ORF-"Sommergespräche [Summer Talks]" - Strategies, Images and Issues in Political TV Interviews, 1981-2016


Political TV interviews can reveal a lot about the changing relationship between journalism and politics. However, knowledge about these formats over time is limited in Austria – especially during non-election times. Therefore, this project generates insights about interviews' political agendas, actors’ specific conversation strategies and the staging of politics by an analysis of the format "Sommergespräche" ("Summer Talks "), broadcast since 1981 by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. The project utilizes a static-dynamic quantitative content analysis, which was applied to all single statements from all 125 episodes broadcast between 1981 and 2016.  To consider the changing role of media according to the "mediatization" thesis, the analysis includes aspects of media logic, which have been identified as factors that shape agenda-setting strategies in related contexts. Based on this extensive material, the project allows answering questions as the following: How successful are moderators and political guests in controlling the interview's agenda? Which conversation strategies by journalists and politicians are the most effective? Which influence do aspects of media logic have on the success of agenda control? Which role does gender play in the interplay between journalistic and political actors?

CMC Staff

Andreas Riedl (Contact)

Josef Seethaler (Project Leader, since 2016)

Jens Tenscher † (Project Leader, until 2015)


Diotima Bertel, Barbara Metzler, Sophie Psihoda, Claudia Strate

Cooperation Partners

Editorial office for the Handbook of the State (Staatslexikon) ["Redaktion Staatslexikon der Görres-Gesellschaft an der Universität Passau"], published by the Görres-Gesellschaft e.V., University of Passau: Master thesis by Sophia Dollsack on "Gender specific Communication Patterns within Political TV-Interviews in the Past and Presence", supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heinrich Oberreuter (finished: April 2019)


Open access to the dataset on the Austrian Social Science Data Archive (AUSSDA): http://dx.doi.org/10.11587/QQ7HTL

Publications and Lectures

Articles and Book Chapters

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Riedl, A. (2018). Political TV Interviews in Austria 1981-2016 – Structures and Strategies through Times of Substantial Changes in Media and Politics. Communications: The European Journal Of Communication Research., n/a, n/a. doi:10.1515/commun-2018-2023

Research Papers

Research Papers

  • Institut für Vergleichende Medien- und Kommunikationsforschung, C. M. C. (2018). ORF Sommergespräche: Strategien, Images und Themen im politischen Fernsehinterview – Kategorienschema und Codieranweisung zur standardisierten, quantitativen Inhaltsanalyse [ORF Sommergespräche: Strategies, Images and Topic in Political TV-Interviews – Codebook for a Standardized, Quantitative Content Analysis], CMC- Research paper No. 11. Wien. Retrieved from https://www.oeaw.ac.at/fileadmin/Institute/CMC/PDF/CMC__2018_._CMC_research_paper_no._11.pdf



  • 24/05/2018 , Prague
    Andreas Riedl: 
    Who gives whom a voice? Inter-gender interactions in 35 years of political TV-talks
    ICA Preconference "Media, Gender and Sexuality in Europe"
  • 15/11/2017 , Malaga
    Andreas Riedl: 
    Does adopting media logic lead to communicative success in political TV interviews? Communicative strategies in thirty yars of televised talks with Austrian party leaders
    ECREA Television Studies section conference "The Future of European Television: Between Transnationalism and Euroscepticism"