Reporter voice in journo talk & text

10 05 2008

One of the angles in my PhD examines how and when ‘reporter voice’ is discursively introduced, negotiated and managed in the process of business news production. The idea is to see how this ‘objective’ voice is entextualized in the story meetings (from text to talk), in the writing process (from talk to text) and in the retrospective interview (from text to talk).

Reporter voice is a concept borrowed from Appraisal Theory and should be seen as a way of talking about the world (which is what journalists do):

Being “objective” in journalism generally means not reporting on what “I” think or feel, but on what has been seen and what can be supported by means of what others have to say, whereas being “subjective” means including personal thoughts, judgements and feelings. These two contrasting ways of speaking or writing we term “Reporter” and “Writer” voice.

Adapted from: Iedema, R., S. Feez & P.R.R. White (1994) Media Literacy, Sydney, Disadvantaged Schools Program, NSW Department of School Education. See: Appraisal and Journalistic Discourse.

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