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En samtalsanalytisk studie om intervjutekniker i Agenda och 30 minuter
Title: Answer the question! – A Conversation Analytical Study of interview techniques in the program Agenda and 30 minutes.
Authors: Elin Dahlström, Laura Vandelin och Tove Mattsson
Level: Bachelor thesis in Journalism
Term: HT 2022
Supervisor: Mats Ekström
This article investigates how the three different interview techniques mirroring, hypothetical questions and multiple questions directly following each other, which are not commonly associated with standard journalist practice, are used and met in political interviews. Using Conversation Analysis, the interview interaction consisting of the institutional genre, political interviews, is analyzed. The specific interviews chosen for investigation are taken from two different Swedish interview programs, Agenda and 30 minutes. Both programs are between a journalist and a Swedish politician, broadcasted in 2022 on Swedish Television (SVT). Previous research has shown that both hypothetical questions and multiple questions directly following each other are rarely recommended in journalistic interviews. However, the authors argue that these three interview techniques result in both pros and cons in how the interview develops and whether the journalist’s question is being answered by the politicians or not. The study shows that politicians tend to question the premise of the question when both
multiple questions directly following each other and hypothetical questions are used, which impairs the chances of the question being answered. Mirroring, which is originally a technique used in psychotherapy, is in a journalistic context mainly used as a way of
questioning the politician’s answer. The combination of an interruption and a repetition of the politician’s statement is also done with the aim of persisting with what the politician said previously. However, when the interviewed politician agrees with the premises of the question, all three techniques tend to result in evolved and detailed responses.
Keywords: Political interview, Conversation Analysis, Interview techniques, Interaction.