|Title||The voice of authority: the local accomplishment of authoritative discourse in live news broadcasts|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Conversation Analysis, News, Authority|
Ever since language has been examined as a vehicle for action, scholars have been interested in its authorized use (Austin, 1962). Typically described under the rubric of `felicity conditions', the authorized use of language involves, among other conditions, the right or authority of a member to engage in, or deploy, some named action. This paper begins by examining how participants authorize the discourse of a co-interactant in one specialized setting: a live news broadcast. I argue that the successful exploitation by a reporter of his/her right to authoritatively describe a scene all are witnessing rests in part on the displayed mutual orientation of his or her co-interactants to that right through the local, contingently achieved deployment of complex discursive practices. After exploring the special case of live news broadcasts, I link this study to other studies of mass media that have explored the link between discursive practices in news broadcasts and reportorial authority. Finally, I argue that the resources I have identified have a more general provenance than live news broadcasts, and reflect on the relation between these findings and recent discussions that explore the authorized use of language.