Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christopher H. Sterling
A sound bite is an audio snippet (often a phrase or sentence) excerpted from a longer quotation, speech, or interview. They are most often heard from political figures but can be used for anyone of interest to the media. By definition, a sound bite lacks context, save what a program announcer, anchor, or host provides. Insertion of sound bites into news broadcasts, while a valuable way of adding variety and reality, is also susceptible to manipulation and requires ethical decision making on the part of news media. Politicians and others in public life quickly learn to produce on-demand sound bites during media interviews as they make it more likely their words will be used on the air. Most often a short phrase or sentence, a sound bite captures the essence of what the speaker is saying. Such moments stay in the listener's memory and serve as a sample of the ...