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6. Political Interviews: Change Over Time
About this Lecture
In this module Rob Burley answers the question: “During your career, have you noticed any changes in politicians’ attitudes towards appearing on political programmes?”, focusing in particular on: (i) the sense in the 1970s and 1980s that politicians were obligated to engage in difficult political interviews and thereby be held to account; (ii) the erosion of this over time, e.g. Boris Johnson’s refusal to be interviewed by Andrew Neil in the 2019 Conservative leadership contest and Liz Truss’s avoidance of interviews in the 2022 Conservative leadership contest; (iii) the idea that politicians may now be avoiding scrutiny and thus are insufficiently held to account.
This course takes the form of a series of questions put to Rob Burley, a political journalist and former Editor of the BBC’s live political programmes. In the first module we ask, “Do traditional media sources continue to play a role in shaping electoral outcomes?”. We follow this in the second module with a question on soundbites, their effects, and their possible future. In the third module, we ask whether Burley’s experience as a political editor bears out the widely held belief that politicians should not be trusted, before turning in the fourth and fifth modules to the subject of political interviews. In the sixth module we ask whether Burley has noticed any changes in politicians’ attitudes towards appearing on political programmes over the course of his 25-year career, before turning in the seventh module to the subject of how digital and social media informs or shapes political programming. In the eighth module we ask: “To what extent does the media play a role in the success or failure of parliamentary parties between elections?”. Then, in the ninth module, we turn to the subject of impartiality in political reporting, and the difficulties of maintaining impartiality in practice. In the tenth module, we ask “How does national political coverage differ in the UK versus the US?”. Then, finally, in the eleventh module, we ask “Why might young people not watch political programmes, and what might be done to remedy this?”. This course provides both conceptual knowledge and a variety of helpful real-life examples for the “UK Politics: Politics and the Media” section of the A Level exam specifications.
Rob Burley began his career as a political researcher before joining ITV in 1996 and later moving to the BBC in 2008. At the BBC he became executive editor of Question Time, deputy editor of Newsnight and assistant editor of BBC Breakfast. In 2018, he became the BBC's editor of live political programmes, taking responsibility for key shows including Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, Politics Live, and The Andrew Neil Show. In 2022, Burley joined Global as executive editor of Andrew Marr's LBC programme Tonight with Andrew Marr.
Cite this Lecture
Burley, R. (2022, August 15). Rob Burley on Politics and the Media - Political Interviews: Change Over Time [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-rob-burley-on-politics-and-the-media/political-interviews-change-over-time
Burley, R. "Rob Burley on Politics and the Media – Political Interviews: Change Over Time." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-rob-burley-on-politics-and-the-media/political-interviews-change-over-time