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


Although political TV interviews can reveal a lot about the changing relationship between journalism and politics in media-centered democracies, respective knowledge in Austria is limited – especially during non-election times. Against this background, this project aims to generate insights about interviews' political agendas, actors’ specific conversation strategies and the staging of politics in a long-term comparison by an analysis of the format "Sommergespräche" ("Summer Talks/Interviews"), broadcast since 1981 by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation

Following a static-dynamic approach with origins in linguistics, a quantitative content analysis 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 also considered 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 aims to answer questions as the following: How successful are moderators and, in contrast, political guests in controlling the interview's agenda? Which conversation strategies by journalists and politicians are the most effective within the discussion? 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?


Cultural Department of the City of Vienna

CMC Staff

Andreas Riedl

Josef Seethaler (Project Leader, since 2016)

Jens Tenscher † (Project Leader, until 2015)



Mag. Diotima Bertel, Bakk.a BA

Barbara Metzler, Bakk.a BA BA

Mag. Sophie Psihoda

Claudia Strate, BA

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: Masterarbeit von 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



Open access to the dataset on the Austrian Social Science Data Archive (AUSSDA):




  • 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"

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