A genre analysis of sampled radio and TV argumentative talk shows in Kenya
Mwai, Loise Wamaitha
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This study involved a genre analysis of sampled radio and TV argumentative talk shows in Kenya. The research objectives were: to describe the generic structure of the talk shows; to explore the particular aspects that characterize argument on the talk shows; to investigated the question typology that sets apart this talk show genre, and finally to establish the communicative purposes of the discrete phase of the talk shows in light of the the generic features established. The study used a descriptive research design whereby purposive sampling was used to identify the talk shows that contained the relevant issues. A multistage sampling procedure was used to arrive at a sample size of 7 hours, 30 minutes of conversational data that was subjected to analysis. Data was collected through tape recording of the talk shows. The data was transcribed using standard orthography to allow for identification of the required language features. The aspects of argument and the question types were coded and analyzed using SPSS version 17 to generate tables on the frequencies of their occurrence. This facilitated comparison and discussion of the emerging patterns of the features across the sampled talk shows. Data analysis was guided by two theories: The first was Genre Analysis that views a genre as a class of communicative events with a common structure, content and shared communicative functions. The second wass Conversation Analysis was used to analyze sequential as well as overall organization of the talk shows. From the analysis, it was established that the sampled argumentative radio and TV talk shows constitute a genre for exhibiting a common structure; recurring aspects of argument, common question types and shared communicative goal. This study was motivated by the fact that argumentative talk shows have provided an arena in which journalists solicit statements of public policy, hold politicians accountable for their actions, all under the immediate scrutiny of the citizenry. The findings may therefore provide useful insights to the producers and hosts of these programmes on the various features of language that may be used in conducting more engaging programmes; thus, informing the public more.