Inside Story

Spin control

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

Peter Clarke 5 November 2015 269 words

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


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