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Defining the subject of speech : constructions of authorship in post-unification German media discourse.

Hörschelmann, K. (2007) 'Defining the subject of speech : constructions of authorship in post-unification German media discourse.', Geoforum., 38 (3). pp. 456-468.


This paper analyses how the authority of west German media workers to produce ‘truthful’ representations about unification and eastern Germany after 1989 was discursively constructed. Rather than simply assuming the superiority of western knowledge, I show that the right of western media producers to speak for and about east Germany had to be constructed and defended discursively on a number of registers. Western journalists, in particular, had to demonstrate their credibility towards west and east German audiences, evidence their ability to report objectively and authoritatively, and prove themselves superior in the production of knowledge. Their truth claims had to be negotiated in the midst of a range of competing discourses. The complicated constitution of audiences meant that western journalists had to cast themselves in various different roles to justify their position as ‘knowing subjects’: as explorers, surveyors, observers, commentators, mediators and/or educators. The paper explores, how the divergence between these different positions was reconciled through a number of discursive strategies. I highlight the ambivalences and internal contradictions produced within journalistic discourses as well as through the existence of differentiated audiences.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Discourse analysis, Germany, Post-socialism, Media representation.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:22 Aug 2007
Last Modified:01 Apr 2010 22:26

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