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A conversation analysis of aggressiveness and deference in Arabic news interviews

By Abdulrahman Abdullah Alfahad

Abstract

This thesis examines the strategies of aggressiveness and deference employed by Arab interviewers when questioning government officials and public figures. Although broadcast interviews have recently gained popularity on news channels in the Arab world, to date there has been little research exploring this topic or even the format of interviews of this type in general. However, instead of analysing a sample of interviews broadcast on one single Arabic language channel, this study compares the interviewing practices adopted on two Arabic news channels, one independent. the other state-owned, which face different broadcasting restrictions. To ensure the academic rigour of this study, the thesis draws heavily on the principles of conversation analysis, focusing more closely on the format of the interviews than their content. The topics of turn-taking systems and use of aggressiveness in interviewer questions have both been explored by conversation analysts, but their case study material has mostly been taken from Angle-American media. Their substantial corpus of work forms a solid basis for this research, allowing it to compare the findings of this study with data produced from news interviews in a range of countries where different regulatory frameworks apply. Our findings prove that the independent channel interviewers are much more aggressive in their questioning than their counterparts on the state-owned channel. The former prove to be more enterprising when designing their questions, which exerts more pressure on guests, limiting their chances of avoiding the question agenda. However, a comparison of these findings with those relating to Anglo-American studies, revealed that participants in Arabic interviews interact within a more relaxed system that tends to be more conversational and informal, and the results clearly show that the questions posed on both Arab channels were markedly less aggressive and more deferential than the examples provided in the Anglo-American literatureEThOS - Electronic Theses Online ServiceGBUnited Kingdo

Topics: 05L - Literature, mass media, performing arts
Year: 2013
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Provided by: OpenGrey Repository
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