Political bias in TV interviews
AbstractThe study aims to provide empirical data on the alleged political bias of Dutch media. It also aims to contribute to the development of an instrument for the measurement of partiality in TV interviews. Its main question is: are TV interviewers biased in putting adversarial questions to politicians with different political backgrounds? The data collection encompasses 12 interviews taken from the late-night talk show Pauw & Witteman during the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 2006. The analysis focuses on five measures of adversarial questioning that were developed by Clayman et al. (2007): initiative , directness , assertiveness , opposition and accountability , as well as on a sixth measure that was developed in the context of this study, persistence . The results show that left-wing politicians are approached less adversarially than right-wing politicians and politicians in the political centre, even when various factors that might offer an alternative explanation are included in the analysis. The conclusion is that interviewers are partial in shaping the way in which politicians can present themselves to the public.