Punditry as a reward system: audience construction and the logics of the punditry sphere

Rita Figueiras*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article explores the relationship between the punditry sphere and democracy by analyzing how pundits and media organizations think about their audience. It also examines the role of punditry in the political environment in which the media organizations operate. Using Portugal as an example, the study draws on data gathered from interviews with pundits, journalists and news editors. Findings suggest that pundits and media organizations construct a punditry sphere that revolves around the circles of power. The article argues that this conception of the punditry sphere reflects the reward system under which pundits and media organizations work. Punditry seems to be a field primarily oriented to pundits themselves and to managing their stakes in the public arena while operating as a sphere where media organizations rework their relations with and within established powers, where politicians hold a special place. This construction reflects the co-dependence between media organizations and circles of power in Portugal and offers organizational-structural understanding of the logics of the punditry sphere and the role pundits play in public communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Audience construction
  • Media organizations
  • Politics
  • Punditry sphere
  • Pundits


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