This chapter focuses on the role of conversational style in closing a ‘discursive gap’ between the newspapers and their institutional sources, on the one hand, and their readers, on the other. The reasons for adopting a conversational style have partly to do with the construction of an illusion of informality, familiarity, friendliness. Articulating the ideology of consensus is a crucial practice in the Press’s management of its relations with government and capital, on the one hand, and with individual readers, on the other. And this is a linguistic practice; the details of its linguistic working have been largely neglected by writers on the media. ‘Consensus’ assumes, and in times of crisis actually affirms,4 that within the group, there is no difference or disunity in the interests and values of any of the population, or of any institution. The content of the consensual assumption could be spelt out as a long series of propositions about contemporary Britain.