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The analysis of an interview on BBC breakfast: A comparative study with political interviews.

Essay

The analysis of an interview on BBC breakfast: A comparative study with political interviews.

Author:

Abstract

This paper examines a morning news interview by comparing it with political news interviews studied in the literature. Such interviews are classified as ‘formal’ institutional talk (Heritage and Greatbatch, 1991), along with other types of interview. However, by analysing carefully transcribed data this paper suggests that the ‘formality’ or ‘context’ of the interview is constructed and adjusted by the participants’ talk in the way that it differs not only from the other types of interview but also from a mere celebrity talk show. In other words, it was found that the interview is deployed with ‘personal tone’ and yet is deployed as ‘institutional talk’. Precisely, on the one hand, it can be perceived as ‘less institutional’ as it starts and closes with rituals produced by the participants, which makes them depart from the impersonal roles of interviewer and interviewee. Also, although interviewer’s acknowledgement tokens such as ‘mhm’ are absent in political interview in order to withhold expressing understanding towards the interviewee’s opinions, the interview analysed here often contains such tokens. On the other hand, it is maintained as ‘institutional’ by ‘neutralism’ created by the interviewers, and the strict turn-taking system which is found in political interviews. The interviewer’s management on closing section also makes the interview ‘institutional’. 

Keywords: Conversation Analysis, News interview, Institutional Talk.

How to Cite:

Yamaoka, Y., (2011) “The analysis of an interview on BBC breakfast: A comparative study with political interviews.”, Essex Student Journal 4(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5526/esj120

74223385-f71e-4e80-a218-e5e034e28346

Introduction

Since the study on talk in courtrooms by Atkinson and Drew (1979), ‘institutional talk’, talk-in-interaction in socially specialized settings such as news interviews and emergency calls has attracted the attention of conversation analysts. In particular, they attempt to inquire how the actions of participants function to demonstrate their identity and accomplish their tasks in the particular talk (Heritage and Clayman, 2010, p.17). These objects of the study are pursued with a certain notion of context in which interactions are accomplished.

Context of talk is sometimes perceived as a ‘bucket’ or ‘container’, as if it is predetermined before the interaction and has certain constraints on the talk (ibid., p.21; Hutchby and Wooffit, 2008, p.139). If this view is right, contexts are unchangeable regardless of what kind of talk it contains; however, it is questionable. Moreover, this view would prevent us from examining or accounting for those cases which happen to deviate from what is expected in the context 1 . On the contrary, it is argued that contexts are not ‘buckets’ nor predetermined but are ‘created, maintained, or altered’ (Heritage and Clayman, 2010, p.22) as the participants in the conversation perform a course of actions or produce a set of utterances. This is the view which underlies studies on institutional talk, and which allows a closer examination of particular parts of the talk and distinguishes different types of institutional talk. Bearing this notion in mind, this report will examine a morning news interview. Although according to the classification of Heritage and Greatbatch (1991) these kinds of interviews can be classified as ‘formal’ institutional talk, along with evening news interviews, or political interviews, Clayman and Heritage (2002, p.67) recognise the difference between these two types of news interviews 2 . Further comparative study will allow us to understand how the performance of participants in the talk will shape the context, and precisely what kind of elements make it ‘institutional’ and what kind of elements make it less ‘institutional’, if there are any. This report will be divided into three large sections: the opening part of the talk, the closing part, and the intermediate part. In each section, the morning news interview will be compared with political news interviews.

Data

The data employed in this study was broadcast as a part of BBC Breakfast 3 . The interview consists of two interviewers, Kate Silverton and Bill Turnbull, and an interviewee, Lady Gaga. As the main comparative material, the study on political interviews by Clayman and Heritage (2002) will be discussed.

Opening

The morning news interview collected for this study differs from the typical case of political interviews from the opening section. It is reported that in the latter interview there is an absence of three courses of actions, which are usually found in everyday conversation: ‘greetings’ such as good afternoon , ‘personal inquiries’ such as how are you?, a ‘preliminary process’ which indicates readiness for the talk such as second pair part of summons 4 , Yes and Hi (Clayman and Heritage, 2002, pp.65-66). Three reasons for these distinctive phenomena are suggested by Clayman and Heritage (ibid.). Firstly, since participants in interviews restrict themselves to question-answer based sequences, such exchanges listed above are not suitable for the aim. Secondly, the participants engage in the interview as ‘impersonal institutional roles’, interviewer and interviewee, so that ritual exchanges usually found in conversation among intimates are ‘disattended’ (ibid., p.67). Finally, the absence of such exchanges might be due to the preparation process; the participants might have met before the on-air interview, and setting up cameras and microphones facilitates the participants’ preparation to interact beforehand (ibid., p.68). However, these three actions are found in the morning news interview as can be seen in (1).

(1) B: Interviewer 1 (Bill Turnbull), K: Interviewer 2 (Kate Silverton),

L: Interviewee (Lady Gaga)

1 B: looking stylish as ever,
2 B: good morning your lady[ship.
3 L: [good morni:ng.=
4 B: =how are you¿
5 L: nice to meet you.
6 B: uh::>lovely to see-< we are lucky to [have you=

Firstly, just after the introduction of the interviewee has finished 5 , Bill (interviewer) greets Lady Gaga (interviewee), by saying ‘good morning’ (line 2). Having heard this as a first pair part of adjacency pair, she immediately produces the second pair part at line 3. Then, Bill moves onto a personal inquiry (line 4), which is said to be unusual in political interviews (Clayman and Hertiage, 2002, p.66). Although the second pair part of this inquiry is not produced (e.g. I am fine ), the interviewee initiates another conventional exchange: ‘nice to meet you’ (line 5), and receives a response: ‘we are lucky to have you’ (line 6). The occurrence of these rituals makes the interview different from typical political interviews; in particular it has a ‘more “personal” tone’, as is noted by Clayman and Heritage (2002, p.67) rather than an impersonal interaction.

Closing

The most distinctive feature of interaction in a news interview in comparison to ordinary conversation is the asymmetrical roles of the participants. In terms of the closing section, while any participant in an ordinary conversation can bring the talk to an end, it is always accomplished by interviewers in interviews (Clayman and Heritage, 2002, pp.72-73). Regarding this point, interviewers have two main responsibilities; they have to facilitate the development of the discussion and manage it under the constraints on time (ibid., p.73). This section will discuss how the interviewers accomplish successful closing under these constraints, and it will be compared with a morning news interview.

The terminal point of a news interview is reported to be very different from that of ordinary conversation in that participants do not exchange good byes as they are engaged in impersonal roles as interviewers and interviewees (ibid., pp.74-75). Instead, as the indication of termination, the interviewers typically express their appreciation to the interviewees for doing the interview, and the interviewees optionally respond to it (ibid.). Secondly, as well as the use of ‘well’, brief summary of the discussion and announcement on the necessity of ending for ‘winding down’ (pp.77-79), the interviewers sometimes ask a question about the interviewees’ future plans, and it is treated as the final question in its own right, without being explicitly expressed with phrases such as ‘the last question’ or ‘one more question’ (ibid., pp.81-82). Some of these features are also found in the morning news interview.

(2)

173 K: 1→ But y- you said you wanna change the pop world one
174 K: 1→ single at a ti me, what do you exactly mean
175 K: 1→ by that what’s [next for you¿
176 [( Kate moves her right hand forward )
177 L: [.hhhh Uh:n we:ll...
...((eight lines omitted here while Lady Gaga is answering the question))...
186 K: [ehe hehhh
187 B: 2→ [Well it’s been lovely having >you with us< [(0.6)
188 B: where’s the↑ tea cup.

Observing the sequences before the closing part shown as (2), a ‘possible’ last question can be found. Arrow 1 indicates when one of the interviewers, Kate, asks the interviewee about her next plan. After the answer to this question, the other interviewer expresses his appreciation of having the interviewee (arrow 2). Although the interview itself does not end here, as the interviewer initiates another question (but a small one as opposed to the previous one about the future), this process enables the interviewee to prepare for the closing.

(3) Having asked about her cup’s whereabouts, the interviewer talks about

how famous the cup has become.

209 L: =That=I carry a tea cup for one day, en everybody knows
210 L: what colour it looks like, and the pattern, an it’s so
211 L: famous, and I looked at her this morning an
212 L: I said you’re stealing my thunder,=
213 B: =[Yea
214 K: =[Yea
215 L: you’re staying home.
216 B: You’ll be getting ( ) agent next ( [ )
217 L: [Ye[(h)s she’s=
218 K: [ehuh huh huh
219 L: =gonna leave me:.
220 B: Huh huh [huh huh
221 L: [she’s not coming t’ work today.=
222 K: =Huh huh huh heh .hhh really good t’ meet you.=all the
223 K: very best. we look forward t’ seeing you [next time
224 B: [( )
225 B: [Come back See you soon
226 L: [Thank you very much you’re very kin[d
227 B: [Alright. thank you.

After the small question about the cup and the expanded talk that follows it, the interviewers move forwards to the termination. Therefore, one notable feature of this closing is that it is similar to that of political news interviews in that it is the interviewers who launch the closing. However, it is done so, again, in a ‘“personal” tone’ (Clayman and Heritage, 2002) with features which are usually not found in evening news interviews. Firstly Kate’s utterance ‘really good to meet you’ (line 222) is common in ordinary conversation and so is referring to the next meeting (lines 223 and 225). These performances make the interview itself very different from an ‘impersonal’ evening news interview.

Question and answer structure

Having discussed the opening and closing, the focus now turns to the structure of the main body. In ordinary conversation, the participants are entitled to take turns under the systematic rules; there are chances of speaker shift at each ‘transition-relevance place’ (TRP) (Sack et al., 1974, p.703), and the next speaker is either selected by the current speaker or self-selected by themselves (ibid., p.704). The turn-taking organization in interviews also follows this rule. However, it is constrained as the interviewers are engaged in asking questions and interviewees are engaged in answering them (Clayman and Heritage, 2002, pp.97-98). The notable point here is that this is done by their mutual contribution to constitute ‘interview talk’ (ibid., p.105). Schegloff (1988/89) demonstrates a case in which the interviewee refrains from obtaining a turn, or interrupting the interviewer until a question is produced 6 . Also, it is noted that other courses of action such as acknowledgements (e.g. yes and mhm ) are commonly absent (Clayman and Heritage, 2002, p.108). In earlier sections, we saw that the morning news interview is different in some ways. However, the basis of question-answer structure is maintained also in the interview. For instance, in (4) the interviewer firstly produces a statement (arrow1), secondly produces the evidential source for and the content of the upcoming question (arrow2), and then moves onto a question (arrow 3). While the interviewer formulates the question, the interviewee waits for the next appropriate turn, which is when to provide an answer.

(4)

145 K: 1→ But you do get I mean it’s [fair to say your lo ok is very=
146 [( Kate moves her right hand
147 towards Lady Gaga )
148 K: 1→ =individual= you get no ticed by the press [(an awful lot)=
149 [( Kate moves
150 her right hand towards Lady Gaga )
151 K: 2→ =uh sudden rumours, uh: one was that you keep your-
152 K: 2→ (.) you’ve a:sked for a fridge when you are staying
153 K: 3→ here t’ keep your wigs in. is that true?
154 (0.2)
155 L: 4→ .hhh No my [my
156 B: [I mean that’s not your real ha[ir?
157 L: 4→ [my wigs
158 L: 4→ don’t need to be refrigera[ted.
159 K: [Huh huh huh huh huh

This topic is less serious in comparison to the prior topics about the interviewee’s biographical history (shown in Appendix 1), and about whether her music is a source of pride (shown in excerpt 5). However, maintenance of ‘interview talk’ by adhering to the question-answer structure makes the interview different from a talk show 7 .

The tasks of interviewers

The previous section was concerned with the structural feature of news interviews and how the participants collaborate to conduct ‘interview talk’ (Clayman and Heritage, 2002, p.105). This section will bring a further focus on interviewers’ professional tasks. According to Clayman and Heritage (ibid., pp.119-120), interviewers generally have two tasks to maintain throughout the interview. Firstly, interviewers have to manage the interview, which is consistent with the concept that the talk in the interview is in principle aimed at the benefit of the audience. Secondly, they have to maintain their ‘“neutralistic” stance’ (ibid., p.120) as professional journalists. For instance, while interviewees are answering the questions, the interviewers tend to refrain from providing acknowledgements such as ‘mm hm’ and ‘oh’, which frequently occur in ordinary conversations (ibid.). This is because although the interviewers are the direct addressees of the interviewees’ talk, they treat the audience as the addressees for which the talk is aimed (Heritage, 1985, pp.99-100). It is also because such acknowledgements can be heard as demonstrating their stance on the interviewees’ side, which would not in accord with their neutralism (Clayman and Heritage, p.124) 8 . Also, regarding neutralism, interviewers inhibit themselves from expressing their opinions and from explicitly dis/affiliating with those of interviewees (ibid., p.126). If these actions were to be carried out they are embedded in the question-answer structure (ibid.); even though the stance of the interviewers was doubted, they can claim that they were merely asking a question (ibid., p.130). In addition, it is reported that interviewers sometimes assert facts in order to ask the question (ibid., pp.134-135), refer to the arguments or opinions of third persons (ibid., p.152) or display the questions as general concerns in order to maintain neutralism (ibid., p.171). The morning news interview also provides some remarks on these features.

(5)

99 K: 1→ £Yeahhhh£ excellent stuff. a nd is it a [source of pri de=
100 [( Kate puts
101 both hands towards Lady Gaga )
102 K: 2→ =[I guess
103 [( Kate moves her hands slightly up to down )
104 K: 3→ it must be really the fact that you are: t[rai ned musician
105 [( Kate moves
106 hands up to down )
107 K: 3→ and you [ wri te all your own songs?
108 [( Kate moves her right hand towards Lady Gaga )
109 K: 3→ [The whole of the album was penned by y[ou.
110 [( Kate points at Lady Gaga with her hands )
111 L: [ uh::m ↑I: don’ know
112 L: if it’s a source of pri:de I don’ like to (0.4)
113 L: necessarily use that wo rd but uh:m (0.8)
114 L: I’m quite confi[dent in my abilities=
115 [( Lady Gaga moves her left hand forward )
116 L: =as um a song writer an as a musician an uhm (.) it’s=
117 L: =you know very di[ffe rent for pop music everybody =
118 [( Lady Gaga puts her left hand forward )
119 L: = is sort’ve uh: posits that pop music is a low brow ,
120 L: and it’s manufactured and it’s plastic,
121 M: 4→ Mhm
122 L: º and [I intend to do
123 [( Lady Gaga stops hand movements and
124 turns the gaze away from the presenters )
125 L: [away with all those sorts of [remarksº

Firstly, Kate asks a question (arrow1) with an assertion, which follows immediately (‘I guess it must be’) (arrow 2). Such ‘departures’ from the interviewer role of merely asking questions can be problematic as it interferes with the ‘“neutarlistic” stance’ of the interviewer; however, this can be mitigated (Clayman and Heritage, 2002, pp.132-133). In the case of this interview, it is done so when Kate provides evidence in order to ask the question and the assertion (‘you are a trained musician’ and ‘you write all your songs’) (arrow 3). These are the performances of the interviewer which contribute to constituting the conversation as an ‘interview’. However, in terms of the concept that the audience is the primary addressee, the interviewers’ acknowledgements are found relatively frequently throughout the interview; for instance, arrow 4 9 . Thus it can be argued that on one hand the interviewers maintain the neutralism of the interview through the course of adherence to the role of asking questions, and otherwise mitigating their risks by providing facts, which is the same as the evening news interviews. On the other hand, they depart from the restricted interview style and make the interview itself slightly closer to ordinary conversation by acknowledging their understanding, or demonstrating themselves as the addressees.

Conclusion

This report has shown that the morning news interview examined here has both differences and similarities with political news interviews studied in the literature. The striking differences were that the interview starts with greetings and personal inquiry, and closes with ritual farewell greetings, which all indicate that the participants depart from the impersonal roles. Also, in the main part of interview the acknowledgements such as ‘mhm’ are often found in interviewers’ speeches, which makes them appear to be seen as the addressees of the interviewee’s talk. Clayman and Heritage (2002, p.121) mention that the frequent use of these tokens is found in ‘more “relaxed” interview settings’. Also Greatbatch’s (1988, pp.424-425) study shows that interviewers in celebrity and talk shows employ them to constitute the talk in which the interviewers or presenters are the primary addressees and audience are ‘eavesdroppers’. The morning news interview is definitely a ‘relaxed’ one due to the features mentioned above; however, it is distinct from talk shows. One of the main reasons that it can be recognised as an interview is that its characteristic is maintained by the contribution of the participants in two important ways; question-answer structure and neutralism. As discussed earlier, the context is constituted by the course of actions of the participants. The interviewers and the interviewee depart from the norm of news interviews by performing the talk in a ‘personal tone’, but at the same time maintain the question and answer structure to conduct ‘interview talk’. Further examinations such as comparative studies with other interviews with different topics or different interviewees with the same interviewers might support the view that this ‘relaxed’ but maintained ‘interview talk’ is created by the contributions of the participants.

Bibliography

Atkinson, J. M. & Drew, P. (1979), Order in court: The organisation of verbal interaction in judicia settings, Macmillan, London.

Clayman, S. & Heritage, J. (2002), The news interview: Journalists and public figures on the air, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Clayman, S.E. & Maynard, D.W. (1995), "Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis". In ten Have, P. & Psathas, G. (eds), Situated order: Studies in the social organization of talk and embodied activities , International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis, Washington, D.C., pp.1-30

Greatbatch, D. (1988), "A turn-taking system for British news interviews", Language in Society , vol. 17, pp. 401-430.

Heritage, J. (1985), "Analyzing news interviews: Aspects of the production of talk for an overhearing audience". In Dijk, T.A. (ed), Handbook of discourse analysis Volume 3 , Academic Press, London; Orlando, pp.95-117

Heritage, J. & Clayman, S. (2010), Talk in action: Interactions, identities, and institutions, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, Mass.

Heritage, J. & Greatbatch, D. (1991), "On the institutional character of institutional talk: The case of news interviews". In Boden, D. & Zimmerman, D.H. (eds), Talk and social structure: Studies in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis , Polity Press, Cambridge, pp.93-137

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Appendix

Appendix 1: The transcription of the data

B= Bill Turnbull (Interviewer 1)

K= Kate Silverton (Interviewer 2)

L= Lady Gaga (Interviewee)

1 B: looking stylish as ever,
2 B: good morning your lady[ship.
3 L: [good morni:ng.=
4 B: =how are you¿
5 L: nice to meet you.
6 B: uh::>lovely to see-< we are lucky to [have you=
7 [( Bill puts
8 his right hand towards Lady Gaga )
9 B: =cos y- you are leaving town tod a :y¿
10 L: yes actually[in a few hours.
11 [( Bill puts his right hand back
12 and clasps his hands )
13 B: Wo:w. you’ve been making big splash while you=
14 B: =are here though¿
15 L: thank you uh:m we:ll I’ve been performing a lot,
16 L: and uhm Im just excited to be in the UK=
17 L: =I love my fans so much. =
18 B: =mh:m.
19 K: yea hu:ge the numbers(’ve) bin e-mailing in this morning=
20 K: =let’s (start)- perhaps people- [(the un initiated)=
21 [( Kate’s right
22 hand movement )
23 K: =I know you’ve been asked this question lots
24 K: but where does the <Lady Gaga come from.>
25 L: Uhm, well it was the nick name my frie:nds gave me
26 L: when I was living in New York, uh::they
27 L: thought my performances are very theatrical,
28 L: so they called me gaga, after the Queen
29 L: song Radio Ga Ga.
30 B: Okay, an now even your mom calls you (.) [Gaga ( )
31 L: [hhh
32 L: yeah: well it just makes you me ntal people call=
33 L: =me different things (all day so)
34 L: I just said [ oka y (0.6) every body: it’s=
35 [(Lady Gaga puts her left hand in front of her
36 chest and moves it horizontally from right to left
37 four times.)
38 L: =Gaga [(.) all the time.
39 B: [Huh huh huh huh huh huh huh [huh
40 K: [£so
41 K: the introduction (is to be) hi I’m Gaga.£
42 L: [£yeah.£
43 K: [it’s great.
44 K: uhm so tell us little bit about you as well.=
45 K: =because unl ike some [ other pop sensation=
46 [ (Kate clenches her fist and
47 moves from up to down)
48 K: =shall we say, you [ really earned your stripes you
49 [( Kate puts the back of her hand up
50 and moves it from inner to outer )
51 K: worked New York (circuit) you wo- you done lots
52 K: of gi gs from quite young age your mom
53 K: first took you to gig [what, when you are fourteen.
54 [( Kate turns her right hand from
55 the back to the front and pints at Lady Gaga )
56 L: yes well I guess you could say that I: : (.) did pop music
57 L: the way that (.) rock ba: nds do rock music (.)[uhm:
58 B: [mhm
59 L: I worked my way up t’ club circuit and I performed
60 L: (in) (.) the undergrou: nd uhm burlesque scene for a long
61 L: time, and did my own thi : ng.
62 B: but you are also class ically [↑trained.
63 [( Bill puts both hands
64 towards Lady Gaga as if striking the keys of a piano )
65 L: Yes.
66 B: aren’t you.
67 L: [( )
68 B: [so started ( ) what the age of four ¿
69 L: yeah when I was fo ur I started uhm by [(ear) and
70 [( Lady Gaga puts her
71 left hand forward )
72 L: I started to take lessons to learn how to [read music,
73 [( Lady Gaga moves
74 her left hand as if making a small circle )
75 L: and then I got into [ragti: : me and
76 [( Lady Gaga horizontally puts the
77 back of her left hand up )
78 L: I disco[vered the Beatle: : s, and I=
79 [( Lady Gaga moves her left hand inner to outer )
80 L: =started [writing.
81 [( Lady Gaga moves her left hand form outer to inner
82 and puts the hand down )
83 B: very good and uh: : actually [the- you play
84 [( Bill puts both his hands
85 towards Lady Gaga )
86 B: [different version (.) of uh: polker face=
87 [( Bill points at Lady Gaga with his right hand )
88 B: =[on the radio [( )
89 [( Bill puts his left hand down )
90 L: [yea!
91 B: I prefer b’coz it shows off your [musicality much more
92 [( Bill moves both hands from
93 inner to outer )
94 B: we’ll just have a [quick [look
95 [( Bill points at the screen with his left thumb )
96 B: [have a little=
97 L: =thank you.
98 ( watching video of interviewee singing on the radio )
99 K: £Yeahhhh£ excellent stuff. a nd is it a [source of pri de=
100 [( Kate puts
101 both hands towards Lady Gaga )
102 K: =[I guess
103 [( Kate moves her hands slightly up to down )
104 K: it must be really the fact that you are: t[rai ned musician
105 [( Kate moves
106 hands up to down )
107 K: and you [ wri te all your own songs?
108 [( Kate moves her right hand towards Lady Gaga )
109 K: [The whole of the album was penned by y[ou.
110 [( Kate points at Lady Gaga with her hands )
111 L: [ uh: :m ↑I: don’ know
112 L: if it’s a source of pri: de I don’ like to (0.4)
113 L: necessarily use that wo rd but uh:m (0.8)
114 L: I’m quite confi[dent in my abilities=
115 [( Lady Gaga moves her left hand forward )
116 L: =as um a song writer an as a musician an uhm (.) it’s=
117 L: =you know very di[ffe rent for pop music everybody =
118 [( Lady Gaga puts her left hand forward )
119 L: = is sort’ve uh: posits that pop music is a low bow ,
120 L: and it’s manufactured and it’s plastic,
121 B: Mhm
122 L: º and [I intend to do
123 [( Lady Gaga stops hand movements and
124 turns the gaze away from the presenters )
125 L: [away with all those sorts of [remarksº
126 [( Lady Gaga moves her left hand to outer )
127 B: [Have
128 B: you (.) been surprised by- by the- sort’ve (0.6) the [extraordinary
129 [( Bill puts his
130 hands toward Lady Gaga )
131 B: success you’ve had(.) in this country.
132 L: Uh: : m (0.2) yea:hs absolutely. very exciting. I always knew=
133 L: =[that it wz my destiny to make music,
134 [( Lady Gaga moves her left hand forward )
135 B: Mh:m
136 L: A: nd uh: to trouble the world around but I did=
137 L: =not realize the: uh: : m huge impact that (I would ha-)=
138 L: =but honestly I’m quite uh insulated and I ig[nore all of the-
139 [( Lady Gaga
140 moves her left hand towards back )
141 L: the the hy pe and just focus on the work.
142 B: Mh:m
143 ( Lady Gaga turns the gaze away from the presenters )
145 K: But you do get I mean it’s [fair to say your lo ok is very=
146 [( Kate moves her right hand
147 towards Lady Gaga )
148 K: =individual= you get no ticed by the press [(an awful lot)=
149 [( Kate moves
150 her right hand and towards Lady Gaga )
151 K: =uh sudden rumours, uh: one was that you keep your-
152 K: (.) you’ve a: sked for a fridge when you are staying
153 K: here t’ keep your wigs in. is that true?
154 (0.2)
155 L: .hhh No my [my
156 B: [I mean that’s not your real ha[ir?
157 L: [my wigs
158 L: don’t need to be refrigera[ted.
159 K: [Huh huh huh huh huh
160 B: [Huh huh huh huh
161 L: Uh: [this is my real hair.
162 [( Lady Gaga touches her hair )
163 B: Is it?
164 L: Yes this one is.
165 B: That’s nice.
166 K: And=
167 B: =A=
168 K: =the- the[re’s a quote I wanted t’ read which I wz jus’ trying
169 B: [yeah
170 K: to find but the Guardian (essentially) said Warhol
171 K: would’ve loved you.
172 L: Ah that’s very nice.
...
...(30 seconds omitted here)
...
173 K: But y- you said you wanna change the pop world one
174 K: single at the ti me, what do you exactly mean
175 K: by that what’s [next for you¿
176 [( Kate moves her right hand forward )
177 L: [.hhhh Uh: n we: ll you know (that) I said
178 L: that a long time ago. but really uh:m what that quote’s all
179 L: about is uh: m (0.6) I think sometimes that
180 L: um (0.2) in all kinds of music and pop culture,
181 L: artists tend to take themselves way too seriously, and don’t
182 L: just enjoy the fun of making music en making video: : s
183 L: an uhm (.) making impact on culture so I ↑just have a good
184 L: time, (single) to me is (.) representative of a good
185 L: ti[me.
186 K: [ehe hehhh
187 B: [Well it’s been lovely having >you with us< [(0.6)
188 B: where’s the↑ tea cup.
189 [( Bill looks at
190 the table and moves his left hand forward and looks at
191 Lady Gaga )
192 B: [You (don) have [this mar[verous ( )
193 K: [Yeah:
194 [( Lady Gaga looks away to her right)
195 L: [She’s too famous she’s stea(h)ling
196 L: my thun[der.
197 B: [huh huh [huh huh huh
198 K: [huh huh huh [huh huh huh huh huh
199 L: [I left her in the dressing
200 L: room.
201 B: Yes [it’s s-
202 L: [I’ve got new one over there.=
203 B: =She has a perso- it’s- the tea cup now has a
204 B: perso nality [( )
205 L: [You know it’s really power[ful imagery isn’t it?
206 [( Lady Gaga points
207 at somewhere front )
208 B: It is.=
209 L: =That=I carry a tea cup for one day, en everybody knows
210 L: what colour it looks like, and the pattern, an it’s so
211 L: famous, and I looked at her this morning an
212 L: I said you’re stealing my thunder,=
213 B: =[Yea
214 K: =[Yea
215 L: you’re staying home.
216 B: You’ll be getting ( ) agent next ( [ )
217 L: [Ye[(h)s she’s=
218 K: [ehuh huh huh
219 L: =gonna leave me: .
220 B: Huh huh [huh huh
221 L: [she’s not coming t’ work today.=
222 K: =Huh huh huh heh .hhh really good t’ meet you.=all the
223 K: very best. we look forward t’ seeing you [next time
224 B: [( )
225 B: [Come back See you soon
226 L: [Thank you very much you’re very kin[d
227 B: [Alright. thank you.

Appendix 2: The conventions employed for transcription

The interview data examined in this study is transcribed with the convention developed by Gail Jefferson. The indications I referred for transcribing are Liddicoat (2007, pp.13-50), Hutchby and Wooffitt (2008, x-xii; pp.69-87), Sidnell (2010, ix-x). I also referred to the course material from the last term (Clift, Autumn, 2010), especially for body movements. The detailed convention used for this study is as follows.

. Marked when intonation falls
, Marked when intonation slightly rises and also indicate the continuity
Indicate rise in pitch
word : Indicate fall-rise intonation
wor d : Indicate rise-fall intonation
? Marked when intonation rises
¿ Marked when intonation rises somewhere between ‘,’ and ‘?’
! Animated or emphasised tone
word: The sound of the word is stretched
[ Where overlap begins
(number) The length of silence which is more than 0.2 seconds
(.) The pause which is less than 0.2 seconds
( Italic ) Body actions
( ) Unrecognizable utterance
(word) Transcribers’ guess
word Marked where emphasized
(h) Aspiration in word
.hhh Hearable inbreath
hhh Hearable outbreath
= Next utterance is followed without hearable interval
°word° Uttered quietly or whispered
>word< Compressed speech
<word> Stretched speech

©Yukari Yamaoka. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY).


  1. Examination on ‘deviant cases’ is important in conversation analysis in three ways; firstly, it helps us to recognise a normal case; secondly, it indicates the necessity of a better account which explains both normal cases and cases which depart from them; thirdly, it allows us to describe how the problematic case is different from a normal case, and how it differentiates the situation (Clayman and Maynard, 1995, p.7-9).

  2. They note that while the participants in the news interviews engage in the impersonal roles and the ritual exchanges, which occur in the ordinary conversations such as greetings are normally absent, morning news interviews are exceptions (see Clayman and Heritage, 2002, p.67).

  3. The data was obtained from an online video posting website Youtube. The link to the video clip employed for the data studied can be accessed from:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIH2qGf2Xy4&feature=fvsr [last accessed: April 20, 2011]

  4. Adjacency pairs are pairs of utterances such as ‘question-answer’ and ‘greeting-greeting’. They consist of one speaker of ‘first pair parts’ and another speaker of ‘second pair parts’. Both parts belong to the same ‘pair type’, and the former decides the type of the latter. (Schegloff and Sacks, 1973, pp.295-296).

  5. Unfortunately, the data was found with this part having been omitted.

  6. These phenomena can be clearly seen at some possible TRP in the prior turns as the interviewee takes a breath or opens his mouth.

  7. Clayman and Heritage (2002, p.96) argue adhering to the question and answer format not only enables the participants in the news interview to ‘do news interview talk’ but also allows the audience to distinguish it from other types of talk such as ‘chat show’.

  8. Heritage (1985, p.99) argues that tokens such as ‘oh’ or news marks (e.g. ‘did she’) but not ‘continuers’ (e.g. ‘mm hm’) ‘propose some commitment to the truth or the adequacy of the talk they receipt’; therefore its use is not consistent with the roles of interviewers which is to ‘elicit information but not to judge its adequacy’.

  9. More of them can be found in the full transcription attached in appendix 1.

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