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Pulling off Being Both Adversarial and Neutralistic: The case of Korean News Interview

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2014, 22(3), pp.59-87
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Kyung-Hee Suh 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study analyzes how a journalist can design his question to strike a balance between two competing journalistic norms-neutrality and adversarialness-within the framework of conversation analysis. An analysis of the three news interview segments in JTBC News 9 reveals that the interviewer, Seok-hee Sohn, resorts to the extensive use of prefaced questions. These prefaced questions depict the third person-attributed statements in a way that distances Sohn from his more overtly opinionated remarks. The use of quotation from others serves a dual function: it enables the interviewer to express adversarial criticism of his guests, while maintaining a formally neutralistic posture. Yet this strategy is also employed to give the interviewee the chance to justify him/herself. Particular attention should be given to the observation that Sohn deliberately refrains from asking questions after revealing sensitive details about the interviewee. The interviewer sometimes implicitly voices his own adversarial stance even in a seemingly neutralistic question, thereby showing how the interviewer can function as a ‘devil's advocate’ in a news interview. The question design examined in this study suggests that innovation in question design and rhetoric in news interviews can reflect changes in social and political attitudes, norms, and behavior.

Citation status

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