- Negotiation Games
- Play metaphors in the journalist-source relationship between political PR and talk shows
- Journalism Practice
- Volume | Issue number
- 11 | 8
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This study analyzes the interpretive repertoires used by public relations (PR) advisors of Dutch politicians to describe their relations with talk show journalists. A qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews revealed that the dominant repertoires come from the realm of play. PR advisors downplay the power struggle to position politicians on talk shows as a competitive game while at the same time they legitimize their close relationships with journalists with another play metaphor, the rehearsed stage play. Moreover, comparing politicians’ appearances on talk shows with stage performances gives them the opportunity to brush aside the contradiction between their extensive pre-broadcast preparations and the authentic appearance they attempt to emulate. Studying the interpretive repertoires of advisors working in PR and how they fruitfully combine the elements of struggle and cooperation sheds light on the structures and strategies that define journalist–source relationships. It provides insights into how PR advisors perceive and enact their own role, which often goes unnoticed both in research and by the general public.
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