Inside Story

Current affairs & culture from Australia and beyond.

269 words

Spin control

5 November 2015

Jane Goodall and Stephen Mills join Peter Clarke to take the temperature of the political interview

Right:

Folie à deux: the Coalition’s Scott Morrison arrives at the studio with protective headgear. Sam Mooy/AAP Image

Folie à deux: the Coalition’s Scott Morrison arrives at the studio with protective headgear. Sam Mooy/AAP Image


With the recent political explosion in Australia – the dumping of yet another prime minister – came an avalanche of political interviews. But how much did we learn from these public interrogations? Have political interviews infused with intense media management run out of puff? With the decline of mass media, will they simply fade away? In this discussion recorded in October, Jane Goodall and Stephen Mills join Peter Clarke to take the temperature of the contemporary political interview.

Jane Goodall is Inside Story’s TV writer. Her books include Performance and Evolution in the Age of Darwin and Stage Presence. Her review of Bill Shorten on Q&A and Malcolm Turnbull on 7.30 is here.

Stephen Mills is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney and a former speechwriter for prime minister Bob Hawke. His latest book is The Professionals: Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia (Black Inc.).

Peter Clarke’s discussion of political interviewing, “The Interview: A Hollow Dance Looking for New Moves,” appears in Australian Journalism Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Interviews mentioned in this podcast

Christopher Pyne on 7.30, May 2014
Christopher Pyne’s “Fixer” interview in March 2015
Tony Abbott on 7.30, 9 September 2015
Bill Shorten on Q&A, 21 September 2015
Malcolm Turnbull on 7.30, 21 September 2015
Scott Morrison on 7.30, 23 September 2015
Malcolm Turnbull on the BBC’s Hard Talk
Sarah Ferguson’s A.N. Smith Lecture

Commentary

Columnist Greg Jericho’s analysis of the Scott Morrison interview
Jeremy Corbyn and the political interview

Read next

1204 words

Labor’s perception problem

6 November 2015

Election victories in Britain and Canada show the Labor Party where more work is needed, writes Peter Brent

Right:

Inflated expectations: a Labour campaign event at Hornsey Town Hall in north London on 16 April this year. Labour Party/Flickr

Inflated expectations: a Labour campaign event at Hornsey Town Hall in north London on 16 April this year. Labour Party/Flickr