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The Finnish “Famous Five” in Television Interviews: Cultural Characteristics of Party Leaders’ Response Style

Part of the The Language of Politics book series (TLP)

Abstract

Politicians’ television interviews have been central in Finnish election campaigning since the 1960s. Earlier studies of the electoral debates have shown that the influence of the Finnish communication culture and political system on politicians’ communication styles could be readily identified. Before the Finnish municipal elections of 2021, the Finnish Broadcasting Company organized separate television interviews for all leaders of the parliamentary parties. This chapter reports on five of these interviews, focusing only on the leaders of the parties represented in the national government. This means the Finnish “Famous Five,” namely the government led by five female party leaders. The chapter concentrates on Finnish politicians’ responses in the interviews. The analysis is based on the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse and the model of Finnish political television discussion. The aim is to characterize Finnish political interviews and develop a method for interview analysis. The results show that in the television interviews the Finnish “Famous Five” performed both in the style customarily seen in Finnish politicians appearing on television and also in a way indicative of new nuances in politicians’ television performance. It was also possible to consider differences in the response styles of party leaders.

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Isotalus, P. (2022). The Finnish “Famous Five” in Television Interviews: Cultural Characteristics of Party Leaders’ Response Style. In: Feldman, O. (eds) Adversarial Political Interviewing. The Language of Politics. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-0576-6_11

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