IPrA panel on collaborative news writing

10 07 2008

I am pleased to announce that the IPrA powers-that-be have “positively evaluated” the panel proposal that Daniel Perrin, Ellen Van Praet and I have submitted. This means that we will be convening a panel on collaborative news writing at the 11th International Pragmatics Conference in Melbourne, Australia (July 12-17, 2009). If you would like to contribute to this panel, feel free to contact me.

Collaborative news writing: a discursive perspective on news production

Panel convenors:

Daniel Perrin (Zürich University), Ellen Van Praet & Tom Van Hout (Ghent University)

KEYWORDS: media language, collaborative writing, discursive mediation, news production, ethnography

Research on media language has traditionally applied a product view to the study of the news, focusing for example on textual analyses of print media (Richardson 2006) or on transcript-based analyses of broadcast media (Hutchby 2006). In this panel, however, we set out to explore new avenues of media language research by broadening the scope from the end product (the media text) to the process and practice of news production. Preliminary discursive research on front and back region aspects of news production was presented during panels at the 9th and 10th International Pragmatics Conferences (July 2005, July 2007) and has been published in a special issue on the discourse of news management in Pragmatics (Van Hout & Jacobs 2008 ).

In keeping with the conference theme of diversity, context and structure, the panel seeks to explore how media texts are produced in complex and highly dynamic collaborative organizational contexts. Whereas text production research traditionally reconstructs either single authors’ decisions, strategies, and routines (the “mono-micro-without-macro” perspective) or general organizational phenomena (the non-grounded perspective), this panel aims to describe and explain in an ethnographically dense way the interplay of individual and interpersonal situated activity of journalists, cutters, editors etc. as co-authors working on the same item at (about) the same time (Perrin, Burger, Fürer, Gnach, Schanne & Wyss 2008 ).

Presentations of unpublished innovative approaches, empirically grounded and theoretically integrative, are welcome.

For the purpose of this panel, the term news media comprises print media (newspapers, magazines), broadcast media (television, radio) and online media (e-zines, blogs, podcasts).


  • Hutchby, Ian (2006). Media Talk: Conversation Analysis and the Study of Broadcasting. Glasgow: Open University Press.
  • Perrin, Daniel, Burger, Marcel, Fürer, Mathias, Gnach, Aleksandra, Schanne, Michael and Wyss, Vinzenz (2008). Idée suisse. Final report. In Institute of Applied Media Studies (ed.), IAM Working Papiers Winterthur: Institute of Applied Media Studies.
  • Richardson, John E. (2006). Analysing Newspapers: An Approach From Critical Discourse Analysis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Van Hout, Tom and Jacobs, Geert (2008). News production theory and practice. Fieldwork notes on power, interaction and agency. Pragmatics 18, 59-86.




One response

24 10 2008
Plug one, plug two « Tom Van Hout

[…] our panel at IPrA Melbourne on collaborative newswriting is set. Submitted a paper proposal for ICA Melbourne on journalism and […]

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