The news interview has become a major vehicle for presenting broadcast news and political commentary, and a primary interface between the institutions of journalism and government. This much-needed work examines the place of the news interview in Anglo-American society and considers its historical development in the United States and Britain. The main body of the book discusses the fundamental norms and conventions that shape conduct in the modern interview. It explores the particular recurrent practices through which journalists balance competing professional norms that encourage both objective and adversarial treatment of public figures. Through analyses of well-known interviews, the book explores the relationship between journalists and public figures and also how, in the face of aggressive questioning, politicians and other public figures struggle to stay 'on message' and pursue their own agendas. This comprehensive and wide-ranging book will be essential reading for students and researchers in sociolinguistics, media and communication studies.