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‘I felt I got to know everyone’: how News on Stage combines theatre and journalism for a live audience

Adams, C. & Cooper, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-2367-8626 (2022). ‘I felt I got to know everyone’: how News on Stage combines theatre and journalism for a live audience. Journalism Practice, 18(3), pp. 744-761. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2022.2052345


Journalism has been suffering a crisis of trust in recent years (Robinson 2019; Peters and Broersma 2013) and in order to re-engage with disconnected audiences, media organisations have turned to creative forms of communication (Usher 2018; Barnhurst 2013). Some of these draw on the concept of ‘live journalism, where both journalists and their stories are presented to a live audience. Various examples in the US and Europe have already been examined; this paper looks at the emergence of live journalism in the UK, and its potential in creating engagement in the public sphere. The authors reflect on two online events they produced as part of their ‘News on Stage’ project during the Covid-19 pandemic, in which journalists presented previously unpublished stories, using dramatic techniques such as verbatim theatre, stand-up comedy and soundscapes. Using creative, practice-based research, considered relevant to the study of journalism today (Witschge, Deuze & Willemsen, 2019), they discuss the experience of staging these events to analyse themes of dramatisation, truthfulness and connection. The authors use ethnographic research, supplemented with audience and participant feedback, to show that this kind of fusion of journalism and theatre can increase interest and trust in journalism and build closeness with audiences.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: audience engagement, journalism, theatre, public sphere, live news
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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