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The news interview has become a major vehicle for presenting broadcast news and political commentary, and a primary interface between the institutions of journalism and government. This much-needed work examines the place of the news interview in Anglo-American society and considers its historical development in the United States and Britain. The main body of the book discusses the fundamental norms and conventions that shape conduct in the modern interview. It explores the particular recurrent practices through which journalists balance competing professional norms that encourage both objective and adversarial treatment of public figures. Through analyses of well-known interviews, the book explores the relationship between journalists and public figures and also how, in the face of aggressive questioning, politicians and other public figures struggle to stay 'on message' and pursue their own agendas. This comprehensive and wide-ranging book will be essential reading for students and researchers in sociolinguistics, media and communication studies.
Steven Clayman is Associate Professor of Sociology and is affiliated with the Communication Studies Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. His articles have appeared in the following journals: American Sociological Review; American Journal of Sociology; Journal of Communication; Media, Culture, and Society; and Research on Language and Social Interaction. John Heritage is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His publications include Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology (1984), Structures of Social Action, co-edited with Max Atkinson (Cambridge, 1984, 0521318629), and Talk at Work, co-edited with Paul Drew (Cambridge, 1992, 0521374898).