The power struggle in the interview arena: A study of the interest conflicts of broadcast journalism

Pernille Germansen, Frederik Bo Knudsen, Katja Isabel Romme Simonsen, Pernille Mette Damsgaard & Jacob Christian Eriksen

Student thesis: Project on Graduate Program


This paper is concerned with the interaction between journalists and their sources, in particular public figures in broadcast journalism. The paper explores the different strategies used by both sources and journalists in order to influence the journalistic product. Building on both the linguistic tradition of Clayman and Heritage (2002) and Bakker et al.’s (2013) interview negotiation theory it develops a heuristic model that covers all phases of the interview relation from the first negotiations to the interview conversation. The paper focuses on the negotiation and conversation phase of the interview relation in order to explore the strategies utilized within the interview arena - where both interview participants are active in the pursuit of their interests. The authors base the analysis on their own experiences from the production of a short investigative TV-documentary thereby drawing on autoethnographic methods. The study concludes that sources rarely admit to the accountability of the critical agendas of journalists, while still producing valuable material for the editing room, which might question the journalistic ideal of source accountability.

EducationsJournalism, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date9 Jun 2017
Number of pages48
SupervisorsMads Kæmsgaard Eberholst