s t o r i e s p r e t e n d a r e t h e i r s , a r e spontaneous, Although dissimilar,  what t h e y  cultivated. of  styles  and haven't been w r i t t e n . of past  and p r e s e n t a r e  have i n common i s t h a t t h e y  Neither, i n r e a l i t y ,  two-way  fundamental  the speaking  dialogue distinction  or  both are  i s any more genuine  face-to-face  i n terms  interaction.  between t h e two s t y l e s ,  The  despite the  a f o r e m e n t i o n e d s i m i l a r i t y , i s what each s t y l e manufactures. old  style  of reading  manufactures  they  a u t h o r i t y . over  The  viewers;  r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e anchor as t e a c h e r , mentor, o r .parent s p e a k i n g a t the audience. with  The new s t y l e o f r e a d i n g manufactures  v i e w e r s ; hence, t h e anchor  having  a -conversation  with  intimacy  as buddy, c o n f i d a n t o r f r i e n d individual  audience  members.  A l t h o u g h t h e d i a l o g u e between v i e w e r s and anchors has n o t h i n g a t a l l t o do w i t h a c t u a l c o n v e r s a t i o n , t h e l a t t e r s t y l e i s b e l i e v e d by  respondents  t o be more p o w e r f u l 61  than  t h e former  inits  c a p a c i t y t o b r i n g anchors and v i e w e r s It  i s c r i t i c a l to consider  mediated t e l e v i s i o n  together.  that not a l l e l e c t r o n i c a l l y  'conversation'  i s cultivated,  a c t e d t o t h e e x t e n t j u s t mentioned.  To be s u r e ,  scripted or ' l i f t i n g the  words o f f t h e page' i s r e q u i r e d f o r anchors t o appear as i f t h e y a r e t e l l i n g s t o r i e s t o , and c o n v e r s i n g w i t h , v i e w e r s . local  TV  news,  reciprocal,  do  have  conversations  a u t h e n t i c and i n t e r a c t i v e .  are i l l u s i o n s , mediated  anchors  that  are  Not ,<al,l, c o n v e r s a t i o n s  o r as r i g i d as t h e rones t h a t a r e p r e t e n d e d .  face-to-face conversation  anchors and v i e w e r s . news s o u r c e s ,  But i n  Live  i s not a d i a l o g u e  between  The exchange t a k e s p l a c e between  anchors,  r e p o r t e r s and c o - h o s t s .  The l i v e  interaction  o c c u r s w i t h e i t h e r b o t h p a r t i e s i n t h e s t u d i o , o r w i t h j u s t one in  t h e s t u d i o and t h e o t h e r  on t h e s c r e e n  via satellite  or  r e p e a t e r w h i l e a c t u a l l y out i n t h e f i e l d a t some s p e c i f i e d event or  location. The l i v e  before  s t u d i o i n t e r v i e w and c a s u a l b a n t e r  commercials  conversations.  or at the close  among  o f t h e show a r e  hosts 'real'  So a r e those -between studio.: anchors and e i t h e r  r e p o r t e r s o r news sources could, of course,  s p e a k i n g -from out i n t h e f i e l d .  be argued t h a t these  conversations  It  are not  a u t h e n t i c and a r e j u s t as c u l t i v a t e d as those between anchors and  viewers  that  m a i n t a i n s t h a t all  a r e complete  fabrications.  Erving  Goffman  c o n v e r s a t i o n s a r e c u l t i v a t e d and t h a t we a l l  do face-work i n o u r everyday encounters i n t h e o f f i c e o r out on t h e s t r e e t 62  whether on t e l e v i s i o n ,  ([1959] 1973; 1961; 1967;  1969;  1971).  argument  Other grounds t h a t c o u l d be used t o support  a r e t h e format  restrictions  placed  on  any  this  verbal  u t t e r a n c e t o keep w i t h i n t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f a s t a t i o n ' s s p e c i f i e d news program acceptable  i n terms o f a l l o w a b l e  content  o f any o n - a i r  seconds  for talking  interaction.  While  and these  arguments b e a r t r u t h s t h a t cannot be d e n i e d , t h e y a r e n o t enough to  counteract  the r e a l i t y  that  live,  r e c i p r o c a l conversation  between two p e o p l e does, i n f a c t , t a k e p l a c e \in„instances the  ones  described.  interacting.  Both - p a r t i c i p a n t s - a r e .seen  I n t h i s sense, t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n s  like  and. h e a r d  are authentic.  T h i s i s more t h a n can be s a i d about t h e 'supposed'  conversations  between anchors and t h e i r audience t h a t i s n ' t even p r e s e n t . The  opportunity  these  moments p r o v i d e  f o r viewers  i s to  c a t c h a glimpse  o f how anchors behave i n r e a l i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h  people  and v i s i b l y  audibly  industry  insider  with  used an a n a l o g y  them  on  television.  t o suggest  One  the appropriate  s e n s i b i l i t y t o be brought t o anchors' a u t h e n t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n a l moments by t h e anchors themselves and by those i n t h e audience. As  a c l a s s i c example o f t h e e f f e c t d e s i r e d , .she r e f e r r e d t o a  p a r t i c u l a r s t u d i o anchor' s M v e - r a p p o r t - w i t h , j o u r n a l i s t s and how "she  doesn't come a c r o s s  reporter,  as b e i n g  t h e anchor and t h e y ' r e t h e  i t ' s l i k e she's c h a t t i n g w i t h h e r f r i e n d and you're  l i s t e n i n g i n on t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n . " The  primary  role  observe  and l i s t e n  'viewer  as f r i e n d '  of viewers  t o anchors  shifts  conversing  slightly with  while  others.  t r o p e becomes, momentarily, t h e 'viewer 63  they The as  friend  eavesdropping'  alternative: homology.  allegory.  There  i s , of  course,  an  t h e 'viewer as f r i e n d and s i l e n t group member' The beauty  of on-screen  authentic conversation i s  that  i t l e a v e s v i e w e r s w i t h these two o p t i o n s f o r how t h e y ' d  like  to f i t into  conversations  this  drama.  An anchor's  c o u l d , on t h e one hand,  real,  appeal  televised  to a  viewer's  m i s c h i e v o u s t e n d e n c i e s by opening t h e window f o r them t o f e e l as if  they  supposed  a r e anonymously l i s t e n i n g , .to something, t h e y t o hear  being  commonplace f o r anchors  said.  On  the other  are not  hand,  i ti s  t o f r e q u e n t l y glance i n t o the lens of  the camera d u r i n g l i v e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h p e r f o r m e r s .  This could  a p p e a l t o any d e s i r e s o f i n c l u s i o n t h r o u g h i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s anchors  are looking  that  i n d i v i d u a l l y a t them, t h e v i e w e r s , hence  l e a v i n g v i e w e r s f e e l i n g s p e c i a l enough t o be p r i v y t o what i s being said. What becomes e v i d e n t here, and must not be f o r g o t t e n , i s t h a t v i e w e r s , l i k e anchors, a r e not o n l y r e a l p e o p l e , t h e y a r e a c t o r s t o o , and p a r t o f t h e p r o d u c t i o n . t h a t audience  Regardless of the r o l e  members choose, t h e y ..either: ..will , o r won't  like  how anchors r e l a t e t o others.' on t h e ...show.,and/or t o them, • w h i l e o t h e r s a r e t h e f o c a l p o i n t o f an anchor's a t t e n t i o n .  But s i n c e  viewers  they  are granted  t h e power t o s e l e c t  the r o l e  play  d u r i n g an anchor's momentary a u t h e n t i c c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h o t h e r s on t h e s t a g e , t h e y may be l e s s i n c l i n e d t o be c r i t i c a l  of the  anchor s i n c e t h e y a r e p r e o c c u p i e d w h i l e i n d u l g i n g i n some a s p e c t of t h e i r own d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r as t h e y watch and l i s t e n t o 64  t h e s e p o r t i o n s o f t h e newscast  Anchors as J o u r n a l i s t s  unfold.  and I n t e l l i g e n t People  V i e w e r s a r e not o n l y s i l e n t a c t o r s who a r e p a r t o f t h e show w h i l e s i t t i n g and w a t c h i n g a newscast their  homes, t h e y a l s o  from t h e "back r e g i o n " o f  enter the "front  region"  o f TV news  p r o d u c t i o n s when t h e y appear i n news s t o r i e s as e i t h e r t h e f o c u s of  events  deemed newsworthy, -or as s o u r c e s -who, p r o v i d e t h e  l e g i t i m a c y , c r i t i c i s m a n d / o r ^ o p i n i o n a t e d .comments e s s e n t i a l t o the s t o r y ' s p l o t development w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t and format o f t h e show ( E r i c s o n , Baranek Meyrowitz,  & Chan, 1989; Goffman  1985; Thompson, 1995).  [1959] 1973;  Viewers, l i k e anchors, are  not o n l y r e a l p e o p l e and e f f e c t i v e a c t o r s , t h e y a r e a l s o p i e c e s o f e x p r e s s i v e equipment who embody t h e t a s t e s and s e n s i b i l i t i e s o f themselves as audience members when t h e y appear on a show. The ' r e a l ' p e o p l e t h a t v i e w e r s can p o t e n t i a l l y r e l a t e t o i n c l u d e both  anchors  and themselves,  o r some  aspect  of t h e i r  own  demographic make-up, o r t h e i r h i s t o r y , t h e i r f u t u r e , o r c u r r e n t life  c o n t e x t as r e f l e c t e d t h r o u g h .sound and p i c t u r e s a t some  p o i n t d u r i n g t h e show.  The q u e s t i o n t o ponder i s t h i s :  l i k e l y a r e v i e w e r s t o admit t h a t t h e i r own persona d i s t i n c t i v e nor c r e d i b l e ?  How  i s neither  I t i s p l a u s i b l e that viewers could  draw an a s s o c i a t i v e l i n k by a t t r i b u t i n g t h e i r own  distinctive  c r e d i b i l i t y t h e y see r e f l e c t e d on t h e s c r e e n t o t h e anchors who embody t h o s e same q u a l i t i e s and i n t r o d u c e t h e s t o r i e s t h a t t h e y l i t e r a l l y , o r f i g u r a t i v e l y , appear i n . 65  Respondents b e l i e v e d t h a t the i n c l u s i v e n e s s o f t e l e v i s i o n newscasts p r o v i d e s anchors w i t h a s o l i d v e h i c l e f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g and m a i n t a i n i n g c r e d i b i l i t y i n t h e eyes o f t h e a u d i e n c e . Anchors venturing  out o f t h e s t u d i o and i n t o t h e s t r e e t s t o r e c r u i t  viewers to  d i s p l a y  many, the most  as a c t o r s on t h e s c r e e n  critical  component  i s considered,  by  o f image when i t comes t o  v i e w e r assessments o f t h e i r t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s  and  The image i s t h a t o f an anchor .who  ..vSimply^.a.,'talking  head',  but a l s o a j o u r n a l i s t .  powerful  i s .not  intelligence.  i T h i s . image .is J o e l i e v e d t o be  enough t o compensate f o r ' f a t a l ' t r a n s g r e s s i o n s i n one  o r more o t h e r image elements. The  overarching  belief  i s that  TV  news v i e w e r s  are a  dubious l o t .  One p r o d u c e r e x p l a i n e d t h e c r u x o f t h e c h a l l e n g e  by  that, with respect  suggesting  t o anchors, " v i e w e r s have t o  know t h a t t h e r e ' s something b e h i n d t h e facade, some  actual  intelligence  there."  Another  t h a t t h e y ' v e got producer  from  a  d i f f e r e n t s t a t i o n c l a r i f i e d t h e problem t h r o u g h h i s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t v i e w e r a f f e c t i o n s toward anchors a r e based, not s i m p l y on p e r s o n a l i t y and l o o k s , but a l s o on p e r c e p t i o n s : t h a t athe., anchors t h e y watch u n d e r s t a n d t h e i s s u e s v t h e y r a r e • t a l k i n g . a b o u t . A:  People r e a l l y a c t u a l l y want c r e d i b i l i t y when think about i t . They want t o be a b l e t o t r u s t information...and i f you h i r e somebody p u r e l y c o s m e t i c r e a s o n s , t h a t doesn't engender t r u s t . v i e w e r s a r e not g o i n g t o t r u s t somebody who's t h e r e t o sound and l o o k the p a r t . They want t o that the s t o r y that t h i s person i s reading t o hasn't been w r i t t e n by somebody e l s e and t h e y ' r e a mouth p i e c e .  Q:  How would t h e audience know t h a t ? 66  they the for The just know them just  A:  W e l l the f i r s t t h i n g t h a t t h e y do i s t h e y s u s p e c t i t . And i n f a c t t h e y s u s p e c t i t o f everybody... t h a t t h e y ' r e j u s t t h e r e t o d r e s s up a s e t . W h i l e t h e facade of c r e d i b i l i t y  and  b o d i e s of anchors,  and  as embodied on t h e f a c e s  through  their  ways o f a c t i n g  and  t a l k i n g w i t h v i e w e r s are i m p o r t a n t and not d e n i e d , t h e y a r e not enough s i n g u l a r l y o r j o i n t l y t o quash p o t e n t i a l v i e w e r about an anchor's s u b s t a n c e .  concerns  The facade of c r e d i b i l i t y b e l i e v e d  t o c a r r y t h e most weight i n d e p e n d e n t l y i s the one based on the p e r c e p t i o n t h a t an anchor has s o m e ^ j o u r n a l i s t i c i n t e r e s t , and  ability.  The  anchor's  capacity to t e l l  stories  depth  well i s  b e l i e v e d t o depend on audience knowledge t h a t t h e y know how t o , and sometimes do, d e v e l o p s t o r y c o n t e n t There  are  several  ways  themselves.  f o r viewers  to  learn  about  an  anchor's a b i l i t y t o p l a y the r o l e o f a news-minded j o u r n a l i s t . The most o b v i o u s way i s t h r o u g h t e l e v i s i o n f o o t a g e o f the anchor i n t h e f i e l d , p o i n t i n g a microphone i n the f a c e of p o t e n t i a l o r a c t u a l audience members who a r e making guest a c t i n g in  their  stories  and  on  the  show.  Several  appearances  respondents  are  c o n v i n c e d t h a t an anchor's c r e d i b i l i t y i s -embodied -and . " b u i l t i n " i f , b e f o r e t h e y e v e r s i t i n the a n c h o r . c h a i r , t h e y a r e known to  have made r e g u l a r newscast  appearances  in a  journalistic  c a p a c i t y w i t h i n the same b r o a d c a s t r e g i o n t h a t t h e y , e v e n t u a l l y , end up a n c h o r i n g . cited  the  success  One p r o d u c e r who agreed w i t h t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e of  one  anchor  b u s i n e s s e v o l v e d i n the suggested  whose  progression i n  the  direction.  She's t h e f i r s t one t h a t we've had who has not had a problem w i t h the audience i n terms o f c r e d i b i l i t y because 67  she worked f o r us as a r e p o r t e r f o r f i v e y e a r s b e f o r e she s t a r t e d a n c h o r i n g the news. So f o r the audience t h a t we a l r e a d y had, c r e d i b i l i t y was b u i l t - i n . They had seen her s t o r i e s and so t h e y knew who she was and what she c o u l d do. A n o t h e r p r o d u c e r from a d i f f e r e n t TV this  philosophy.  anchors do foster  that  audience  He  said  i t i s a bad  job before  s t a t i o n agreed idea  to  s u f f i c i e n t work has  impressions  that  there  is  let  with  aspiring  been done  a  to  journalistic  component t o t h e i r o v e r a l l image. I t h i n k a t t h i s s t a t i o n we'd be i n c l i n e d not to^ put them on the a i r a n c h o r i n g r i g h t away. We'd be i n c l i n e d t o have them be a r e p o r t e r f o r a c o u p l e of y e a r s . f i r s t because I t h i n k t h a t ' s what we've got t o show the a u d i e n c e , t h a t t h i s p e r s o n has been out t h e r e d i g g i n g and g a u g i n g and d o i n g s t o r i e s and got t h a t c r e d e n t i a l f i r s t b e f o r e we put them i n the anchor c h a i r . The  presumption that i s evident  i n t h e s e comments i s t h a t  v i e w e r s are more i n c l i n e d t o t r u s t anchors i f they've t h e i r development and t h e i r savvy as r e p o r t e r s . indeed is,  necessary perception  and  always  modelling. data  thus  cultivation techniques areas.  The d e s i r e d  i s t h a t an anchor's prime c o n c e r n or  Of c o u r s e t h i s i s a d e b a t a b l e p r o p o s i t i o n s i n c e  the  of and  have  news  shown  that  credibility insights  and  journalism,  effective  require  from each one  the of  not  anchoring  and  the  appropriation these  of  occupational  A l s o i m p l i e d i s the r e q u i s i t e v i e w e r i m p r e s s i o n t h a t  invitation  to  sit  in  the  anchor  chair  is  earned  i n v e s t i g a t i v e a b i l i t y , b r a i n power and c l e v e r n e s s , not solely  and  acting  far  was,  witnessed  on  the  t h r e a t e n i n g and  ability  to  look,  sound and  act  an  through granted  credible,  non-  pleasant.  P r o v i d i n g v i e w e r s w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y t o o b s e r v e , 68  first-  hand,  an  anchor's  preferred. anchors  ascent  in  the  business  is  the  scenario  T h i s i s not always p o s s i b l e , though, e s p e c i a l l y f o r  who  cultivated  journalistically  their  i n regions  credibility  o t h e r t h a n the  and  one  developed  studied.  One  anchor w i t h a l e n g t h y r e p o r t i n g h i s t o r y g a i n e d h i s ' j o u r n a l i s t i c spurs'  in  convinced  several  Canadian  provinces  and  cities.  He  is  t h a t the w r i t i n g and r e p o r t i n g a b i l i t i e s he d e v e l o p e d  e l s e w h e r e are what c l i n c h e d f o r him the anchor j o b he's now i n . I got t h i s j o b because of my r e p o r t i n g e x p e r i e n c e , because t h e y wanted someone who was not j u s t a news r e a d e r . They wanted someone who...can b r i n g a c e r t a i n c r e d i b i l i t y and a u t h o r i t y t o the program. Um, a t l e a s t t h a t ' s what, when I asked them, "Why do you want me?" t h a t was the e x p l a n a t i o n t h a t was g i v e n . C r e d i b i l i t y c u l t i v a t e d i n o t h e r c e n t r e s i s not u n d e s i r a b l e , it  just creates other challenges.  How  does an  a u d i e n c e know  t h a t i m p o r t e d anchors, l i k e the one j u s t r e f e r r e d t o , c a r e about the  news and  stations  have the h i s t o r i e s  ensure  that  viewers  they  take  attribute  pride in? the  How  do  authority  and  c r e d i b i l i t y the anchors are b e l i e v e d t o exude d u r i n g a newscast to  their  journalistic  past,  not  just  to  their  dilemma  is  best  face,  voice,  acting a b i l i t y or clothes? The adopting suggests  r e s o l u t i o n of the  logic  that  individual's  any  t h a t Meyrowitz information  behaviour  account when o b s e r v i n g only  this  makes sense,  from  an  other  (1985:  understood  50)  has  audience  has  situations i s  by  used:  He  about taken  an into  t h a t p e r s o n execute p e r f o r m a n c e s .  then,  f o r s t a t i o n s to  rely  on  background  d e t a i l s p r o v i d e d by p r i n t r e p o r t e r s of the j o u r n a l i s t i c p a s t 69  It  of  the  i m p o r t e d anchors t h a t have been h i r e d .  What i s hoped i s  t h a t , based on what i s w r i t t e n , v i e w e r s w i l l be c o n v i n c e d t h a t newcomers from o t h e r markets t r u s t w o r t h y messengers.  are already c r e d i b l e ,  seasoned,  The news d i r e c t o r o f the e x p e r i e n c e d  r e p o r t e r d e s c r i b e d above e x p l a i n e d how unknown i n f o r m a t i o n about his  background i s d i s s e m i n a t e d t o the p u b l i c . S t o r i e s get w r i t t e n about him i n TV Guide o r the newspaper or wherever and t h e y r e f e r t o h i s background and p e o p l e r e a d t h a t and t h e y remember t h a t , and t h e y have a sense t h a t he knows what he's t a l k i n g ..about because he' s been out t h e r e i n the f i e l d , he was -a n a t i o n a l ' r e p o r t e r , he has a l o t of experience. T h i s r e a s o n i n g i s not u n l i k e the l o g i c used t o j u s t i f y the  importance o f h a v i n g a s p i r i n g announcers a c t as r e p o r t e r s b e f o r e a n c h o r i n g t h e news.  The key d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t the i n f o r m a t i o n  v i e w e r s r e c e i v e about  immigrant anchors i s second-hand.  The  anchor's image i s c o n s t r u c t e d and e x p r e s s e d f o r v i e w e r s by writer  with  actually  a  clever  witnessing  constructing  their  on own  pen,  not  their  by  the  own  credibility  viewers  themselves  pictures  of  on  streets  local  a  the  anchor with  a  microphone i n hand. B i o g r a p h i c a l a r t i c l e s , i f t h e y must be r e l i e d on, f u n c t i o n as i f t h e y a r e an anchor's .reference l e t t e r s publicly thought  f o r the a u d i e n c e .  i n the minds of t h o s e who  something  like  supported  an  this: anchor's  c r e d i b i l i t y development, the  I t i s hoped  If  that are posted  that  the  chain  peruse t h e a r t i c l e s  stations  journalistic  and  viewers  presence  of goes  elsewhere  and  on-air  t h a t anchor must, t h e n , be worthy o f  anchor c h a i r t h e y have been g i v e n t o s i t i n . The purpose i s 70  to  l a y to  rest  any  audience  speculation that  the  stranger  w r i t t e n about cannot be t r u s t e d as e i t h e r a ' f r i e n d ' o r w i t h the s c r i p t s t h e y w r i t e and the performance  t h e y have been h i r e d t o  c a r r y o u t . S t a t i o n s and newsrooms can hope, but not assume, t h a t t a r g e t e d and o t h e r v i e w e r s r e a d a r t i c l e s w r i t t e n about o u t s i d e r s h i r e d t o anchor grown.  t h e i r news, o r about anchors  Assumptions  that are  locally  cannot be made, e i t h e r , t h a t everyone i n t h e  b r o a d c a s t r e g i o n w i l l have w i t n e s s e d , heard. :or-«r.ead the s t o r i e s t h a t anchors have, i n the • p a s t , r e p o r t e d von .or. . w r i t t e n d u r i n g t h e i r developmental days i n t h i s market i n t e l e v i s i o n , p r i n t o r radio. One way t h a t s t a t i o n s compliment b i o g r a p h i c a l a r t i c l e s other  'evidence' o f anchors' p a s t j o u r n a l i s t i c  and  credentials i s  w i t h p r o m o t i o n a l f o o t a g e . >Pictures are p r e s e n t e d o f a s t a t i o n ' s anchors surrounded by props which suggest t o v i e w e r s t h a t t h e s e people  a c t u a l l y spend time w o r k i n g  whether t h e y do broadcast team  or not.  One  i n the f i e l d  example from  r e g i o n s t u d i e d i s the p i c t o r i a l  sporting  suits  and  serious f a c i a l  o r newsroom,  a station  i n the  image o f an  anchor  expressions  b r i s k l y down the o u t s i d e s t e p s - o f a 'downtown . of f i c e  walking building.  The image c r e a t e s the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t the anchor team i s h e a d i n g back  to  the  station  after  having  just  retrieved  important  i n f o r m a t i o n t o be a i r e d on t h e i r newscast t h a t e v e n i n g . suggests  that  the  important  information  comes  I t also  from  i m p o r t a n t i n s t i t u t i o n s s y m b o l i z e d by the o f f i c e b u i l d i n g ,  big, and  t h a t the team has j u s t been ' i n s i d e ' t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n t o get the 71  scoop.  Such images are  newscasts o r d u r i n g t h r o u g h o u t the  used t o  trustworthy,  on  at  the  newscast promotions t h a t  incite  beginning  a i r on  of  stations  images of  audience p e r c e p t i o n s  knowledgeable and  news t h e y d e l i v e r i s based not images, but  displayed  day.  Another t a c t i c anchors are  often  that  interested i n  the  on p a s t l a u r e l s o r p r o m o t i o n a l  them a c t u a l l y i n v o l v e d  in live  and  packaged j o u r n a l i s m d u r i n g the shows t h a t t h e y , a n c h o r w e e k l y o r daily.  The  news d i r e c t o r of one  s t a t i o n t h a t .prides i t s e l f  the ongoing j o u r n a l i s t i c e f f o r t s of i t s anchors s a i d t h a t  on  "they  go out and r e p o r t , t h e y b r i n g you news, t h e y ' r e not j u s t r e a d i n g it.  They're p a r t and  you."  The  p a r c e l of the p r o c e s s of g e t t i n g i t t o  f o l l o w i n g comment of an anchor who  works f o r  this  news d i r e c t o r - r e f l e c t s h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e i m p r e s s i o n he i s h o p i n g t o c u l t i v a t e by r e p o r t i n g on  stories.  H o p e f u l l y because I'm out t h e r e , because I'm a r e p o r t e r as w e l l as a h o s t I encourage the b e l i e f t h a t i t ' s up t o the minute and t h a t I'm i n v o l v e d w i t h t h i n g s , t h a t I'm not j u s t s i t t i n g b e h i n d a desk somewhere w i t h some guy h a n d i n g me a bunch of paper, t h a t I'm i n v o l v e d w i t h the s t a t i o n , t h a t I'm i n v o l v e d w i t h the news g a t h e r i n g so t h a t I know what's g o i n g on, t h a t I'm not j u s t a meat puppet. V i e w e r s are g i v e n c l u e s t h a t an anchor';s.packaged, e d i t e d s t o r y d u r i n g a newscast i s , i n f a c t , t h e i r work. i s t h a t the anchor's v o i c e can be The  other  One i n d i c a t i o n  heard n a r r a t i n g the  report.  c l u e i s a v i s u a l image, shown at l e a s t once, o f  the  anchor on the s c r e e n w i t h an i n t e r v i e w s u b j e c t a t the l o c a t i o n where the  s t o r y was  shot.  O f t e n the  reporting  anchor moves  t h e i r head up and down t o i n d i c a t e t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of what 72  i s g o i n g on,  a gesture  sometimes r e f e r r e d t o as t h e 'knowing  nod' . Live journalism interview  between  i s best described  anchor  and source  as t h e contemporaneous while  s t u d i o , o r w h i l e t h e source i s e l s e w h e r e .  both  are i n the  I t i s important t o  n o t e , though, t h a t l i v e j o u r n a l i s m i s r a r e l y ' l i v e ' i n t h e sense of b e i n g  a t t h e a c t u a l news event as i t i s u n f o l d i n g .  s i m p l y same-time c o n v e r s a t i o n about e v e n t s . t h a t are o c c u r i n g not  only  a t another location..  unedited,  have happened o r  T h i s type .of j o u r n a l i s m i s  but experienced  s o u r c e and a u d i e n c e .  simultaneously  but a l s o  by anchor,  I t i s t h e k i n d o f news p r o d u c t i o n  f a c i l i t a t e s t h e d i s p l a y o f n o t o n l y an anchor's abilities,  It is  their  intellect.  One  that  conversational anchor  who i s  c o n f i d e n t w i t h h i s c a p a c i t y t o c a r r y ..of f:.these .moments*, b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e y do s e r v e as more t h a n i n d i c a t o r s o f an anchor's s o c i a l s k i l l s and i n t e r a c t i v e approach.  He s a i d t h e y a l s o r e v e a l t h e  e x p e r i e n c e and depth, o r l a c k t h e r e o f , o f t h e anchor i n f o c u s . I t h i n k i t ' s p r o b a b l y more i n t h e u n s c r i p t e d moments o f a t e l e v i s i o n b r o a d c a s t , when you're d o i n g an i n t e r v i e w , f o r example, t h a t you r e v e a l t h a t t h e r e i s a d e p t h o f knowledge there. And I'm t o l d t h a t i p e o p l e . r e c o g n i z e t h a t . And i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e newscast< s we o c c a s i o n a l l y do forums, s o r t o f town h a l l t h i n g s , and p e o p l e have s a i d t o me t h a t , " I t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g , t h e r e ' s a d i m e n s i o n t o you t h a t we see when you're d o i n g t h e forums t h a t we don't see when you're reading t h e news and i t suggests q u i t e a l e v e l o f j o u r n a l i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e and j o u r n a l i s t i c d e p t h . " ;  P a r t o f an e f f e c t i v e anchor's a b i l i t y t o appear smart and 'deep'  i s due  to their  ability  to display  knowledge  and  e x p e r i e n c e t h r o u g h l i v e f a c e - t o - f a c e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h o t h e r s on the s c r e e n .  However, t h e y can add t o t h i s appearance t h r o u g h a 73  quick  mind  and  listening  skills  which  demonstrate  that  the  p e r s o n can ' t h i n k on t h e i r f e e t ' . One anchor, a c c o r d i n g t o her p r o d u c e r , g a i n e d the necessaryimage o f j o u r n a l i s t i c c r e d i b i l i t y not t h r o u g h v i s u a l d i s p l a y s o f h e r as a f i e l d r e p o r t e r , but t h r o u g h the sounds and s i g h t s o f h e r as a l i v e s t u d i o i n t e r v i e w e r . task  Her a b i l i t y t o p e r f o r m t h i s  s e t s her a p a r t from o t h e r s who  have,  t o the  skills.  e i t h e r don't  rely  on  same e x t e n t , the aforementioned. ..attributes  or and  L i s t e n i n g and t h i n k i n g , -«said the p r o d u c e r , a r e what  p u l l s h e r t h r o u g h i n t e r v i e w s as i f she i s p r e p a r e d , even when she i s n ' t .  They a l s o f a c i l i t a t e the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t she i s not  o n l y c r e d i b l e , but genuine. I t h i n k she has proven h e r s e l f c o n s i d e r a b l y i n t h e way t h a t she h a n d l e s l i v e i n t e r v i e w s because she l i s t e n s , w h i c h i s v e r y , v e r y i m p o r t a n t . Many anchors don't. Many anchors a l l o v e r the w o r l d ' d o n ' t l i s t e n . They're t h i n k i n g o f t h e n e x t q u e s t i o n , t h e y ' r e not l i s t e n i n g t o what the p e r s o n i s saying. She l i s t e n s . She c o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y u n p r e p a r e d f o r an i n t e r v i e w i n the sense t h a t she knows the background, she knows the t o p i c . . . s h e ' s c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h t h a t , but wouldn't have s c r i p t e d q u e s t i o n s . And she c o u l d s t i l l handle i t f a n t a s t i c a l l y w e l l , whereas o t h e r anchors would l o o k a t the s c r i p t e d q u e s t i o n s and not t h i n k . She's q u i t e c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h d o i n g t h a t and w i l l l i s t e n and w i l l f o r m u l a t e a q u e s t i o n based . on what i s s a i d . And t o me t h a t ' s one o f the f a c t o r s t h a t - r e a l l y . c o n t r i b u t e s t o h e r c r e d i b i l i t y because there'.s a ' " s i t u a t i o n ?where you have t o prove y o u r s e l f . :  The c r e d i b l e p e r c e p t i o n c r e a t e d by t h i s a n c h o r . i s a u t h e n t i c s i n c e what she says and asks d u r i n g her i n t e r v i e w s i s what comes to  mind  scripted  at by  that  herself  unknowledgeable that  she  second. or  Her others;  or u n i n t e l l i g e n t  q u e s t i o n s and hence,  doesn't  are  not  appear  t h r o u g h audience p e r c e p t i o n s  i s unable t o f o l l o w a t r a i n 74  she  words  o f thought  or  respond,  naturally,  to  another's  comments  p r o d u c e r , many anchors, do. of c o n v e r s i n g  which,  according  to  the  They r e l y on the c u l t i v a t e d ' a c t '  at t i m e s when t h a t a c t i s not  called for.  When  used i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y , c u l t i v a t e d c o n v e r s a t i o n s based on s c r i p t e d material  i n t e r f e r e with  the  authentic  i n t e r a c t i o n that  is  supposed t o c h a r a c t e r i z e l i v e i n t e r v i e w s . L i v e i n t e r v i e w s k i l l s not o n l y enhance image, t h e y a r e a l s o an  increasing  necessity  present-day t e l e v i s i o n  .since  t h e ..technology  f a c i l i t a t e s :'.more f r e q u e n t  j o u r n a l i s t i c v e h i c l e . A c c o r d i n g t o one anchor who  that use  drives of  this  described  the  t r a n s i t i o n , changes i n the medium a l l o w f o r , and d i c t a t e , more immediacy. It's j u s t an e v o l u t i o n , r e a l l y i t i s . . . t h e r e are more opportunities given the technology and the way the i n f o r m a t i o n i s g a t h e r e d and the way the i n f o r m a t i o n can be put on the a i r . L i k e , you c o u l d n ' t go l i v e t o whatever was happening b e f o r e . You c o u l d n ' t s i t i n y o u r l i v i n g room and watch the coup, o r attempted coup i n R u s s i a w h i l e you were h a v i n g t e a and c o o k i e s . That was i m p o s s i b l e . Now t h a t i s p o s s i b l e and i t makes for.news coverage which i s c o m p l e t e l y different. I mean, a l l the l i v e r e p o r t s , t h e y ' r e not s c r i p t e d , none of t h a t i s s c r i p t e d . I t i s happening as you are s e e i n g i t . I n o t h e r words, anchors are o f t e n f o r c e d t o be i n v o l v e d i n the p r o c e s s of l i v e news as ^ i t " i s -being, .produced, not s i m p l y  to  a c t as p r e s e n t e r s of news t h a t they, o r o t h e r s , have e d i t e d  and  packaged.  W i t h i n f o r m a t i o n t r a v e l l i n g so much f a s t e r t h a n i t  used t o , t h i s anchor s a i d she p a r t i c u l a r s of p i c t u r e s and about  f o r the  first  time,  i s often forced to discuss  i s s u e s she along  p r o c e s s of mutual p r o d u c t i o n she may 75  with  i s seeing viewers.  and  the  hearing  During  this  have a few n o t e s about what  i s g o i n g on, but no d e t a i l e d s c r i p t t o f o l l o w .  I n terms o f the  p r o p e r image c o n s t r u c t i o n d u r i n g these moments, she, l i k e o t h e r s i n t h e same p o s i t i o n , i s e n t i r e l y on her own The  producer  t o prove  herself.  last  quoted  i s convinced  t r e n d i n anchor imaging  i s one  t h a t r e l i e s on anchors  increasing  control  credibility  and  through  their  distinction.  embodied  and  a t t e n t i v e n e s s and  :  over  that t h i s  display  of  These q u a l i t i e s  future to take  journalistic as  represented  e x p r e s s i v e -images of,-depth,  curiosity,  interrogation.  You won't have time f o r a w r i t e r t o s i t down and s c r i p t y o u r q u e s t i o n s f o r you, and do the r e s e a r c h f o r you, and have i t a l l t h e r e f o r you. And because you won't have a s c r i p t t o t u r n t o . t h e anchors a r e g o i n g t o have t o t h i n k . Imagine! But I t h i n k t h a t w i l l i n c r e a s i n g l y be t h e way. And the o l d s c h o o l seems t o be t h a t t h e r e were w r i t e r s , t h e r e was an anchor, a s t r i c t d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r . And now I t h i n k the l i n e s are b l u r r i n g . . . and perhaps some o f t h e o l d s c h o o l of anchors are going-to-have..trouble a d a p t i n g .to that. Multi-tasking  and  the  interplay  of  talking,  acting,  t h i n k i n g and " a s k i n g , may Tiot o n l y .be a c h a l l e n g e f o r seasoned anchors  entrenched also  in traditional  cultivate  and s u s t a i n the d e s i r e d j o u r n a l i s t i c i m a g e s o l e l y  t h a t an  compensate,  in  the  c o n v e n t i o n a l methods.  image o f c r e d i b i l i t y  d i s p l a y o f p a s t and will  others  anchoring  but  assured  any  and  methods,  the' b a s i s of those  for  journalistic  field  hoping  Anchors cannot  e s t a b l i s h e d through  to on be the  p r e s e n t packaged news r e p o r t i n g a b i l i t y , endlessly,  deficiencies  when  i t comes  journalistic  proficiency.  to  for the  substantive display  I n o t h e r words,  of  or their  anchors  who  other live have  b u i l t , o r a r e hoping t o c o n s t r u c t , t h e i r j o u r n a l i s t i c image w i t h 76  s t e l l a r packaged r e p o r t i n g c r e d e n t i a l s c o u l d damage t h a t image if  their  live,  convincing.  unscripted  journalistic  performances  are not  There i s no guarantee t h a t t h e c a r r y o v e r e f f e c t  Meyrowitz  speaks  contradictory  of  will  compensate  indefinitely  evidence of the j o u r n a l i s t i c  for  c r e d i b i l i t y o f an  anchor's image. The t r a d i t i o n a l l e g a c y o f p a c k a g e d . j o u r n a l i s m can no l o n g e r come t o t h e a i d o f , o r be r e l i e d  on, by anchors  trying  to  d e v e l o p o r s u s t a i n an i n t e l l i g e n t image when.; t h e y r e a l l y don't know what t h e y ' r e words  coming  dependence  talking  about and/or don't c a r e  out o f t h e i r  was  mouths.  facilitated  about t h e  The p o t e n t i a l  i n the past  f o r such  by o p p o r t u n i t i e s  to  p i g g y b a c k on t h e s k i l l s o f e d i t o r s , p r o d u c e r s , w r i t e r s o r o t h e r s hired  t o h e l p -anchors out w i t h  their  act..  This  behind-the-  scenes h e l p c o u l d f u n c t i o n t o cover-up what anchors t h e m s e l v e s couldn't,  or didn't  want  to, carry  out.  P o s s i b i l i t i e s to  p r o j e c t t h e facade o f a b i l i t y a r e becoming l e s s f r e q u e n t the  increasing  protective  popularity  of l i v e  mechanisms b u i l t  anchor  interviews.  into' conventional  with The  journalism are  absent i n t h e r e p o r t i n g method'increasingly , used.. . The mounting 1  pressure  on  anchors  singlehandedly  to  i s linked  prove  their  'smarts'  t o the d i f f e r e n t i a l  to  viewers  opportunities  embedded i n l i v e and packaged j o u r n a l i s m t o c r e a t e i l l u s i o n s and engage i n r e a l i t y . While dictatorial  the f i e l d and  report  and i t ' s image message  manipulated,  and 77  the  live  i s more  interview  more  c o n v e r s a t i o n a l , i n t e r a c t i v e and genuine, t h e s e d i s t i n c t i o n s a r e not a b s o l u t e .  The e x p l a n a t i o n s  provided  c o u l d l e a d one t o draw  the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t l i v e r e p o r t i n g by anchors i s , i n a l l c a s e s , an  authentic,  distinctive  c r e d i b l e d i s p l a y o f an anchor's  social  abilities.  This  intellect  i s , i n most c a s e s ,  and true  s i n c e l i v e work, as opposed t o packaged, e d i t e d j o u r n a l i s m , can be o b s e r v e d and l i s t e n e d t o i n i t s e n t i r e t y . with  no  chance  t o cover-up  performance m i s t a k e s .  an anchor's . p o t e n t i a l l y  The i l l u s i o n ,  r e a l i t y i s that i t i s , at times, ' l i v e ' interviews.  I t i s unedited, 'fatal'  though, o f t h e p r o j e c t e d  p o s s i b l e t o p r e - t a p e and e d i t  T h i s i s done i n some c a s e s .  The q u a l i t y o f  images p r o j e c t e d t o v i e w e r s d u r i n g p r e - t a p e d i n t e r v i e w s a r e n o t u n l i k e those that are manipulated through the process in  traditionally  interviews  project  packaged images  news  journalism.  t o viewers  involved  Face-to-face  riddled  with  either  a u t h e n t i c i t y o r c u l t i v a t i o n depending on whether t h e y a r e l i v e o r p r e - r e c o r d e d and condensed. The an  f l i p s i d e of t h i s c l a r i f i c a t i o n i s the assumption that  anchor's  curiosity,  sustained  wit, social  i n t e r a c t i o n and d i s p l a y  of  unedited  s k i l l s -and knowledge . i s a v a i l a b l e t o  viewers only during l i v e i n t e r v i e w s , not through observations of their  traditional  journalistic  productions.  While  this i s  c e r t a i n l y t r u e based on t h e images t e l e v i s e d , i t i s , i n f a c t , p o s s i b l e f o r v i e w e r s and o t h e r s  t o e x p e r i e n c e those  qualities  f i r s t hand, whether a c t e d o r genuine, i f t h o s e p e o p l e a r e w i t h the anchor i n t h e f i e l d as e i t h e r i n t e r v i e w s u b j e c t s o r c u r i o u s 78  bystanders.  This  listen  to  the  before  the  transformed reality,  i s an  live  taped  opportunity  face-to-face version  is  i n t o a r t that  i.e.  opportunity  packaged  t o not  f o r them t o o b s e r v e  interaction in i t s entirety  taken  bridges  back  the  news.  to  the  studio  and  w o r l d s of  fiction  and  Audience  only witness  members  an anchor's l i v e  have  o t h e r components of t h e i r p e r s o n a l  sound  authentically, face-to-face;  electronically.  the  journalistic  performance i n the s t r e e t s of the community, but t o a l s o all  and  assess  f r o n t , a s , t h e y ,look  and  - t h e i r iimage., not. mediated  There i s , then, a l i v e , a u t h e n t i c component t o  t r a d i t i o n a l , packaged j o u r n a l i s m and the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r anchors t o make ' f a t a l ' image e r r o r s b e f o r e members of the a u d i e n c e . The  p o i n t t o be  s t r e s s e d i s t h a t the  live  components of  b o t h t y p e s of j o u r n a l i s m o f f e r • v i e w e r s an o t h e r w i s e  unavailable  " s i d e s t a g e " v i e w of the t e l e v i s i o n news p r o d u c t i o n  (Meyrowitz,  1985:  47, 4 8 ) .  T h i s makes i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r v i e w e r s t o o b s e r v e  anchors d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h e i r inaccurate  s t a t e m e n t s and  fallibility  and  ignorance  m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of  through  sources'  comments and news i s s u e s (Giddens, '1990;. Meyrowitz., .1985.): .  live Such  d i s p l a y s of i n a p p r o p r i a t e b e h a v i o u r anight ~not .,only^make ,..viewers r  question  their  perception  of  an  anchor  as  a  trustworthy  messenger, but c o u l d a l s o r a i s e q u e s t i o n s about the a u t h e n t i c i t y of the anchor's packaged p r o d u c t i o n s . anchor's  edited  rehearsal  area  work where  benefits journalistic  r e g u l a r b a s i s , w h i c h t h e y are  V i e w e r s may wonder i f the  from faux  a  larger pas  are  "backstage" hidden  ( E r i c s o n , Baranek & Chan, 79  on  a  1989;  Goffman,  [1959]  1973;  Meyrowitz,  t h e r e a r e concerns about live  and  packaged  1985;  Thompson, 1995).  the d i s c r e p a n c y between an  displays  of  intelligence,  If  anchor's  viewers  may  withdraw t h e i r t r u s t i n t h a t anchor and v e s t i t i n a n o t h e r whose performances a r e more c o n s i s t e n t and don't r a i s e such doubts. I have a l r e a d y mentioned  t h a t t h i s component o f image -  anchors as knowledgeable and i n t e l l i g e n t i n d i v i d u a l s •convincing,  compensate f o r d e f i c i e n c i e s  image elements. trust  as  acting  through  talking  an  anchor's  credentials  can, i f  i n ,an anchor's o t h e r  The r e v e r s e , however, i s not t r u e .  expressed  and/or  -  facial,  a r e not  Signs of decorative,  believed  powerful  enough t o c o u n t e r a c t the damage done by an anchor who appear  'smart'  enough.  Not  only  are  these  other  doesn't image  components c o n s i d e r e d i n e f f e c t i v e compensatory mechanisms, t h e y t h e m s e l v e s r u n the r i s k o f b e i n g exposed namely  signs  of  constructed  f o r what t h e y a r e ,  credibility.  To  be  sure,  the  d i s t i n c t i v e q u a l i t i e s t h e y r e p r e s e n t remain i n t a c t , but what can become  apparent  is  that  their  reflection  of  credibility  f u n c t i o n s , not as an i n d i c a t o r of a u t h e n t i c knowledge, s k i l l  and  a b i l i t y , but t o s u p p o r t an anchor's c r e d i b i l i t y as c o n s t r u c t e d journalistically, facility. and  risk  effort  and  I n o t h e r words, i f an anchor i s not a b l e t o c a r r y o f f  display  reality,  and t h r o u g h 'apparent' i n t e r e s t ,  an  intelligent illusion  and/or  the image of i t s  t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s of a l l o t h e r image elements a r e a t  of b e i n g r e n d e r e d i n e f f e c t i v e  t h e i r effective capacity.  i n what i s supposed  t o be  T h e i r f u n c t i o n i s not t o p i c k up the 80  image  slack  for  anchors  who  perform  blunders.  81  repeated  journalistic  CHAPTER FOUR:  WAYS OF CONNECTING  Cultivating  The news  the I l l u s i o n o f A u t h e n t i c R e l a t i o n s h i p s  ' b l i n d ' t r u s t v i e w e r s have i n t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h e  on a p a r t i c u l a r  channel  i s vested  not simply  i n that  s t a t i o n ' s news anchors, b u t i n t h e p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t their  expressive trust  producer,  signs  impel.  I n t h e words  o f one  "viewers have p e r s o n a l . r e l a t i o n s h i p s ;.with a n c h o r s . "  T h i s r e l a t i o n a l element, t h i s sense o f c o n n e c t i o n , i s t h e t r u s t bond between v i e w e r s and t h e news p r o d u c t i o n system and t h e k e y to  audience  embodied  loyalty  trust  and t h e s u c c e s s  signs  and  viewer  of stations. perceptions  Anchors' of  anchor  t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s a r e t h e f o u n d a t i o n a l elements upon which v i e w e r anchor r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e b u i l t . A  loyal  relationship  between  an audience  and s t a t i o n  depends q u i t e h e a v i l y on how v i e w e r s ' f e e l ' about t h e anchors' authentic 1994:  58) .  and c u l t i v a t e d The d e s i r e  expressive  information  (Meyrowitz,  f o r a relationship with a particular  anchor b o i l s down t o viewer-assessments "of t h e ' t o t a l i t y o f t h a t anchor's e x p r e s s i v e equipment and-whether; o r - n o t t h e y c o n s i d e r it  t o be d i s t i n c t l y c r e d i b l e and one t h e y c a n i d e n t i f y w i t h .  The  f o l l o w i n g comment i s from a p r o d u c e r who i s c o n v i n c e d o f  this: I f an anchor makes an i m p r e s s i o n on you and you're c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h them and i f you f i n d them b e l i e v a b l e and you c a n r e l a t e t o t h i s p e r s o n , then you're g o i n g t o t u r n them on a g a i n . And i f you don't l i k e t h a t k i n d o f p e r s o n t h e n you u l t i m a t e l y won't watch. 82  T h i s p r o d u c e r ' s thoughts a r e echoed by an anchor who that  viewer l o y a l t y  'feeling'  and  trust  i n a station  i s based  o f a p e r s o n a l c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the announcer  agrees on  the  who  is  r e a d i n g the news t o them. I f t h e y l i k e you, you've got them hooked and t h e y won't watch anybody e l s e . I f t h e y l i k e you t h e n t h a t ' s what t h e y want t o see and i t doesn't m a t t e r what a n y t h i n g e l s e i s l i k e , o r i f t h e y can get b e t t e r news somewhere e l s e , o r better sports. I f t h e y l i k e you as a p e r s o n and t h e y r e a l l y l i n k t o you t h e n t h e y ' l l j u s t watch you. The p e r s o n a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n that- b o t h r e s p o n d e n t s r e f e r r e d t o can be u n d e r s t o o d as a " r e f l e x i v e p r o j e c t " :in '.which v i e w e r s a r e a s s u r e d o f t h e i r own i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h a sense of c o n n e c t i o n w i t h a news anchor's persona  (Giddens, 1990:  124) .  In other  words, v i e w e r s become 'hooked' on anchors who p r o v i d e them w i t h a " s o c i a l o r i e n t a t i o n " t o themselves by r e f l e c t i n g back t o them t h e i r own d i s t i n c t i v e t a s t e s and v a l u e s ( B o u r d i e u , 1984: 466) . Each r e f l e x i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between an anchor and a u d i e n c e member i s i n d i v i d u a l reasons  f o r why  (Goffman  a viewer  [1959]  feels  a  1973:  special  4 9 ) . The  specific  connection with  p a r t i c u l a r anchor a r e , t o b e . s u r e , m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l , j u s t are  the  plausible  combinations  t o .the  image  p u z z l e of  a as any  e f f e c t i v e l o c a l TV news anchor.  T h i s "complex " r e l a t i o n a l web i s  r e f e r r e d t o here as the reflexive  elemental  This  system  i s based  on  the  analysis  anchor image  system.  presented i n previous  c h a p t e r s w h i c h i n d i c a t e s t h a t each news anchor o f f e r s v i e w e r s a unique  combination  elements.  of  authentic  and  cultivated  expressive  Viewers are sure t o p e r c e i v e v a r i o u s combinations of  c r e d i b i l i t y and d i s t i n c t i o n , o r the l a c k of one o r b o t h o f t h e s e 83  qualities, anchor's  as  they  experience  image. The  any  given  unique p e r c e p t u a l  element  path  of  that  a  each  news viewer  f o l l o w s i s n e i t h e r c o n t r o l l e d e n t i r e l y nor c o m p l e t e l y p r e d i c t e d . P e r c e p t u a l c o n t r o l and p r e d i c t i o n a t t h i s m i c r o l e v e l , the l e v e l o f an anchor's s p e c i f i c components o f image, i s not  essential.  V i e w e r s a r e f r e e t o e x p l o r e t h e i r p e r c e p t u a l t e n d e n c i e s based on t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l t a s t e s and c h a r a c t e r . The b e a u t y of t h i s system i s . t h a t unique p e r c e p t u a l p a t h s can  l e a d t o a common p e r c e p t u a l d e s t i n a t i o n - • t h e  desire for  numerous v i e w e r s t o b o l s t e r t h e i r i d e n t i t y by w a t c h i n g the same anchor a g a i n and a g a i n on t e l e v i s i o n . image i s conducive and  enduring  (Meyrowitz,  t o the f o r m a t i o n of thousands o f d i s t i n c t i v e  relationships  1985:  An anchor whose o v e r a l l  107).  is  an  "expressive  Such anchors have the ..uncanny a b i l i t y  t o make d e m o g r a p h i c a l l y  similar  and  good about themselves w h i l e w a t c h i n g  diverse individuals them.  t h e s e p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s r e s t on v i e w e r anchor's  embodiment  elements  and  are  of  the  superstar"  recognizable  As  I have argued,  p e r c e p t i o n s of  trustworthy  key., •to. .-audience  feel  loyalty  an  expressive and  station  preferences. It  i s important  t o note t h a t the p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s  between v i e w e r s  and  not a u t h e n t i c .  They are j u s t as c u l t i v a t e d and  as  the  anchors,  conversations  viewers  t h a t are a c t e d .  on the  'feeling'  and The  while c e r t a i n l y d i s t i n c t i v e ,  are  unidirectional  i n t e r a c t i o n s between  anchors  and  i l l u s i o n o f a u t h e n t i c i t y i s based  t h a t v i e w e r s p e r s o n a l l y know t h e i r f a v o u r i t e 84  anchor when t h e y don't, o r t h e 'sense' t h a t t h e y have met them when t h e y haven't  (ibid:  105, 106, 119).  Several  s u g g e s t e d t h a t "anchors a r e i n v i t e d i n t o thousands  respondents of viewers'  homes", b u t never i s t h e r e a f o r m a l i n v i t a t i o n o r a c c e p t a n c e . Anchors v i s i t homes t h a t t h e y n e v e r - s t e p f o o t i n and a r e h o s t e d by ' f r i e n d s ' who a r e complete  s t r a n g e r s t o them.  This  'sense'  of p e r s o n a l involvement on t h e p a r t o f t h e audience i s n u r t u r e d not o n l y by anchors' embodied •trustworthiness...but a l s o by t h e t e l e v i s i o n medium which f a c i l i t a t e s 'the a c t u a l .^display o f t h e i r expressive  elements.  For v i e w e r s , TV can c l o u d t h e s t r a n g e r - f r i e n d d i s t i n c t i o n by  fostering  the i l l u s i o n  room w i t h them, not j u s t  t h a t anchors their aural  are p h y s i c a l l y and v i s u a l  i n the  reflections  (Meyrowitz, 1985; 1994) . - B u t v i e w e r s .do : not- I n v i t e - anchors, i n t o t h e i r homes, o n l y t h e i r t e l e v i s e d images. 'relationships' sided  and  illusory  between v i e w e r s  disembedded, friendships  relationship  with  and anchors  no  (Giddens,  I n o t h e r words, t h e are staged,  localized 1990).  w i t h a favoured:, anchor  context  The  one-  f o r the  'sense'  of  a  .is .not .•an ...indication o f  shared experience o r f a c e - t o - f a c e -interaction.  "It i s a mirror  of t h e v i e w e r ' s own persona and, s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , an i n d i c a t i o n of  t h e type o f p e r s o n t h a t v i e w e r a c t u a l l y  would b e f r i e n d and  i n v i t e into t h e i r dwelling. The  cultivation  of personal  relational  connections i s  synonymous w i t h t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n and maintenance o f v i e w e r t r u s t i n TV news and t h e anchors a t a s t a t i o n . 85  The s p e c i f i c s i g n s o f  anchor t r u s t c o n s i d e r e d by respondents t o be most e f f e c t i v e are those  most  conducive  to  the  formation  a t t r a c t i o n s and i l l u s o r y f r i e n d s h i p s . the  'fatal'  respect  extremes  to  each  and  of  the  image  narcissistic  The d i s t i n c t i o n between  range  the  of  of  the  acceptable  elements  with  presented  is  c o m p r e h e n s i b l e w i t h i n the c o n t e x t o f the type of a u t h o r i t y t h a t news anchors do and do not p o s s e s s . A u t h o r i t y i s based on . i n f o r m a t i o n c o n t r o l E  Meyrowitz,  1985;  1994).  Authorities  GGiddens,  1990;  a r e e i t h e r : : ' experts'  on  some body o f knowledge, o r f r o n t e x p e r t o r g a n i z a t i o n s t h a t have a c c e s s to" and c o n t r o l over t h a t knowledge.  The n a t u r e o f the  i n f o r m a t i o n and the mode o f i t s d i s s e m i n a t i o n determine not o n l y who  has  a c c e s s t o i t , but a l s o the n a t u r e of  trust•relations.  expert-audience  A u t h o r i t i e s are most l i k e l y , t o be t r u s t e d i f  t h e i r a u t h e n t i c and c u l t i v a t e d e x p r e s s i v e elements promote and r e i n f o r c e t h e type o f a s s o c i a t i o n t h a t i s c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e i r expertise. sameness  Signs of t r u s t depending  on  are based  whether  the  e i t h e r on d i f f e r e n c e relational  connection  or is  h i e r a r c h i c a l or e g a l i t a r i a n . L o c a l TV news anchors'^are -not v e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t s . They do not  have t h e  physicians,  traditional  authority  lawyers, or p r o f e s s o r s .  or extensive t r a i n i n g The  of  expert-specialist's  c l a i m t o a u t h o r i t y comes through.mastery of a p a r t i c u l a r s u b j e c t a r e a , t h r o u g h i n - d e p t h knowledge about c e r t a i n l e g a l , or  medical matters.  understanding,  not  academic  T h i s type of a u t h o r i t y i s based superficial 86  awareness  (Meyrowitz,  on deep 1985;  1994) . Specialized  information  is  disseminated  predominantly-  t h r o u g h p r i n t media. I t i s a c c e s s i b l e o n l y t o t h o s e w i t h t h e requisite  literacy  specialist  lingo.  skills  f o r decoding  Highly  coded  messages  specialized  i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e t o the average i n d i v i d u a l . fosters  private  literary •circles  and  laden  with  knowledge  is  This e x c l u s i v i t y  distinct  information  systems.  The a u t h o r i t y o f the e x p e r t -.special ist.....is founded not  only  'profound'  on  comprehension  of  a  specific  body  of  i n f o r m a t i o n , but a l s o on the r e s t r i c t e d f l o w o f t h a t s p e c i a l i z e d wisdom  (ibid).  Control  over  and  access  to  compartmentalized  knowledge  promotes h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t s and  l a y audiences.  The  a u t h o r i t y of 'the d o c t o r , l a w y e r  and  academic g i v e s them power o v e r o t h e r s who are u n s c h o o l e d i n the area of t h e i r s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . 'know' and t h o s e who differentiation understanding  and  in  The d i s t i n c t i o n between t h o s e  don't i s unambiguous. social  those  status  There i s a marked  between  those  i g n o r a n t of. - the . i n t r i c a c i e s  e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t ' s subject area  who  with of  the  (ibid).  Most p a t i e n t s , c l i e n t s and o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l s who a r e d e n i e d access t o the e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t ' s 'secret' i n f o r m a t i o n a l world have no c h o i c e but t o t r u s t the a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h e i r a u t h o r i t y (Giddens, 1990) . T h i s ' b l i n d t r u s t ' i s not s i m p l y p l a c e d i n the professionals part  of  and  themselves, the  but  hierarchical  i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s relationships 87  they are a  i n v o k e d by  their  expressive signals. highlight  Dress, demeanour and v e r b a l i z a t i o n s  inaccessibility  on  a personal l e v e l  are  that  necessary  r e f l e c t i o n s of the knowledge d i s p a r i t y (Meyrowitz, 1985;  1994).  S e p a r a t e i n f o r m a t i o n a l and s o c i a l spheres are c o m p a t i b l e .  The  w h i t e l a b c o a t , a l o o f n e s s and obscure t e r m i n o l o g y are j u s t some examples o f how e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t s can r e i n f o r c e the d i s t i n c t i o n between  themselves  informational tactics  status  suggest  'grandeur'.  and  those  on  hierarchy.  to  a  lower  These, and  the --public,  rung  of  the  other expressive  -/superiority'..,  'mystery' ,  A t r u s t w o r t h y persona f o r those w i t h t h i s t y p e o f  a u t h o r i t y i s one t h a t i s somewhat ' a l i e n ' t o t h e average m o r t a l . While  an  'alien'  image  i s most  effective  f o r expert-  s p e c i a l i s t s , i t i s u n d e s i r a b l e f o r l o c a l TV news anchors who expert-generalists.  Interview  data  clearly  suggest  are -that  e x p r e s s i v e s i g n s t h a t p l a c e d i s t a n c e between anchors and v i e w e r s a r e not o n l y u n t r u s t w o r t h y but p o t e n t i a l l y success. and/or  Anchors who  bodily  especially  to  l o o k too extreme i n f a c i a l  ornamentation  i f they  'fatal'  can  speak .:and  h i e r a r c h i c a l l y superior.  be  appearance  threatening to  .act : o n - a i r ;as  station  viewers,  i f they  Ways;of^looking.,and/acting a r e deemed  u n a c c e p t a b l e i f t h e y do not suggest t o v i e w e r s t h a t t h e is  accessible.  are  Narcissistic  attractions  and  anchor  illusory  f r i e n d s h i p s are u n l i k e l y t o d e v e l o p i f an anchor's p e r s o n a i s d i f f i c u l t f o r viewers to i d e n t i f y with. The a u t h o r i t y of news anchors as e x p e r t - g e n e r a l i s t s i s v e r y different  from  the  authority 88  of  expert-specialists.  The  distinguishing  factors  explain  between v i e w e r s and anchors that stress a f f i n i t y , authority  comes  particular  personal  through but  'relationships'  come t h r o u g h e x p r e s s i v e  not s e p a r a t e n e s s .  not  subject,  why  An anchor's c l a i m t o  in-depth  through  elements  knowledge  apparent  about  a  comprehension  of  numerous t o p i c s .  E f f e c t i v e anchors appear t o have a t l e a s t a  modest  general  grasp  of  social  knowledge  including  local  t r a g e d i e s , medical breakthroughs and'high-profile l e g a l b a t t l e s . T h i s t y p e o f a u t h o r i t y i s not vabout^focused •understanding but broad s o c i a l  awareness.  T e l e v i s i o n news i s a v a i l a b l e t o t h e mass p u b l i c .  Those  w i t h and w i t h o u t e x t e n s i v e f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n have e q u a l a c c e s s t o the  general  social  information that  news  anchors  present.  Comprehension o f t e l e v i s i o n news i s not l i t e r a c y dependent. The knowledge  i s simplified  and  free  of  jargon  a u d i e n c e awareness and mass p u b l i c consumption.  to  facilitate  The s i x o ' c l o c k  news i s a v a i l a b l e t o anyone w i t h a c c e s s t o a t e l e v i s i o n s e t . The authority  of  the  restricted  f l o w o f s p e c i a l i z e d /knowledge 'acquired t h r o u g h  fancy education. social  awareness  expert-generalist  i s not  based  on  I t comes -through p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e i r and t h e i r  i n f o r m a t i o n network.  provision  of access  the a  broad  t o a common  W h i l e t h e e x p e r t system o f mass media news  p r o d u c t i o n has c o n t r o l o v e r t h e a c q u i s i t i o n and d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f superficial  knowledge,  TV  anchors  actually  share  that  information. Equal  access  t o common  knowledge 89  promotes  egalitarian  relationships  between  anchors  and  their  audiences.  The  a u t h o r i t y o f anchors as e x p e r t - g e n e r a l i s t s p u t s them on e q u a l f o o t i n g w i t h t h e average i n d i v i d u a l .  The d i s t i n c t i o n  between  t h o s e who 'know' and those who don't i s ambiguous.  There i s no  marked  those  differentiation  i n social  awareness and those i g n o r a n t newscast.  between  with  o f what was a i r e d on t h e l a t e s t  The l a c k o f d i s t i n c t i o n . i s based on t h e f a c t  t h o s e who don't worlds  status  that  'know' e a s i l y - , could,.. s i n c e , the»,.inf o r m a t i o n a l v  o f anchors  and viewers-: are emerged >.(Meyrowitz, 1985; :  1994) . News anchors information control  do not monopolize  i n t h e same  the d i s t r i b u t i o n  specializations.  way  the sharing  of  general  e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t s attempt  of d e t a i l s  about  their  to  respective  M e d i c a l e x p e r t s , for.example, and t h e i r h i g h l y  s p e c i a l i z e d p u b l i c a t i o n s a r e t h e t r a d i t i o n a l means o f a c c e s s t o detailed  medical  information.  But  news  r e p o r t e r s a t t h e i r s t a t i o n s a r e not t h e o n l y who share everyday p u b l i c i n f o r m a t i o n . and  anchors  expert-generalists  D a i l y news about c r i m e  d i s a s t e r can be accessed."vthroughi;£o.ther.,-:'rsour.ees  e x p e r t mass media news p r o d u c t i o n News publicly  about during  publications  risk hourly  in a radio  and t h e  w i t h i n the  system.  local  community  i s also  newscasts and i n p o p u l a r  shared print  (the morning t a b l o i d r e q u i r e s o n l y t h e most b a s i c  literacy skills).  Since  l o c a l news i s c o v e r e d i n a more t i m e l y  f a s h i o n on r a d i o and more i n - d e p t h i n newspapers i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r v i e w e r s t o a c c e s s t h e s e a d d i t i o n a l s o u r c e s and become q u a s i 90  e x p e r t - g e n e r a l i s t s themselves.  Audience members can e a s i l y g a i n  awareness o f t h e l a t e s t c r i t i c a l i s s u e s before them  during  their  relationships  nightly  between  r e i n f o r c e d by t h i s  anchors r e p o r t on  TV  news  programs.  anchors  and  audience  Egalitarian members  are  potential.  The p u b l i c ' s l a c k o f dependence on TV anchors f o r g e n e r a l knowledge about trust  their  television listen  c u r r e n t events does not undermine t h e need t o  authority.  news i s s t i l l  Audience  trust  critical.  news t h e y  f o r c o n f i r m a t i o n o f news  And f o r those who watch TV t o l e a r n about  a r e n o t y e t aware o f , t r u s t  anchors i s e q u a l l y v i t a l .  t o guide  i n the a u t h o r i t y of  I n e i t h e r case, v i e w e r s need t o t r u s t  t h a t t h e anchor i s t e l l i n g t h e ' t r u t h ' power  accuracy of  Those who. r e a d papers and  t o r a d i o may l o o k t o anchors  d i s c o v e r e d elsewhere.  i n the  individual  and/or  s i n c e t h e news has t h e  collective  behaviour  to  maximize s a f e t y i n an unsafe w o r l d (Giddens, 1990). 'Blind trust' egalitarian  i s most l i k e l y v e s t e d i n anchors who f o s t e r  personal  e x p r e s s i v e image.  connections  through  a  non-threatening  T r u s t e d anchors p r o j e c t a p e r s o n a  that i s  f a m i l i a r on some l e v e l t o the 'average ' m o r t a l ' , t h e y l o o k , sound and a c t l i k e  "average c i t i z e n s "  (Meyrowitz, 1985; 1994).  Ways  of l o o k i n g and a c t i n g t h a t f e a t u r e a c c e s s i b i l i t y a r e n e c e s s a r y reflections viewers.  of the j o i n t Anchors  informational  who not o n l y l o o k l i k e  r e a l m o f anchors ' r e a l ' people  and  , but  i n c l u d e t h e audience i n t h e i r t h e a t r i c a l p r e s e n t a t i o n s t h r o u g h interactions  and c o n v e r s a t i o n s i n v i t e v i e w e r s t o 91  personally  connect w i t h them. journalism anchors'  are  F e a t u r i n g ' r e a l ' p e o p l e i n packaged and  other  v e h i c l e s f o r audience  inclusion  live  in  the  alliances  is  anchors  and  world.  While  the  current  the  push  shared  for  egalitarian  explained  by  information  network  of  audiences,  i t does not account f o r why h i e r a r c h i c a l anchors w i t h  a more d i s t a n t image once were but are no l o n g e r i n f a s h i o n . r e f e r here t o the l a r g e r t h a n l i f e announcer who audience without  talks at  any i l l u s i o n - . o f . ^ i n c l u s i o n . I t .could be  I the  argued  t h a t t h i s former dominant s t y l e was m o d e l l e d a f t e r the image of t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y when t e l e v i s i o n was the p u b l i c i n the 1950's. to  follow  and  unquestioned. simply  the  introduced  to  There was no o t h e r model of a u t h o r i t y  image  of  traditional  authority  was  The g r a d u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n image, e x p e c t a t i o n s  paralleled  relations  first  and  the  changing  hierarchy  o t h e r e l e c t r o n i c media Television  has  that  cultural  were induced  norms by  of  social  television  and  (ibid).  played  a  key  role  i n undermining p u b l i c  t r u s t i n t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y . b y exposing  private information  t h r o u g h news coverage and .other-programming.  "TV  has  lifted  many of the o l d v e i l s of s e c r e c y " between e x p e r t - s p e c i a l i s t s  and  average c i t i z e n s by s i m p l i f y i n g complex d e t a i l s about many a r e a s of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n  (Meyrowitz,  to  all  demands  accessible  that to  openness has  average  1994:  sources  and  citizens.  68).  T h i s exposure has l e d  forms The  of  result  information of  this  be  forced  been an i n c r e a s i n g d i s t r u s t of d i s t a n t a u t h o r i t y 92  and  the r e j e c t i o n  of  reinforce hierarchy. distinguish  images  that  T h i s has made i t c r i t i c a l  promote  and  f o r anchors t o  t h e i r image from t h e t r a d i t i o n a l image o f e x p e r t -  specialists' authority.  'mysterious'  to  prevent  Cultivating  relationships  the  deconstruction  the  illusion  of  their  own  of .authentic personal  i s not o n l y more congruous w i t h e g a l i t a r i a n a c c e s s  t o media i n f o r m a t i o n but a l s o g i v e s power t o t h e p e o p l e s t r e n g t h e n s anchor  L i v i n g Logos:  which  trustworthiness.  Anchors as C o n s i s t e n t Image Representers  W h i l e i t i s c e r t a i n l y n e c e s s a r y t h a t an anchor's image be conducive  t o the formation of personal ' r e l a t i o n s h i p s ' ,  this  potential  i s not b e l i e v e d s u f f i c i e n t t o e s t a b l i s h v i e w e r  trust  and  audience  loyalty.  One  producer's  s h a r e d b e l i e f o f most r e s p o n d e n t s : s e n s a t i o n w i t h an anchor." anchor's  comment  captured  the  "You c a n ' t have an o v e r n i g h t  While  initial  p e r c e p t i o n s o f an  d i s t i n c t c r e d i b i l i t y a r e b e l i e v e d p o w e r f u l enough t o  capture the a t t e n t i o n of viewers i n i t i a l l y , a r e n o t d e v e l o p e d immediately.. i l l u s i o n of intimacy.  actual trust  bonds  I t .takes .-.time-to ...cultivate t h e  One-^veteranJanchor^recalled  the years i t  took t o g a i n p u b l i c t r u s t and e s t a b l i s h v i e w e r l o y a l t y . I t t o o k time t o b u i l d t h a t t r u s t w i t h t h e audience and t h e community and i t d i d n ' t happen i n two o r t h r e e y e a r s . I t t o o k many y e a r s f o r p e o p l e t o get t o know me and t o r e c o g n i z e me and t o b u i l d a bond w i t h me ... I f you want p e o p l e t o l e t you i n t o t h e i r f a m i l y you've got t o g a i n t h e i r t r u s t and g i v e them a chance t o get t o know you. V i e w e r s need r e p e a t e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o s o l i d i f y identification  w i t h an anchor's 93  particular  their  brand  initial  of d i s t i n c t  credibility.  This  reflexive  familiarization  n e c e s s i t a t e s c o n s i s t e n t image r e p r e s e n t a t i o n .  I n o t h e r words,  narcissistic  process  attractions  and  of  illusory  friendships  are  more  l i k e l y t o d e v e l o p i f an anchor's image i s somewhat p r e d i c t a b l e and r e g i m e n t e d . The  v a r i o u s components of an anchor's p e r s o n a  s h o u l d be  p r e s e n t e d i n a manner t h a t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r style  and  legitimate  contained  within  expression.  respondent who  The  the  acceptable  dominant  boundaries  f o l l o w i n g . comment  is  of  from  a  s t r e s s e d the importance o f image c o n s i s t e n c y .  I t h i n k t h a t v i e w e r s expect c o n s i s t e n c y because t h e y ' v e come t o t r u s t t h i s p e r s o n and t h e y don't want them t o change i n any way ... and most anchors would p r o b a b l y not make r a d i c a l changes because t h e y u n d e r s t a n d t h a t t h e i r a c c e p t a n c e i s something t h a t you c a n ' t j e r k around t o o d r a m a t i c a l l y ... you've been i n v i t e d i n t o somebody's home and i f you're i n v i t e d back the n e x t - t i m e you s h o u l d n ' t seem l i k e a d i f f e r e n t person. While person  through  equipment, also  i t i s important that consistent  presentation  i t i s equally c r i t i c a l  depends on  r e p e a t e d exposure  embody d i s t i n c t c r e d i b i l i t y .  anchors  seem l i k e of  their  t h a t t h e y are.  the  same  expressive Familiarity  of the a c t u a l . anchors  who  "You've got t o get y o u r anchors i n  p l a c e and keep them t h e r e because p e o p l e l i k e ' t o know t h a t t h o s e same p e o p l e a r e g o i n g t o be t h e r e e v e r y n i g h t " , s a i d one news director.  elemental  and  i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l s i s deemed n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n  and  maintenance  Image  c o n s i s t e n c y at  both  the  of p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s and audience  loyalty.  A l l o f us, t o some e x t e n t , a r e " c r e a t u r e s o f h a b i t " 1994:  37).  (Snow,  The c o n s i s t e n c y of an anchor's p r e s e n c e , s t y l e 94  and  a c t i o n a r e no d i f f e r e n t than o t h e r forms o f r e g i m e n t a t i o n i n o u r lives.  We a l l have a p r o p e n s i t y t o a c t h a b i t u a l l y i n everyday  c a s u a l and f o r m a l e n c o u n t e r s . detailed  accounts  o f how " s t r a t e g i c  "interaction rituals" of  E r v i n g Goffman o f f e r s numerous  routinization.  interaction"  (1967) a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a h i g h degree  A l s o laden w i t h r i t u a l  ourselves t o others  (1969) and  i n o u r everyday  i s how we  present  p u b l i c and p r i v a t e l i v e s  ( [1959] 1973) . Other forms o f p r e d i c t a b i l i t y ^ p e r m e a t e , t h e p a r a m e t e r s o f the p e r s o n a l w o r l d s we n a v i g a t e .  Some s t a r t each day w i t h a h o t  cup o f c o f f e e , w h i l e t h e morning shower i s more o f a p r i o r i t y for  others.  domestic  Work s c h e d u l e s , r e l i g i o n and f a m i l i a l d i v i s i o n o f  l a b o u r a l l d i c t a t e some form o f r e p e t i t i v e  behaviour.  H a b i t u a l a c t i o n , v o l u n t a r y and imposed, - can be . f o u n d . i n  every  nook and cranny o f d a i l y e x i s t e n c e . Routinized  strategies  g i v e us a sense o f s t a b i l i t y and  c o n t r o l i n o u r p e r s o n a l l i v e s (Goffman, 1963; Snow, 1994). degree  of  activity otherwise  regularity  instills  i n social  interactions  c o n t i n u i t y ^ n d order  Some  and  solitary  i n ,a i w o r l d  that i s  f i l l e d w i t h chaos: "and; u n c e r t a i n t y . . . W h i l e  injecting  some s o l i d i t y and f l o w i n t o o u r l i v e s , h a b i t s t e m p o r a r i l y numb us  t o t h e u n c o n t r o l l a b l e and p r o b l e m a t i c  aspects  of personal  existence. Snow (1994) argues t h a t mass media a r e p o w e r f u l f o r c e s i n the f o r m a t i o n and p r e s e r v a t i o n o f f e e l i n g s o f p e r s o n a l and  daily  social  order.  control  Newspapers and e l e c t r o n i c media a r e 95  characterized individual's maintained  by  structural  and  temporal  consistent, routinized  by these  larger  expected  f o r t h e sustenance  personal  stability.  behaviour  systematic  e x t e r n a l sense o f t h e f a m i l i a r .  regularity.  An  i s f u e l l e d and  f o r c e s t h a t p r o v i d e an  Media c o n s i s t e n c y comes t o be  o f an i n d i v i d u a l ' s  own sense o f  The p r e d i c t a b l e f l o w o f TV news programs i s p a r t i a l l y due to  format  considerations  (Griffin,  199.2)...  Information  is  o r g a n i z e d a c c o r d i n g t o content> . w i t h . l o c a l , n a t i o n a l and w o r l d news p r e s e n t e d b e f o r e d e t a i l s about weather. follows everything else.  Sports  coverage  This o r g a n i z a t i o n a l consistency i s  s t r e n g t h e n e d by t r a n s i t i o n s between segments t h a t a r e marked by commercials  and s t a t i o n  identification.  A  high  degree  of  r e g u l a r i t y can a l s o be found w i t h i n each newscast.segment. Most news s t o r i e s , f o r example, a r e s i m i l a r l y s t r u c t u r e d . They b e g i n w i t h an anchor i n t r o d u c t i o n , a t r a n s i t i o n t o t h e r e p o r t e r , and v i d e o f o o t a g e accompanied by a v o i c e - o v e r .  The appearance o f  familiarity  various  comes p a r t i a l l y  structural regularity.  through  these  Viewers-know»what  t o -expect  forms o f each  time  t h e y t u n e - i n t o a newscast. W h i l e v i e w e r s can be a s s u r e d o f t h e s t r u c t u r a l s t a b i l i t y o f the  news, t h e y  programs.  can a l s o r e l y  on t h e t i m i n g o f t h e v a r i o u s  Noontime, supper hour and l a t e n i g h t newscasts a i r a t  noon, a t d i n n e r t i m e and j u s t b e f o r e m i d n i g h t . temporal  o r g a n i z a t i o n can c o n t r i b u t e  personal schedules  This  regimented  t o t h e sustenance  of  (Snow, 1994) . The s t a n d a r d t i m i n g o f TV news 96  can t r i g g e r t r a n s i t i o n s between t h e v a r i o u s components o f one's daily  routine.  This  predictability  can be  counted  on  as a  m o n i t o r i n g d e v i c e t o a s s e s s , as w e l l as 'time', s c h e d u l e d progress.  daily  V i e w e r s need not o n l y t r u s t t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f news  c o n t e n t , but a l s o i t s s y s t e m a t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n and t i m i n g . W h i l e t h e s t r u c t u r a l and temporal a s p e c t s o f TV news can be r e l i e d upon t o add a sense o f o r d e r and f l o w t o t h e d a i l y of v i e w e r s , trust  news anchors make .a. - p i v o t a l . c o n t r i b u t i o n .  i n the r e l i a b i l i t y  ;of ^ i n a n i m a t e  .newscast  lives Viewer  features are  based on a more " p r i m i t i v e f a i t h " i n t h e r e l i a b i l i t y o f p e o p l e (Giddens,  1990: 9 7 ) .  elemental  levels  definition movements, 1963;  of  C o n s i s t e n t anchors a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l and  can the  be  counted  situation"  on  to maintain  through  their  a  "single  expressions,  appearance and mere p r e s e n c e (Goffman, . [1959] 1973;  1969).  They  offer  their  audience Viewers  illusory  relational  environment.  solidity  regardless  o f any p e r s o n a l  a  familiar  can r e l y  disappointments  albeit  on  their  or  daily  disruptions. Image c o n s i s t e n c y not o n l y ' r e i n f o r c e s , v i e w e r . p e r c e p t i o n s o f an anchor's d i s t i n c t c r e d i b i l i t y , ^ , i t -also .provides them w i t h t h e illusion factors  of  interpersonal  i s believed  p a t t e r n s of viewer understanding anchors'  by  stability.  many  loyalty.  This  respondents  to  combination  of  contribute  to  One anchor shared h e r s p e c u l a t i v e  o f audience e x p e c t a t i o n s  o f h e r own  and  other  'sameness':  I t j u s t becomes a h a b i t f o r p e o p l e and t h a t ' s why t h e y don't want you t o change . . . t h e h a b i t i s t h a t a t s i x 97  o ' c l o c k t h e y t u r n t o our s t a t i o n and t h e y know t h e s e two p e o p l e and t h e y want us t o l o o k the same and we're t h e i r f r i e n d s and t h e y j u s t r e l a t e t o us. And I guess i f something changes and t h e y don't r e l a t e anymore t h e y don't watch. They may t u r n t o a d i f f e r e n t s t a t i o n o r t h e y may not watch a t a l l . This  comment  suggests  that  habitual  synonymous w i t h r e s i s t a n c e t o change.  viewing Support  behaviour for this  is  claim  comes from a news p r o d u c e r who r e c a l l e d the b i g drop i n r a t i n g s at  his station  years  ago  when  a  r e p l a c e d by a newcomer t o the market:  familiar ;  anchor  team  was  "They ;were b o t h gone and  s u d d e n l y t h e r e was t h i s new*guy.' tAnd--withouti.people knowing good t h i s new guy was, t h e y j u s t tuned o u t .  how  So t h a t ' s t h e r i s k  of making b i g changes." Other e v i d e n c e comes d i r e c t l y from the v i e w e r s t h e m s e l v e s and t h e i r phone c a l l s of c o m p l a i n t when the s t a b i l i t y o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h an anchor i s t h r e a t e n e d by an image The f o l l o w i n g  comment i s from an anchor who  change.  r e c a l l e d the f l o o d  of p r o t e s t c a l l s t h a t came t o the s t a t i o n when he wore a t i e , grew a moustache,  bow  and went on v a c a t i o n .  I wore a bow t i e once and t h e y h a t e d i t ... I mean we got a hundred, two hundred c a l l s ^from people-.who.,hated t h i s , bow tie. They don't want you t o change. ..They. don't want you t o be any d i f f e r e n t t h a n ^they've -known'..you f o r t h e l a s t f i v e , t e n , f i f t e e n y e a r s . And I grew a moustache once and t h e y went bonkers. Except i n t h a t case I had i t f o r about t h r e e days b e f o r e I shaved i t o f f . W e l l we got a n o t h e r hundred c a l l s , "Why d i d we shave i t o f f ? I really liked i t ! " ... They want t h a t f a m i l i a r f a c e d e l i v e r i n g t h e news e v e r y n i g h t : Even when you go on v a c a t i o n you g e t c a l l s , "Oh, i s he gone away again? When does he get back?" That k i n d of t h i n g . I t cannot be assumed t h a t a l l c a l l e r s l i k e t h o s e mentioned a u t o m a t i c a l l y s w i t c h a l l e g i a n c e s t o o t h e r anchors on d i f f e r e n t 98.  stations.  While t h e i r perceptual  and r e l a t i o n a l e q u i l i b r i u m i s  t e m p o r a r i l y u n s e t t l e d , i t w i l l l i k e l y be r e s t o r e d i f the change i s e i t h e r r e v e r s e d consistently  after  the  t o i t s o r i g i n a l s t a t e , o r adhered t o switch.  It  i s certainly plausible,  though, t h a t d r a s t i c changes t o an anchor's image can v i e w e r reassessments of whether o r not  they r e a l l y  anchor t h e y have d e c i d e d to•make ' f r i e n d s ' w i t h . continuation  may  also  image  be  questioned  lead  'know'  to the  Relationship  i f . the .change does  not  r e f l e c t c u r r e n t c u l t u r a l norms of t r u s t w o r t h y expression<and the v i e w e r ' s own  d i s t i n c t i v e v a l u e s and  Temporal, s t r u c t u r a l and habitual  viewing  predictability. are  patterns  for  psychologically  of the day", a  image c o n s i s t e n c y by  contributing  can a l l f o s t e r to  an  v  anchor's  A r o u t i n e presence and a s t a b l e ' r e l a t i o n s h i p ' r e l a x i n g • because  h a b i t u a l b e h a v i o u r s and end  tastes.  l o t of  appearances  s t a t e d one viewers."  they  founded . on  (Giddens, 1990) .  anchor, " I may Viewing  are  habits  "At  the  be a comfort f a c t o r that  are  built  on  c o n s i s t e n t p e r c e p t i o n s of an anchor's image s e r v e t o b o l s t e r the psychological trust  s e c u r i t y of  anchors and  depends  on  stability.  the In  the  audience • .members. :The .^capacity ;  a u t h e n t i c i t y of  confidence other  that  words,  is  the  news t h e y . . d e l i v e r  nurtured  there  is  to  a  through high  image  degree  of  i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e between r e l i a b i l i t y , p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e c u r i t y and the c a p a c i t y t o t r u s t It  (ibid).  i s understandable  why  viewers  react  s u b s t a n t i a l changes i n an anchor's p e r s o n a . 99  Not  as  they  do  to  only i s t h e i r  sense  of s e c u r i t y shattered  t e m p o r a r i l y shaken.  but t h e i r  capacity  to trust i s  Changes i n t h e i d e n t i t y o f an anchor - some  component o f image o r who t h e y a c t u a l l y a r e - i s a l s o d i s r u p t i v e to  viewer  identity  since  their  self-definition  d e f i n e d by t h e anchor t h e y r e p e a t e d l y watch.  i s partially  I t was e s t a b l i s h e d  e a r l y on i n t h i s t h e s i s t h a t w a t c h i n g TV news i s a " r e f l e x i v e project"  (Giddens, 1990: 124; B o u r d i e u ,  anchor's d i s t i n c t  credibility  1984: 4 6 6 ) . J u s t as an  reflects  back t o l o y a l  viewers  t h e i r own d i s t i n c t i v e s e n s i b i i i t i e s , / p e r c e p t i o n s o f an anchor's consistency favoured  i s also  reflexive.  The  image  anchor i s c e n t r a l t o v i e w e r s '  continuity  and c a p a c i t y  continuity  of  f e e l i n g s of t h e i r  t o be t r u s t w o r t h y .  I t follows  a  own that  b r e a k s i n image c o n s i s t e n c y  are p o i n t s of equal  vulnerability  f o r s t a t i o n s and a u d i e n c e s .  C o n s i s t e n t image r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s  not o n l y c r i t i c a l t o t h e c u l t i v a t i o n and maintenance o f v i e w e r trust  i n a station,  but a l s o b o l s t e r s v i e w e r p e r c e p t i o n s  of  t h e i r own p s y c h o l o g i c a l substance. Audience l o y a l t y t o newscasts and s t a t i o n s i s no d i f f e r e n t than  consumer  trust  i n - the  quality  d i s t i n g u i s h e d brand names a n d -logos.  -of  .Nike,  products  with  Coke .and T i d e a r e  a l l b r a n d name p r o d u c t s w i t h i d e n t i f y i n g symbols t h a t o v e r time have become a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e x c e l l e n c e .  A s t a t i o n ' s programming  i s t h e p r o d u c t o f t h e s t a t i o n and t h e brand name i s t h e s t r i n g of l e t t e r s used f o r s t a t i o n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n The  value  capacity  o f news anchors, t o serve  as  from  the l i v i n g 100  this  (eg. CFCN o r CKSA).  perspective,  logos  i s their  o f not o n l y  their  newscasts but a l s o t h e i r s t a t i o n s .  One p r o d u c e r d i d n ' t h e s i t a t e  t o s t a t e t h a t anchors a r e "the w a l k i n g , l i v i n g , b r e a t h i n g l o g o and the w a l k i n g l i v i n g b r e a t h i n g brand as w e l l of the whole TV station."  One  anchor  described  himself  as  a  logo  while  s u g g e s t i n g the p e r c e p t u a l c o n n e c t i o n he hopes v i e w e r s make when they  see  him  i n the  streets  and  on  h i s show.  He  said  the  a n c h o r - s t a t i o n l i n k depends on a persona t h a t i s u s u a l l y , i f not always,  the same.  I'm almost a brand name i s what I am. You know, I'm i d e n t i f i e d w i t h [ s t a t i o n ' c a l l l e t t e r s ] and s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h my newscast. So j u s t l i k e a l o g o , your l o g o i s always the same and you don't change your l o g o . I'm k i n d o f a l o g o t h a t you put up t h e r e and when p e o p l e see me t h e y hopefully think [station c a l l l e t t e r s ] . I f anchors a r e t o f u n c t i o n as e f f e c t i v e l i v i n g l o g o s "bureaucratization" [1959]  1973:  of  56).  their  "spirit"  Predictable  i s essential  and  continual  the  (Goffman, expressive  performances can s y m b o l i z e anchor t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s and a q u a l i t y newscast and  station.  W h i l e t h e r e i s no d e f i n i t i v e answer t o the q u e s t i o n o f long i t takes  f o r anchors t o become synonymous w i t h the  letters  of a s t a t i o n ,  years.  The  link  may  several-respondents  how call  s a i d , i t t a k e s many  time i t t a k e s v i e w e r s t o make t h a t a n c h o r - s t a t i o n  be  closely  tied  t o the  time  i t takes  for  illusory  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between v i e w e r s and anchors t o blossom.  If this  i s the case, i t o n l y makes sense f o r s t a t i o n s t o s t a r t anchors when  they  are  young.  processes  to develop  reap  financial  the  This and  gives  time  f o r these  f o r b o t h s t a t i o n s and  b e n e f i t s from 101  the  loyal  necessary  advertisers to followings that  anchors d e v e l o p .  A news d i r e c t o r e x p l a i n e d :  You've got t o n u r t u r e young p e o p l e on the way up because p a r t of the s u c c e s s i n anchors i s the e q u i t y you b u i l d i n them. So you i d e n t i f y those who can do i t , you s t a r t them young, and b u i l d them up and h o p e f u l l y t h e y ' l l s t a y w i t h you and the audience can watch t h a t p e r s o n grow up. The  most e f f e c t i v e approach f o r l o c a l  stations like  the  ones s t u d i e d i s t o n u r t u r e and r e t a i n a s t a b l e of anchors t h a t reflect would  the  t a s t e s and  appease  both  values  the  of m u l t i p l e g e n e r a t i o n s .  younger  and  older  segments  This of  the  i n t e r c a s t audience on the basis>of v i e w e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h an anchor's  age  and  the  dominant  expressive  t r u s t w o r t h y by p e o p l e of t h a t same g e n e r a t i o n . anchors  connects w i t h  group who and  an  established  audience.  a  This  comfort  factor  in  considered  W h i l e one s e t of  f o l l o w i n g , the  i s newer t o the audience works on  becoming  style  the  approach maximizes the  first  daily  younger  impressions  lives  chance of  a  of  the  continual  c y c l e of r e l a t i o n s h i p development. Even  f o r viewers  expressive  variables,  generations of  embodied  quantity  who  of  do  not  the  identify  with  representation  age  of  p r o v i d e s v i e w e r s w i t h .more e x p r e s s i v e trustworthiness anchors  that  to a  combinations  station  The  can  extent  to  which  a  station  s i g n i f i c a n t image d i s r u p t i o n s .  sheer  accommodate  d i c t a t e s the number of r e f e r e n c e p o i n t s f o r v i e w e r and a n c h o r - s t a t i o n c o n n e c t i o n s .  different  i d e n t i f y ..with.  local  related  reflexivity  I t i s a l s o an i n d i c a t i o n o f the is  vulnerable  in  the  face  of  As the p o p u l a r s a y i n g goes, " i t  i s n e v e r a good i d e a t o have a l l of y o u r eggs i n one 102  basket".  The more p o c k e t s o f v i e w e r l o y a l t y t h a t a s t a t i o n has t i e d u p . i n v a r i o u s anchors, the l e s s viewers there are t o p o t e n t i a l l y l o s e i f one makes a ' f a t a l ' image m i s t a k e , q u i t s o r g e t s f i r e d .  Of  c o u r s e t h e number o f anchors t h a t a s t a t i o n can accommodate i s l i m i t e d by t h e number o f newscasts i t produces and t h e . f i n a n c i a l resources of the s t a t i o n . W h i l e i t i s easy t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e t h e l i n k between anchor and  newscast  l o y a l t y , i t may be more- d i f f i c u l t  t o accept the  p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t newscast a n d - s t a t i o n l o y a l t y . ^ a r e . synonymous . C e r t a i n l y , t h e r e i s no guarantee o f t h i s .  But i n a m u l t i c h a n n e l  m a r k e t p l a c e w i t h s y n d i c a t e d programs a v a i l a b l e on b o t h l o c a l and cable  stations,  i t is critical  anchor-station connections. links  at  least  transference. no l e s s :  that  v i e w e r s become  aware o f  Audience awareness o f t h e s e l o c a l  facilitates  the  possibility  of  loyalty  One respondent s a i d i t - b e s t , and w i t h e n t h u s i a s m  " I t ' s t h e b e s t t h a t we can hope f o r ... anchors a r e  the s t a r s and t h e r e ' s a l o t r i d i n g on them."  103  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  The of  purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s was t o come t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g  how t e l e v i s i o n news anchors e s t a b l i s h t r u s t .  cultivation  Credibility-  was examined t h r o u g h i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p  to station  i d e n t i t y and audience c o n s t r u c t i o n . ' Data were c o l l e c t e d t h r o u g h open-focused  interviews  with  news anchors,  make-up  artists,  p r o d u c e r s and d i r e c t o r s who work f o r -three s t a t i o n s i n a major Canadian t e l e v i s i o n market .-i^Whilei'the i n t e r v i e w - m a t e r i a l as  the d r i v i n g  force  i n the s t r u c t u r i n g  theoretical contributions  of Erving  [1959] 1973), Joshua Meyrowitz and  Chan  of t h i s t h e s i s , the  Goffman (1967; 1969; 1971;  (1985; 1994), E r i c s o n ,  (1987; 1989; 1991) and Anthony Giddens  incorporated  served  Baranek  (1990) were  i n t o the o v e r a l l a n a l y s i s .  Goffman's work p r o v i d e d key i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e s t r u c t u r e o f appearances and t h e ' s t r a t e g i c • s t a g i n g ' t h a t i s r e q u i r e d f o r t h e effective  management o f audience i m p r e s s i o n s .  Of p a r t i c u l a r  r e l e v a n c e was h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f s o c i a l r o l e s i n o c c u p a t i o n a l settings largely  and  how  through  representatives.  i n s t i t u t i o n a l . i d e n t i t i e s ,are c o n s t r u c t e d the  s t a g e d • •'performances  His claim  that  strategic  of . t h e i r human  plays a p i v o t a l r o l e i n the c o n t r o l of perceptions greatly  t o my  positioning  o f anchors  i n relation  a u d i e n c e and w i t h i n t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l There  i s no performance w i t h o u t  c o u r t r o o m and p h y s i c i a n ' s  public  expression contributed to their  setting.  a stage.  The l a w y e r ' s  o f f i c e a r e j u s t some examples o f t h e 104  settings  that  serve  as  occupational  platforms  f o r image  construction.  The news anchor's p l a t f o r m i s t h e TV s c r e e n - t h e  entertainment  format  and t h e t e l e v i s i o n  medium.  Like a l l  o c c u p a t i o n a l s t a g e s , t h e anchor's i s d e c i s i v e i n d e t e r m i n i n g how human e x p r e s s i o n s a r e t r a n s m i t t e d and t h e t y p e s o f e x p r e s s i o n s that are featured. provided  The w r i t i n g s o f Meyrowitz and E r i c s o n e t a l  critical  considerations  insights  shape  into  staging  how  medium  and  p o s s i b i l i t i e s .and  format  performance  requirements. The  final  core  theoretical  p e r s p e c t i v e was p r o v i d e d  Giddens who h e l p e d t o address t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : important  f o r anchors t o e s t a b l i s h t r u s t  by  Why i s i t  i n the f i r s t  place?  Anchors, l i k e l a w y e r s , i n s u r a n c e agents and p h y s i c i a n s , f r o n t an expert  system  existence.  that  requires  The s u r v i v a l  public  trust  for  o f t h e mass media news  continued production  system, l i k e t h e m e d i c a l a n d - l e g a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s and i n s u r a n c e i n s t i t u t i o n s , depends on t r u s t v e s t e d i n i t s competence and i n the a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h e knowledge i t d i s p e n s e s . according  t o Giddens,  Trust  needs,  are- -not'-.runidirectional,. ,:. W h i l e  expert  systems depend on p u b l i c t r u s t , v i e w e r s need *to t r u s t TV news just  as c l i e n t s  and p a t i e n t s need t o t r u s t  the accuracy  of  m e d i c a l and l e g a l i n f o r m a t i o n . Giddens expert  systems  trustworthy points'  also posits and  that  the symbiotic  lay individuals  appearances  of i n s t i t u t i o n s .  o f those This 105  who  are  needs o f  met , t h r o u g h  appear  supported  trust  my  at the  the  'access  c l a i m that the  complementary t r u s t needs o f s t a t i o n s and v i e w e r s  are serviced  by anchors who d i s p l a y s i g n s o f t r u s t a t TV's 'access p o i n t ' , o r the anchor's performance p l a t f o r m .  Anchors who have c u l t i v a t e d  a  key  trustworthy  persona  are  the  to  'anchoring'  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between s t a t i o n s and v i e w e r s .  trust  They a l s o anchor  t r u s t i n t h e o t h e r p l a y e r s who appear i n news p r o d u c t i o n s . I have argued throughout t h i s t h e s i s t h a t n o t i o n s o f 'news e x c e l l e n c e ' as d e f i n e d by those who. work i n , the. i n d u s t r y do n o t form  the  basis  upon  which  viewer  a u t h e n t i c i t y a r e p r i m a r i l y based. that  news  appearance  content  certainly  While  to  their  news  to  stance  the  overall  has been  that  i s the d e c i s i v e f a c t o r i n determining  a u d i e n c e t r u s t i n t h e i r newscasts. attributed  my  of  I have acknowledged  contributes  o f TV news p r o d u c t i o n s ,  anchor t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s  .perceptions  capacity  T h e i r power o f p e r s u a s i o n i s to  embody  distinction  and  c r e d i b i l i t y and t o p r o j e c t those q u a l i t i e s on TV. C r e d i b i l i t y c u l t i v a t i o n was examined t h r o u g h t h e p r o c e s s o f d e c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e news anchor p e r s o n a .  V a r i o u s components o f  o n - a i r image were analysed; a c c o r d i n g :to respondent a c c o u n t s of what c o n s t i t u t e s l e g i t i m a t e . a n d ' f a t a l ' e x p r e s s i o n . 1  Facial  appearance, b o d i l y d e c o r a t i o n , ways o f i n t e r a c t i n g , s p e a k i n g and understanding  were t h e key e x p r e s s i v e elements a s s e s s e d .  s u g g e s t e d t h a t anchors who l o o k and a c t l i k e  Data  ' r e a l ' people are  most l i k e l y t o be p e r c e i v e d by v i e w e r s as b e l i e v a b l e . R e a l l o o k i n g anchors were d e s c r i b e d as those w i t h a downto-earth,  everyday  facial  appearance 106  and  conservative  ornamentation reminiscent  of e x e c u t i v e s  or bankers.  Real  looks  not o n l y d i s t i n g u i s h anchors from e n t e r t a i n e r s f e a t u r e d i n o t h e r g e n r e s , t h e y are threatening  a l s o thought t o m i n i m i z e the  those i n the  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by authentic viewers. in  the  their  audience.  capacity  face-to-face  Real  possibility  a c t i n g anchors were  t o c u l t i v a t e the  interaction  of  and  illusion  conversation  of with  T h e i r a b i l i t y t o p r e t e n d the s h a r i n g of i n t i m a t e t a l e s company of  f r i e n d s compensates ,f.or-.medium l i m i t a t i o n s  w h i c h p r e v e n t t h i s from a c t u a l l y - h a p p e n i n g . element s t u d i e d was  The./final e x p r e s s i v e  the appearance of j o u r n a l i s t i c savvy.  c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h i s image was  deemed c r i t i c a l  The  f o r the purpose  of i n c l u d i n g v i e w e r s i n news shows and c o n v i n c i n g them of a c t u a l s u b s t a n c e beneath anchors' h a i r and I absolute  claim nor  that  these  o b j e c t i v e and  signs  clothes.  of  anchor  trust  in  the  neither  assessments of t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s  u l t i m a t e l y d e t e r m i n e d by v i e w e r p e r c e p t i o n s . though,  are  news market  studied  is  are  What i s e v i d e n t ,  that  credibility  is  c u l t i v a t e d t h r o u g h the appearance of anchor a c c e s s i b i l i t y . p r e f e r r e d s t y l e i s not  only'compatible-.with  This  ,..the; i n f o r m a t i o n a l  w o r l d s h a r e d by anchors and viewers,,ait a l s o ^encourages a u d i e n c e l o y a l t y through i m p l i c i t i n v i t a t i o n s to p e r s o n a l l y i d e n t i f y w i t h n o n - t h r e a t e n i n g announcers. citizens  are  more  likely  Those who to  be  l o o k and a c t l i k e t y p i c a l  trusted  because  f a m i l i a r , on some l e v e l , t o the average ' m o r t a l ' Credible that  no  two  anchors share many s i m i l a r i t i e s , image  elements  are 107  ever  they  seem  tuning i n . but  identical  I  maintain  or  equally  accessible. station  This v a r i a t i o n  i s what c o n t r i b u t e s t o anchor  and  u n i q u e n e s s . I argue t h a t v i e w e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h a  p a r t i c u l a r anchor i s a r e f l e x i v e a c t i v i t y based on a 'sense' o f connection  with  credibility.  that  anchor's  unique  brand  of  distinct  I n o t h e r words, e f f e c t i v e anchors p r o v i d e v i e w e r s  with a "social orientation"  ( B o u r d i e u , 1984)  t o . t h e m s e l v e s by  r e f l e c t i n g back t o them t h e i r own d i s t i n c t i v e t a s t e s and v a l u e s . I system to  have  developed  the ' ref lexive.:.elemen.tal.^  anchor  t o p r o v i d e insights^into','how ' i t is:.-.possible  accommodate  viewing  the  audience.  individual  i s dynamic  and  a c c o u n t s f o r the m u l t i f a c e t e d n a t u r e o f r e f l e x i v e perceptual  t e n d e n c i e s and  f o r anchors  r e f l e x i v i t y needs  T h i s system  anchor  .image  of  a  large  flexible  and  relationships,  image p u z z l e s .  While  each  anchor p r e s e n t s v i e w e r s w i t h a unique combination, o f - a u t h e n t i c and c u l t i v a t e d e x p r e s s i v e elements, v i e w e r s a r e s u r e t o p e r c e i v e v a r i o u s • c o m b i n a t i o n s of t h e s e . q u a l i t i e s : as :.they. e x p e r i e n c e ..any g i v e n element  o f an anchor's p e r s o n a .  W h i l e v i e w e r s ' unique  p e r c e p t u a l paths are d r i v e n b y ' t h e i r d i s t i n c t i v e s e n s i b i l i t i e s , t h e s e p a t h s can desire  to  lead  watch  the  t o a -..^common..dest±nat.ion:u:which i s . , t h e i r r  same -'.anchor  r e p e a t e d l y .on  television.  E f f e c t i v e anchors a r e t h o s e who maximize t h i s complex  relational  web's p o t e n t i a l . A n o t h e r key t o the c u l t i v a t i o n o f c r e d i b i l i t y i s s a t i s f y i n g viewers' critical  continuity as  needs.  accessible  r e f l e x i v i t y needs.  I contend appearances  that and  this  i s just  meeting  as  viewers'  I have argued t h a t image c o n s i s t e n c y a t t h e 108  e l e m e n t a l and i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l s can p r o v i d e v i e w e r s w i t h a sense o f c o n t i n u i t y w h i l e i n s t i l l i n g o r d e r i n t o an o t h e r w i s e and u n c e r t a i n w o r l d .  chaotic  While t h i s c o n t i n u i t y f a c t o r together w i t h  a c c e s s i b l e appearances and r e f l e x i v e p o t e n t i a l f u n c t i o n s t o meet the t r u s t needs o f v i e w e r s ,  i t a l s o meets those o f t h e  station  by d e f i n i n g i t as t r u s t w o r t h y i n the audience psyche. The  arguments and evidence  p r e s e n t e d .in t h i s t h e s i s might  l e a v e r e a d e r s w i t h the' i m p r e s s i o n - t h a t . - V c r e d i b i l i t y i s an ' e x p r e s s i v e burden' f o r '-anchors.  cultivation  I t requires their.entry  i n t o a complex system of e x p r e s s i v e c o n t r o l w h i c h i s e x e r c i s e d through  c o n s t r a i n t and  t r u s t and an audience, medium, e n t e r t a i n m e n t  expectation.  Institutional  needs f o r  the s p e c i f i c c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by  the  format and news genre, a l l c o n t r i b u t e t o  the e x p r e s s i v e s t a n d a r d s  which must be adhered t o .  The -image  demands a r e i n t e n s i f i e d when v i e w e r r e f l e x i v i t y , c o n t i n u i t y and t r u s t needs a r e i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o an ./already r i g i d .performance regimen.  The c o n f l u e n c e of these components o f e x p e c t a t i o n  c o n s t r a i n t ensure t h a t s t a t i o n and v i e w e r  and  i d e n t i t y i s embodied  and p r o j e c t e d onto the screen.' ../But "does.;?bearing:..the .burden o f t r u s t w o r t h y e x p r e s s i o n •mean-^th'at'-Van'chor.srj-muBt./JVassume. the o f the dead man"  ( F o u c a u l t , 1979:  143)?  Throughout t h i s t h e s i s I have argued.that the  performance  platform  for  role  anchor  t h e r e i s room on  distinctiveness.  The  anchor's a u t h e n t i c v o i c e i s not c a n c e l l e d out under the w e i g h t of e x p r e s s i v e oppression. trust  and  a necessary  I t i s i n t e g r a l t o the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f  reflection 109  of  both  station  and  viewer  uniqueness.  W h i l e t h e range o f s a n c t i o n e d  authentic d i s t i n c t i o n i s limited,  possibilities for  i t does e x i s t .  And n o t a l l  anchor v a r i a t i o n s a r e minor t w i s t s on performance p r e s c r i p t i o n s . I remind t h e r e a d e r t h a t t h e b o u n d a r i e s t h a t s e p a r a t e l e g i t i m a t e and  ' f a t a l ' expression  a r e not f i x e d .  They a r e dynamic and  f l e x i b l e and can be t r a n s g r e s s e d . The  oppressive  force with  t h e most  'give' provides the  window"of o p p o r t u n i t y f o r anchors t o c l a i m . i l l e g i t i m a t e s i g n s o f their individuality.  Viewers , ; a r e . a - f e r t i l e , - t e s t i n g  ground f o r  the a c c e p t a n c e o f ' f a t a l ' e x p r e s s i o n s s i n c e t h e i r r e a d i n e s s f o r new s i g n s o f t r u s t  cannot be f u l l y  granted  control i f ratings increase  expressive  least stable. of  anticipated.  Anchors a r e o r remain a t  V i e w e r phone c a l l s and l e t t e r s a r e o t h e r stamps  acceptance o r d i s a p p r o v a l .  I f there  i s minimal  negative  feedback o r p o s i t i v e audience response, t h e r e w i l l be p e r f o r m a n c e ' c h a n c e s f o r • t h o s e who don't- c o m p l e t e l y a l l o f t h e v a r i o u s image It breaking  i s critical  conform t o  requirements.  t o -acknowledge t h a t an anchor's boundary-  a u t h e n t i c i t y c a n -'make .mass- • r e p l i c a t i o n  innovations  repeated  of. t h e i r  p o s s i b l e . T h i s -'does n o t / e l i m i n a t e t h e system o f  e x p r e s s i v e c o n t r o l f o r f o l l o w e r s , b u t m o d i f i e s t h e r u l e s t o be broken. cultivation  What  I  am  suggesting  a t the elemental  here  level  i s that  credibility  i s characterized  by an  e v o l u t i o n a r y c y c l e o f changing e x p e c t a t i o n s t h a t a r e prompted by b o u n d a r y - b r e a k i n g anchors who n e g o t i a t e t h e i r ' f a t a l ' image w i t h the  audience. 110  The e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s j u s t d e s c r i b e d i s n o t i n s u l a r . is  part  and p a r c e l o f c u r r e n t  and f u t u r e t r a n s i t i o n s  dominant e x p r e s s i v e s t y l e s o f anchors.  It  i n the  Individual transgressors  not o n l y a l t e r e x p e c t a t i o n s w i t h r e s p e c t t o s p e c i f i c components of: image, t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e  i n n o v a t i o n s can a l s o c o n t r i b u t e t o  changes i n dominant modes o f e x p r e s s i o n .  R e c e p t i v i t y t o , and  the demand f o r , a new anchor model i s c e r t a i n l y f a c i l i t a t e d by other  forces.  television  I have  has been  s t a t e d ... elsewhere ...that, ..the .in ...the -i . b i r t h  instrumental  dominant mode o f e x p r e s s i o n .  medium o f  o f t h e new  I have a l s o s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e  c u r r e n t e g a l i t a r i a n t h r u s t i s an a p p r o p r i a t e f i t w i t h a n c h o r s ' e x p e r t - g e n e r a l i s t a u t h o r i t y , but t h i s f i t does n o t ensure i t s continued  survival.  I t i s p o s s i b l e that staged  accessibility  w i l l become s u b j e c t t o t h e same i n t e n s e s c r u t i n y .as t h e former dominant h i e r a r c h i c a l model.  D i s t r u s t of the f r i e n d l y  may a r i s e from any:number o f - u n f o r e s e e n The  facade  c u l t u r a l changes.  t r a n s i t i o n between dominant s t y l e s i s n o t a b r u p t .  "one model enters'-the e a r l y phase o f i t s d e c l i n e , a n o t h e r its  ascent  i n t h e system.  This  leaves  As  begins  room on a s t a t i o n ' s  performance p l a t f o r m f o r .trustworthy^anchors  a t ,both ends o f t h e  spectrum. The t r a n s i t i o n i s a l s o eased by ' h y b r i d ' anchors who embody t h e q u a l i t i e s o f b o t h s t y l e s o f t r u s t . The c o - p r e s e n c e o f these  various  modes  of  expression  accommodates  t h e growth  and d e a t h  facilitating  i n e v i t a b l e viewer  is  functional.  o f dominant  models  loyalty transitions.  who d i s p l a y t h e e v o l u t i o n a r y c y c l e r e t a i n Ill  o l d style  It while  Stations anchor-  viewer  relationships  until  their  demise w h i l e p r o m o t i n g  the  f o r m a t i o n o f ' h y b r i d ' a l l i a n c e s and new s t y l e f r i e n d s h i p s . I t i s critical  t o note  t h a t when dominant e x p r e s s i v e s t y l e s  are i n  t r a n s i t i o n and when ' f a t a l ' b o u n d a r i e s a r e o v e r s t e p p e d , a u d i e n c e and s t a t i o n i d e n t i t i e s a l s o undergo s u b t l e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s . The • way  specific  meant t o be  f i n d i n g s p r e s e n t e d i n t h i s t h e s i s a r e i n no a g e n e r a l statement  c r e d i b i l i t y 'at l a r g e ' . trustworthiness  at  the  r e s t r i c t e d t o the l o c a l  necessary  between  to  regions  e l e m e n t a l ; and..:stylis.tic j  :  of  the  are  empirical  A d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h would  similarities  nations, although  the  o f f e r e d c o u l d c e r t a i n l y f a c i l i t a t e these The  levels  t e l e v i s i o n market where t h e  ascertain and  the c u l t i v a t i o n  N o t i o n s o f what c o n s t i t u t e s news anchor  d a t a f o r t h i s t h e s i s were c o l l e c t e d . be  about  and  differences  insights  I  have  comparisons.  c o n c l u s i o n s I have p r e s e n t e d c o u l d a l s o  s e r v e as  a  ' g u i d i n g ' f r a m e w o r k 'for c r e d i b i l i t y r e s e a r c h i n o t h e r - o c c u p a t i o n a l settings. t h e i r own  A l l organizational  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s are  subject  to  systems of e x p r e s s i v e c o n t r o l w h i c h .are shaped by t h e  constraints  and  expectations  imposed  by  their  respective  * a u d i e n c e s and e x p e r t establishments..Ksl^-.alspL:Surmise that, '-trust a n c h o r s ' o f a l l k i n d s a r e p a r t and p a r c e l of e v o l u t i o n a r y c y c l e s as  both  captives  and  legitimate expressions.  creators  of  'fatal'  boundaries  and  These p r o c e s s e s as t h e y a p p l y t o o t h e r  p r o f e s s i o n s are r i p e f o r d i s c o v e r y . While data gathered i n o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e t t i n g s i s c r i t i c a l to  understanding c r e d i b i l i t y  cultivation, 112  systematic  audience  r e s e a r c h would o f f e r key i n s i g h t s from a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . U n c o v e r i n g the p e r c e p t u a l t e n d e n c i e s television  viewers  would p r o v i d e  about the b a s i s of t h e i r t r u s t  of c l i e n t s , consumers  balance  to  any  conclusions  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h anchors  other i n s t i t u t i o n a l representatives.  or  Such r e s e a r c h might a l s o  r e v e a l a d d i t i o n a l image elements t h a t c o n t r i b u t e t o the equation.  and  trust  Gender, f o r example,-was not f e a t u r e d i n t h i s t h e s i s  but c o u l d be i d e n t i f i e d b y .viewers - as ,a ,key ^component i n t h e i r r e f l e x i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h — a n n o u n c e r s . /,The ^.extent t o .which v i e w e r s make a n c h o r - s t a t i o n c o n n e c t i o n s research  of  c o u l d a l s o be examined.  Ultimately,  credibility  any  kind  strengthened  w i t h the a n a l y s i s of d a t a p r o v i d e d by b o t h s e r v i c e  p r o v i d e r s and the r e c i p i e n t s of t h e i r e x p r e s s i v e  113  would  be  information.  BIBLIOGRAPHY  B a b b i e , E. (1986). Belmont, Ca.:  The P r a c t i c e o f S o c i a l R e s e a r c h . Wadsworth.  Barnes, B. E. & Thomson, L. M. (1994). Power t o t h e p e o p l e (meter): Audience measurement t e c h n o l o g y and media specialization. I n J . Ettema & C. Whitney ( E d s . ) , Audiencemaking: How t h e Media C r e a t e t h e A u d i e n c e (pp. 75-94). London: Sage. B e r g e r , P. L. (1963). I n v i t a t i o n t o S o c i o l o g y : P e r s p e c t i v e . New York: Anchor.  A Humanistic  B e r g e r , P. L. & Luckman, T. (.1:966),. The S o c i a l C o n s t r u c t i o n o f R e a l i t y : A T r e a t i s e > i n t h e S o c i o l o g y o f Knowledge. New Y o r k : Doubleday. B o u r d i e u , P. (1984). 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