News and Infotainment Interviews

News interviews

News interviews are showing signs of diversification.  The news interview may be understood as surrounding a variety of identifiable subgenres consisting of specialized tasks and how they are implemented.  These practices retain common features characteristic of the general run of interviews conducted by professional journalists with newsworthy individuals.

One broad class practice involves “speaking from the heart”.  This means, conveying strong opinions or feelings that are private, and/or genuine.  A good news interviewer allows the politician or public member to disclose his or hers inner feelings.

A second broad class of news practices are actions that are oppositional in some way for example, disagreements, counterproposals, and responses that ignore the agenda of the previous question.

Calling the interviewer by first name comes about at precisely when the Interviewee is working to encourage a claim in the face of a challenge to its sincerity.

Joke/Serious in Question-Answer Sequences: The Case of Infotainment Discourse

Infotainment shows are often used to attack the interviewee.  The interviewer uses humour to aggravate and ridicule the interviewee under the pretext of “joking”.

By using humour in this type of interview, the interviewee feels uncomfortable and uneasy, thereby revealing certain emotions or indirect messages, or they can try to avert away from the question, therefore audiences can be distracted and never receive the correct information.

Some examples of shows that make light of “serious” public affairs are; The Project, Good News Week, Can of Worms and Kyle and Jackie O.  It has become popular according to Clayman & Li (2009) that politicians and other high profile public members are interviewed on these shows as it increases their popularity and sends a message to their viewers.

It is interesting to note that the Kyle and Jackie O show, on numerous occasion landed up in hot water due to their transgression in interviews.  There is a fine line between humour and taking it too far.


Clayman, S. 2007, ‘Address Terms in the Service of Other Actions: The Case of News Interview Talk’,

Clayman, S & Li, I 2009, ‘Joke/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The Case of Infotainment Discourse’,


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