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Pluralist public sphere or elitist closed circle? Elite-driven agendas and contributor 'chemistry' as determinants of pundit choice on a flagship BBC politics show.

Morrison, James

Authors



Contributors

Jen Birks
Editor

Mike Berry
Editor

Abstract

Since BBC1’s Politics Live discussion show launched in 2018, it has been characterised by an accessible and chatty, if sometimes highly involved, discursive style more native to podcasts than conventional daytime television. The programme attempted to distinguish itself through distinctive features including meaningful engagement with social media, a dynamic ‘musical chairs’ approach to refreshing panels mid-show, live fact-checking of disputed political truth-claims, and a sometimes self-consciously inclusive strategy for balancing the age, race and gender profiles of studio guests. If the programme has struggled to fulfil any of its trumpeted selling-points, however, it is its quest to reflect the world of politics at ‘grassroots’ level – by venturing beyond London’s insular ‘Westminster bubble’ to seek out issues and contributors that better reflect the topics people chat about in the pub. This chapter combines analysis of the voices and issues aired on Politics Live during the opening months of its second year and an interview with its head producer to determine the extent to which it qualifies as a pluralistic, representative public sphere, rather than a superficially persuasive reconfiguration of existing elite circles.

Citation

MORRISON, J. 2022. Pluralist public sphere or elitist closed circle? Elite-driven agendas and contributor 'chemistry' as determinants of pundit choice on a flagship BBC politics show. In Morrison, J., Birks, J. and Berry, M. (eds.) The Routledge companion to political journalism. Abingdon: Routledge [online], Chapter 36, pages 383-393. Available from: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429284571-36

Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 26, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 21, 2023
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 383-393
Book Title The Routledge companion to political journalism
Chapter Number Chapter 36
ISBN 9780367248222 ; 9781032080451
DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429284571-36
Keywords Political journalism; Politics and current affairs; Political bubbles; Media bias
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1529681
Related Public URLs (Parent work) https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1534839