Is talk show a good way to make social journalism ?

I would to say a talk show could be a good way to make social journalism, but just if it’s well done. I mean in general, I do not consider talk shows we see on television as journalism. Why ? First because talk shows don’t really have the same objectives than quality newspapers making social journalism. Most of the time, talk shows are no more than just shows on television, as their name indicate, with dramatic feelings, people crying, etc.

That’s true talk shows deliver a part of information as they talk about social problems, but in a different way than journalists do. Yet, talk shows could be a really good way to make social journalism, or at least talk seriously about social problems and inform about topics that people are not always well or enough informed like diseases, drugs, teenagers’ problems, or also contraception…


Now, if we look at Oprah Winfrey’s shows, for instance, we notice she uses journalistic techniques. I watched when she interviewed the cyclist Lance Armstrong, among others. There is no doubts Oprah Winfrey is a journalist : more than her program, she’s also at the head of important magazines. Maybe with people like her who really consider guests of her talk show, we could make a good social journalism.

In France too, in talk shows like the program called Toute une Histoire (“a whole history”), they use journalistic techniques as reports, interviews and interventions of experts, some investigations, sometimes also questions to people in the street about a topic to catch their opinion…

So at the end, even if we know journalism doesn’t necessary mean serious, the question is how to define journalism ? What is it, finally, if we don’t have all the same opinion about talk shows compared with social journalism ?

Your opinion interest me : do you think a talk show can be a good way to make social journalism ?