Volume 10, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
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Political press conferences are important spaces for public accountability because they give journalists the opportunity to scrutinize politicians’ decisions. However, the structure of press conferences poses specific constraints to journalists because their role is limited to ask questions. This situation is not problematic if their goal is to ask informative or critical questions, but it becomes problematic if journalists want to advance standpoints, arguments, or criticisms. In the latter case, journalists have to perform their argumentative moves through façade questions in order to comply with the protocol of press conferences. For this reason, it is not easy to distinguish the argumentative function of journalists’ questions, and consequently, their value for accountability. This paper draws on the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation to give an argumentative account of political press conferences. Furthermore, the implications of journalists’ questions for accountability purposes are discussed.


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