Kevin Rudd and the Framing of Politics and Political Leadership in News Media Interviews

Geoffrey Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the framing of politics by Kevin Rudd in news media interviews and argues that political interviews are fundamentally contestable communicative encounters. Contrary to common criticisms of the obfuscation of politicians in news media interviews, it is argued here that it should be anticipated that political discourse will be tightly controlled given that high political stakes hinge on the contested meanings of statements and issues. The analysis is based on two interviews: firstly, an interview on the Sunday programme in June 2007 after the Howard Government's announcement of a planned intervention to deal with child sexual abuse in Indigenous Northern Territory communities; and secondly, an interview on the Lateline programme during the 2007 election campaign after the Reserve Bank interest rate increase and the controversy over John Howard's 'apology' for the rate rise. The discussion shows how Rudd seeks to present himself as a 'rational' political leader and identify with the interests of the Australian public. It also demonstrates how Rudd's leadership is constructed through his management of expressions of consensus and conflict and his management of the division between the public and private disclosure of opinion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-99
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication, Politics and Culture
Volume41
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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