Political TV interviews in Austria 1981–2016 – Structures and strategies through times of substantial change in media and politics

  • 1 Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies (CMC), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Andreas Riedl
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  • Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies (CMC), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
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In media-centered democracies, political TV interviews can reveal a lot about the relationship between journalists and politicians. However, knowledge about these formats during non-election times is lacking. Against this background, this study aims to generate insights about specific conversation strategies, the staging of politics, and agenda control in a long-term comparison, and to link them with media logic, which has been identified as a factor that shapes agenda-setting strategies in related contexts. Following a static-dynamic approach, a quantitative content analysis was conducted for all statements (N=19,108) from 125 episodes of a specific Austrian interview format in a one-on-one setting broadcast between 1981 and 2016. Regarding the number of statements in which a newly introduced topic is discussed as a measure for agenda control, specific conversation strategies were identified that contribute to a stronger position for journalists. Moreover, specific aspects of media logic help to introduce and anchor a new topic, although their success varies over the decades.

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