Talk as Work: Routinizing the Production Process

in The Money Shot

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780226309095
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309088 | DOI:
Talk as Work: Routinizing the Production Process

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Producers strive to elicit the money shot because they require visible evidence of a guest's emotional state. At the same time, because any one producer has only five or six days to prepare for a show, producers must make these seemingly spontaneous and unpredictable moments predictable and routine. Organizations routinize tasks whenever possible in order to facilitate the control of work. Routinization would seem especially important—albeit especially challenging—when the work involves the intentional orchestration of emotional or volatile situations. Thus, producers employ a variety of strategies and practices to streamline the difficult process of putting ordinary people on television. In doing so, they draw largely on the codes and conventions of journalism as well as the production of late-night talk shows. While the parallels to late-night talk are, perhaps, more obvious (daytime talk merely replacing celebrity guests with ordinary people), the production of daytime talk is also systematically organized behind the scenes much like the production of news.

Keywords: talk shows; production process; routinization; journalism; celebrity guests; ordinary people

Chapter.  14803 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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