Challenging neutrality: Invoking extra parties in political TV-interviews

H.A. Huls, Naomi Pijnenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The study focuses on a practice that interviewers exploit when asking questions in one-on-one political TV-interviews: they invoke extra parties. This happens when they alter the participant structure of the dyadic talk by speaking on another’s behalf, inserting a video clip that speaks for them, inviting a guest at the table to take up a position in the argument-so-far or embed a physical object with a message in their utterance. The study aims to discover patterns and actions that coincide with the various forms of invoking extra parties. It also investigates whether the exploitation of an extra party touches upon the borderline between neutrality and non-neutrality. The data collection encompasses fragments of interviews taken from the Dutch talk show Pauw & Witteman. The analysis focuses on turn-taking, repair, laughter, face-saving acts and meta-conversation. Results show that two procedures for invoking extra parties in one-on-one political interviews – inserting a video clip and embedding an object with a message – put pressure on a central value of good journalism: its neutrality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-48
Number of pages20
JournalNorthern Lights: Film & Media Studies Yearbook
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • interviews
  • neutrality
  • participant framework
  • adversarial questioning
  • conversation analysis
  • pragmatics


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