Host Power Triadic Conversation Management - The Chinese ...

Host Power Triadic Conversation Management - The Chinese ...


fall into serious opposition or even wrangle, or presenting different

viewpoints and attempting to challenge the caller’s argument

in order to make the discussion topic arguable and examine it

through more comprehensive discussion when the caller’s and the

first host’s opinions are identical or similar. The former pursues a

smooth process and a rational environment for the conversation;

the latter chases an exhaustive discussion and critical thinking in

the program. Overall speaking, second host as a counterweight

aiming at achieving balance in conversation echoes with the consistent

pursuit of balance in Hong Kong phone-in radio programs,

as other structural arrangement introduced in early section. Therefore,

the second host’s balance function could be regarded as an

institutional setting.

It could also be interpreted from an individual and personal

perspective. As mentioned previously, most second hosts in

Hong Kong phone-in radio programs are veteran journalists.

Their own journalist professional values––neutrality, balance

reporting, rational discussion––might also contribute to the formation

of counterweight role in the triadic interactions. For the

situation that the second hosts who are not professional journalists

but politicians, academics, or other professions, the second

host’s role especially the consideration of achieving balance

might vary to some extent. However, it is beyond this paper’s

space and capacity to examine how different second hosts perform

differently to investigate the role of second hosts’ individual

value, identity, and preferences, just to name a few, which

needs to be paid attention to in future studies.

One implication of establishing the second host is that it

might release the first host from the detailed work and being

overcautious. The first host could devote to the discussion more

without noticing some minor practical problems. Meanwhile, with

the existence of the second host as a counterweight, the first host

could also express more explicit and relatively radical attitude

without worrying about the possible consequence, which might

extend the range of discussion significantly. This implication, together

with above-mentioned findings of the analysis, remains

further investigation.

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