Challenging neutrality: Invoking extra parties in political TV-interviews

Erica Huls and Naomi Pijnenburg

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 (Goffman, 1979) 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.

More information on this project? Download the article with the tables and watch the videoclips [icon name=icon-caret-right]

Wilt u Nederlandstalige informatie over dit project? Lees het Nederlandstalige artikel [icon name=icon-caret-down]

Let op: Voorbeeld 1 correspondeert met de videoclip "Example 2: Attributing statements to third parties (0:50)"; voorbeeld 2 correspondeert met de videoclip "Example 3"; voorbeeld 3 correspondeert met de videoclip "Example 4"; voorbeeld 4 correspondeert met de videoclip "Example 5"; voorbeeld 5 correspondeert met de videoclip "Example 6"; en voorbeeld 6 is niet in het Engelstalige artikel opgenomen en te bekijken als "Voorbeeld 6: De casting van foto's als vierde partij".


Neder-lands-talig artikel

Neder-lands-talige tabellen

Neder-lands-talige tabel-len





Beeldje initiatief met afspeelknop

Example 2: Attributing statements to third parties (0:50)


Example 3: Invoking speakers in video clips (1:31)


Example 4: Invoking an extra party in a video clip (0:30)


Example 5: Inviting a guest at the table as extra party (0:54)


Example 6: Embedding a physical object with a message (0:47)

Voorbeeld 6: De casting van foto's als vierde partij (1:00)

Voorbeeld 6: De casting van foto's als vierde partij (1:00)