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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 19 - 2012, No. 3

Types of Interaction on Israeli Political Radio Phone-in Programmes and their Relations to the Public Sphere

, pages: 21-40

This paper typifies the different interactions on Israeli public stations political radio phone-in programmes. Based on general features of the interaction and of the host perceptions, six different types of interaction were found. The different types can be distinguished by two aspects, whether the interaction is based on agreement or disagreement and whether the participants engage each other in the interaction. The most prominent type of interaction is a two-sided disagreement interaction, in which hosts and callers argue about issues and problems. A similar type is that of the neutral interaction, in which hosts try to avoid expressing their opinions. Other types of interactions also occur in the programmes, yet hosts often remark on their occurrence. These remarks serve to explain the interaction to the audience, to justify the hosts’ behaviour, and to reprimand or compliment the caller. These remarks also suggest that hosts see these types as non-normative interactions, when compared to the two-sided disagreement and neutral interactions. The normative categories go hand in hand with the demands of a public sphere, showing that political radio phone-in programmes in Israel contribute to the public sphere and to its democratic life.

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