"Minister, we will see how the public judges you.'': Media references in political interviews

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This contribution investigates political interviews from a sociopragmatic angle and defines them as negotiating validity claims with regard to the first-frame interaction of interviewer and interviewee, and with regard to the second- or media-frame interaction consisting of the first-frame (interviewer, interviewee) interacting with the media frame. Section 1 examines a political interview's dual status as a communicative genre and as a media event by accounting for interfacing frames, constitutive multi-frame interactions and multiple discourse identities. Section 2 discusses the linguistic representation of media references, such as TV, program, institutional roles of interviewer, interviewee and audience, and investigates when, where and how the references are realized and which communicative function(s) they fulfill. In unmarked interviews, explicit references to the media frame are restricted to the opening and closing sections. If employed in the topical-sequence section, they may either function as securing the common ground between the first-frame and second-frame interactants, or they may be exploited in order to communicate conversationally implicated meaning, such as boosting the pragmatic force of a challenge or expressing criticism. In conclusion, media references have the communicative function of (1) initiating the opening and closing sections of the political interview, and of (2) intensifying the pragmatic force of a communicative contribution thus indirectly guiding the audience in their process of calculating the interviewer's and interviewee's communicative intentions. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)180-195
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2006

Bibliographical note

Part of special issue:
Special Issue: Pragmatic Aspects of Political Discourse in the Media, Edited by Anita Fetzer, Elda Weizman

    Research areas

  • English - political interview, media communication, Validity claim