Oprah Winfrey: Her Influence on People and Media

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The camera scans the public; women around the age of 30 and above are looking hopefully to the stage. There, Oprah Winfrey sits crossed-legged on a big yellow sofa. The camera zooms in on her perfect make-up, neatly done hair and perfect white teeth. She tells us the topic of the day and… we will be right back. Commercial break.

She was called "arguably the World's most powerful woman" by Time.com, "arguably the most influential woman in the World" by the American Spectator and she is the only person in the world who appeared five times on the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, as assembled by Time.

If we would look at the size of her fanbase and her fortune, we can already say that Oprah Winfrey is not only famous, but a true phenomenon. Some people even speak of Oprahization of Culture. In 2001, the word Oprahization was even listed in the “Top Ten Words Of 2001” on the website YourDictionary. It was described as following: “Describes the litmus test of political utterances: if it doesn’t play on Oprah, it doesn’t play at all” (Illouz, 2003).

But, is her impact on the American culture really so big? What is Oprah’s real influence on people and the media?

In 1984 Oprah moved from Nashville to Chicago, to host a morning talk show, which became the number one local talk. In 1988 she established Harpo (Oprah backwards) Studios, a production facility in Chicago, making her the third woman in the American entertainment industry (after Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball) to own her own studio. (Oprah.com)

She started her own show in 1986, the Oprah Winfrey show. The show now being 21 years old, it is the longest-running daytime television talk show in the United States, seen by an estimated 46 million viewers a week in the US and it is broadcast in 134 countries worldwide (Oprah.com).

In the show, emotions are pulled and worries are examined. She mixes dialogue, conversation,...
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