The Second Persona in Political Commentary

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This article offers a critique of the genre of political commentary, as found in a Danish context. Based on 90 specimens of political commentary from national newspapers published during the parliamentary election campaign in 2011, I present an analysis of the implied audience of the genre, using the analytical procedure proposed by Edwin Black (1970) in three steps: Frist, I analyze the dominant claims and stylistic tokens in the corpus to be able to draw a profile of the implied audience. Next, I relate this profile to various conceptions of democracy, including their conception of the role of the citizen, and I argue that the profile of the audience thus discursively implied coincides with a conception of the citizen’s role in a democracy centered around competition. Finally, I offer a moral assessment of this construction of the audience, and on that basis, I discuss the implications of this construction with reference to two studies of mine, each of which presents an impression of an authentic audience’s response to this construction of the audience. The article could be a point of departure for comparative analyses still to be undertaken in the rhetorical community in Scandinavia, and it could contribute to broader discussions of the role of the mass media in a democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRhetorical Argumentation : The Copenhagen School
EditorsChristian Kock, Marcus Lantz
Number of pages27
Place of PublicationWindsor, ON
PublisherWindsor Studies in Argumentation
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 347574550