ZENAF Arbeits- und Forschungsberichte : (ZAF)
- 2003, 2 a
“Too close to call” : CNN's politics of captions in the coverage of the Florida Recount
- Proceeding chronologically in terms of the events covered, Raimund Schieß in his paper „Too close to call: CNN’s politics of captions in the coverage of the Florida Recount“ focusses on Nov. 11, 2000, when the Bush campaign applied to Miami Federal Court to stop the manual recount of ballots which had been started in some counties. The paper studies the discursive practices employed by the CNN journalists to construct a particular version of the events, focussing on captions, i.e. the lines of text inserted at the bottom of the tv screen, and on the way in which they interact with the other verbal and visual components of the television text. Raimund Schieß concludes that captions, far beyond providing mere details of a speech event (who is talking to whom about what, where and when), are used to select, to highlight and hide, and thus to invite a preferred interpretation of the event. He is also able to show that captions are often employed to exploit a story’s potential for drama and sensation. His detailed micro-analysis of the verbal and visual dimensions of the television text is supported by careful documentation of the data, either through screen shots or via transcriptions of the stretches of broadcast discussed.