Inexplicit reported speakers in hard news : text, discourse and genre perspective

Title: Inexplicit reported speakers in hard news : text, discourse and genre perspective
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2022, vol. 48, iss. 2, pp. 47-76
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This paper investigates forms of presentation with inexplicit, i.e. covert or formally unexpressed, reported speakers in hard news discourse in British broadsheets. The research develops the discussion presented, for instance, in Ljung (1998), Marín-Arrese (2002a), Semino and Short (2004), Martínez-Caro (2006) and Stenvall (2008a, 2014) in three perspectives. The textual perspective concerns (potential) co-reference between an inexplicit reported speaker and external voices present explicitly in the text. The discourse perspective compares agent obfuscation in two different contexts – the context of epistemic assessment and the context of negative evaluation (Bednarek 2006a; Bednarek and Caple 2012). The research shows that the functional distinction between epistemic and negative evaluation manifests itself in the differences in lexico-grammatical choices, the type of forms of presentation, the linguistic cues that signal the presence of voice and the potentiality of blending of the internal and external voice. The genre perspective discusses the influence of generic conventions on the distribution of inexplicit voices across the generic structure of hard news (van Dijk 1988; Feez et al. 2008; Urbanová 2013a).
[1] Bagnall, Nicholas (1993) Newspaper Language. Oxford: Focal Press.

[2] Bednarek, Monika (2006a) Evaluation in Media Discourse. London: Continuum.

[3] Bednarek, Monika (2006b) Epistemological positioning and evidentiality in English news discourse: A text-driven approach. Text and Talk 26 (6), 635−660.

[4] Bednarek, Monika (2009) Polyphony in appraisal: Typological and topological perspectives. Linguistics and Human Cognition 3 (2), 107–136.

[5] Bednarek, Monika (2015) Voices and values in the news: News media talk, news values and attribution. Discourse, Context and Media 11, 27–37.

[6] Bednarek, Monika and Helen Caple (2012) News Discourse. London/New York: Continuum.

[7] Bednarek, Monika and Helen Caple (2017) The Discourse of News Values: How News Organizations Create Newsworthiness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[8] Bell, Allan (1991) The Language of News Media. Oxford: Blackwell.

[9] Berkowitz, Dan (2009) Reporters and their sources. In: Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin and Thomas Hanzitsch (eds.) The Handbook of Journalism Studies. New York: Routledge, 102–115.

[10] Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan (1999) Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Person Education Ltd.

[11] Blakenburg, William B. (1992) The utility of anonymous attribution. Newspaper Research Journal 13 (1/2), 10–23.

[12] Blanco-Gómez, María L. (2002) Hiding the agent in English and Spanish newspaper articles: the periphrastic passive. In: Marín-Arrese, Juana I. (ed.) Conceptualisation of Events in Newspaper Discourse: Mystification of Agency and Degree of Implication in News Reports. Madrid: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 9–30.

[13] Boeyink, David E. (1990) Anonymous sources in news stories: Justifying exceptions and limiting abuses. Journal of Mass Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality 5 (4), 233–246.

[14] Calsamiglia, Helena and Carmen L. Ferrero (2003) Role and position of scientific voices: Reported speech in the media. Discourse Studies 5 (2), 147–173.

[15] Chojnicka, Joanna (2012) Reportive evidentiality and reported speech: is there a boundary? Evidence of the Latvian oblique. In: Usonienė, Aurelija, Nicole Nau and Ineta Dabašinskienė (eds.) Multiple Perspectives in Linguistic Research on Baltic Languages. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 170–192.

[16] Chovanec, Jan (2000) Interpersonal Aspects of Printed News Discourse. Doctoral dissertation. Brno: Masaryk University.

[17] Chovanec, Jan (2014) Pragmatics of Tense and Time in News: From Canonical Headlines to Online News Text. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[18] Cotter, Colleen (2010) News Talk: Investigating the Language of Journalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[19] Dahl, Trine and Kjersti Fløttum (2014) A linguistic framework for studying voices and positions in the climate debate. Text and Talk 34 (4), 401–420.

[20] Dontcheva-Navratilova, Olga (2016) Rhetorical functions of citations in linguistics research articles: A contrastive (English-Czech) study. Discourse and Interaction 9 (2), 51–74.

[21] Duffy, Matt J. (2010) Unnamed Sources: A Longitudinal Review of the Practice and its Merits. Doctoral dissertation. Atlanta: Georgia State University.

[22] Elorza, Izaskun (2014) Newsworthiness, attribution and lexicogrammatical strategies in two types of news articles in English and Spanish. Topics in Linguistics 14 (1), 16–33.

[23] Fairclough, Norman (1988) Discourse representation in media discourse. Sociolinguistics 17, 125–139.

[24] Fairclough, Norman (1989) Language and Power. London: Longman.

[25] Fairclough, Norman (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press.

[26] Fairclough, Norman (2000) New Labour, New Language? London/New York: Routledge.

[27] Feez, Susan, Rick Iedema and Peter White (2008) Media Literacy. Surry Hills: NSW Adult Migrant Education Service.

[28] Floyd, Alan (2000) The reporting verbs and bias in the press. Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 13, 43–52.

[29] Fowler, Roger (1991) Language in the News: Discourse and Ideology in the Press. London/New York: Routledge.

[30] Garretson, Gregory and Annelie Ädel (2008) Who's speaking?: evidentiality in US newspapers during the 2004 presidential campaign. In: Ädel, Annelie and Randi Reppen (eds.) Corpora and Discourse: The Challenges of Different Settings.Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 157–187.

[31] Głaz, Adam and Anastazja Trofymczuk (2020) Voice and viewpoint in journalistic narratives. Language Sciences 80, 1–10.

[32] Gruber, Helmut (1993) Evaluation devices in newspaper reports. Journal of Pragmatics 19, 469–486.

[33] Halliday, Michael A. K. and Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen (2004) An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Hodder Arnold.

[34] Harry, Joseph C. (2014) Journalistic quotation: Reported speech in newspapers from a semiotic-linguistic perspective. Journalism 15 (8), 1041–1058.

[35] Hunston, Susan (2000) Evaluation and the planes of discourse: status and value in persuasive texts. In: Hunston, Susan and Geoff Thompson (eds.) Evaluation in Context: Authorial Stance and the Construction of Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 176–207.

[36] Hunston, Susan (2004) It has rightly been pointed out …: attribution, consensus and conflict in academic discourse. In: Bondi, Marina, Laura Gavioli and Marc Silver (eds.) Academic Discourse, Genre and Small Corpora. Rome: Officina Edicioni, 15–33.

[37] Ikeo, Reiko (2007) Unambiguous free indirect discourse? A comparison between 'straightforward' free indirect speech and thought presentation and cases ambiguous with narration. Language and Literature 16 (4), 367–387.

[38] Johansen, Marianne (2011) Agency and responsibility in reported speech. Journal of Pragmatics 43, 2845–2860.

[39] Jucker, Andreas H. (1996) News actor labelling in British newspapers. Text 16 (3), 373–390.

[40] Landert, Daniela (2014) Personalisation in Mass Media Communication: British Online News between Public and Private. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[41] Landert, Daniela (2015) Reportable facts and a personal touch: the functions of direct quotes in online news. In: Arendholz, Jenny, Wolfram Bublitz and Monika Kirner-Ludwig (eds.) The Pragmatics of Quoting Now and Then. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 29–52.

[42] Langacker, Ronald W. (1991) Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. II. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

[43] Langacker, Ronald W. (2000) Grammar and Conceptualization. Berlin: de Gruyter.

[44] Langacker, Ronald W. (2009) Investigations in Cognitive Grammar. Berlin: de Gruyter.

[45] Leech, Geoffrey and Mick Short (2007) Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. Harlow: Pearson Education.

[46] Ljung, Magnus (1998) 'It is believed that he is dead': unspecified source attribution in news texts. In: Renouf, Antoinette (ed.) Explorations in Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 113–122.

[47] Lombardo, Linda (2004) That-clauses and reporting verbs as evaluation in TV news. In: Partington, Alan, John Morley and Louann Haarman (eds.) Corpora and Discourse. Bern: Peter Lang, 221–238.

[48] Mañoso-Pacheco, Lidia and Beatriz Juárez-Escribano (2019) Reportive evidentiality: A theoretical revision. Revista Inclusiones 6 (4), 189–206.

[49] Marín-Arrese, Juana I. (ed.) (2002a) Conceptualisation of Events in Newspaper Discourse: Mystification of Agency and Degree of Implication in News Reports. Madrid: Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

[50] Marín-Arrese, Juana I. (2002b) Mystification of agency in passive, impersonal and spontaneous situation types. In: Marín-Arrese, Juana I. (ed.) Conceptualisation of Events in Newspaper Discourse: Mystification of Agency and Degree of Implication in News Reports. Madrid: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 31–54.

[51] Marín-Arrese, Juana I. (2013) Stancetaking and inter/subjectivity in the Iraq inquiry: Blair vs. Brown. In: Marín-Arrese, Juana I., Marta Carretero, Jorge A. Hita and Johan van der Auwera (eds.) English Modality: Core, Periphery and Evidentiality. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 411–445.

[52] Martin, James R. and Peter R. R. White (2005) The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

[53] Martínez-Caro, Elena (2006) The verbal expression of belief and hearsay in English and Spanish: evidence from newspaper discourse. In: Hornero, Ana M., María J. Luzón and Sylvia Murillo (eds.) Corpus Linguistics: Applications for the Study of English. Bern: Peter Lang, 159–175.

[54] Montgomery, Martin (2007) The Discourse of Broadcast News: A Linguistic Approach. Abingdon/New York: Routledge.

[55] Murphy, Amanda C. (2004) A hidden or unobserved presence? Impersonal evaluative structures in English and Italian and their wake. In: Partington, Alan, John Morley and Louann Haarman (eds.) Corpora and Discourse. Bern: Peter Lang, 205–220.

[56] Nádraská, Zuzana (2017) Orbitality, periodicity and prosody in the generic structure of hard news'. In: Hůlková, Irena and Renata Jančaříková (eds.) English Discourse Studies in the Times of Change. Conference Proceedings. Seventh Brno Conference on Linguistics Studies in English, 12th–13th September 2016. Brno: Masaryk University, 99–122.

[57] Nádraská, Zuzana (2020) When "We believe that ...": The role of collective "we" in the dialogic negotiation in hard news discourse. Prague Journal of English Studies 9 (1), 157–196.

[58] Nuyts, Jan (2015) Subjectivity: Between discourse and conceptualization. Journal of Pragmatics 86, 106–110.

[59] Pavlidou, Theodossia-Soula (ed.) (2014) Constructing Collectivity: 'We' Across Languages and Contexts. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[60] Pérez de Ayala Becerril, Soledad (2002) Nominalization as impersonalization strategy: some corpus notes for the study of agency mystification. In: Marín-Arrese, Juana I. (ed.) Conceptualisation of Events in Newspaper Discourse: Mystification of Agency and Degree of Implication in News Reports. Madrid: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 55–70.

[61] Piazza, Roberta (2009) News is reporting what was said: techniques and patterns of attribution. In: Haarman, Louann and Linda Lombardo (eds.) Evaluation and Stance in War News: A Linguistic Analysis of American, British and Italian Television News Reporting of the 2003 Iraqi War. London/New York: Continuum, 170–194.

[62] Pjesivac, Ivanka and Rachel Rui (2014) Anonymous sources hurt credibility of news stories across cultures: A comparative experiment in America and China. International Communication Gazette 76 (8), 641–660.

[63] Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.

[64] Richardson, John E. (2007) Analysing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[65] Sanders, José (2010) Intertwined voices: Journalists' modes of representing source information in journalistic subgenres. English Text Construction 3 (2), 226–249.

[66] Sclafani, Jennifer (2008) The intertextual origins of public opinion: Constructing Ebonics in The New York Times. Discourse and Society 19 (4), 507–527.

[67] Semino, Elena, Mick Short and Jonathan Culpeper (1997) Using a corpus to test a model of speech and thought presentation. Poetics 25 (1), 17–43.

[68] Semino, Elena and Mick Short (2004) Corpus Stylistics: Speech, Writing and Thought Presentation in a Corpus of English Writing. London: Routledge.

[69] Short, Mick (2007) Thought presentation twenty-five years on. Style 41 (2), 225–241.

[70] Sinclair, John (1988) Mirror for the text. Journal of English and Foreign Languages 1, 15–44.

[71] Stenvall, Maija (2003) An actor or an undefined threat? The role of "terrorist" in the discourse of international news agencies. Journal of Language and Politics 2 (2), 361–404.

[72] Stenvall, Maija (2008a) Unnamed sources as rhetorical constructions in news agency reports. Journalism Studies 9 (2), 229–243.

[73] Stenvall, Maija (2008b) On emotions and the journalistic ideals of factuality and objectivity – Tools for analysis. Journal of Pragmatics 40, 1569–1586.

[74] Stenvall, Maija (2014) Presenting and representing emotions in news agency reports. Critical Discourse Studies 11 (4), 461–481.

[75] Šaldová, Pavlína (2002) Cohesive devices in newswriting. Prague Studies in English 23, 187– 200.

[76] Thompson, Geoff (1994) Reporting: Collins Cobuild English Guides 5. London: Harper Collins.

[77] Thompson, Geoff (1996) Voices in the text: Discourse perspectives on language reports. Applied Linguistics 17 (4), 501–530.

[78] Ungerer, Fridrich (1997) Emotions and emotional language in English and German news stories. In: Niemeier, Susanne and René Dirven (eds.) The Language of Emotions. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 307–328.

[79] Ungerer, Friedrich (2000) News stories and news events – a changing relationship. In: Ungerer, Friedrich (ed.) English Media Texts Past and Present. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 177–195.

[80] Urbanová, Zuzana (2012) Forms of presentation and narration in the lead of hard news. In: Hopkinson, Christopher, Renáta Tomášková and Gabriela Zapletalová (eds.) The Interpersonal Language Function Across Genres and Discourse Domains. Ostrava: University of Ostrava, 203–223.

[81] Urbanová, Zuzana (2013a) The Function of Direct Forms of Presentation in the Generic Structure of Newspaper Reports. Doctoral dissertation. Prague: Charles University.

[82] Urbanová, Zuzana (2013b) The function of reported language and narration in the headlines of hard news. In: Bell, Gregory J., Katarína Nemčoková and Bartosz Wójcik (eds.) From Theory to Practice 2012: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Anglophone Studies, Vol. 4. Fourth International Conference on Anglophone Studies, Zlín, 13th–14th September 2012. Zlín: Tomas Bata University in Zlín, 113–124.

[83] Van Leeuwen, Theo (1996) The representation of social actors. In: Caldas-Coulthard, Carmen R. and Malcolm Coulthard (eds.) Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge, 32–70.

[84] Waugh, Linda R. (1995) Reported speech in journalistic discourse: The relation of function and text. Text 15 (1), 129–173.

[85] White, Peter R. R. (1997) Death, disruption and the moral order: the narrative impulse in mass-media 'hard news' reporting. In: Christie, Frances and James R. Martin (eds.) Genre and Institutions: Social Processes in the Workplace and School. London: Continuum, 101–133.

[86] White, Peter R. R. (1998) Telling Media Tales: The News Story as Rhetoric. Doctoral dissertation. Sydney: University of Sydney.

[87] White, Peter R. R. (2000) Media objectivity and the rhetoric of news story structure. In: Ventola, Eija (ed.) Discourse and Community: Doing Functional Linguistics. Tűbingen: Gunter Nar Verlag, 379–397.

[88] White, Peter R. R. (2006) Evaluative semantics and ideological positioning in journalistic discourse: a new framework for analysis. In: Lassen, Inger, Jeanne Strunck and Torben Vestergaard (eds.) Mediating Ideology in Text and Image. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 37–67.

[89] White, Peter R. R. (2012) Exploring the axiological workings of 'reporter voice' news stories – Attribution and attitudinal positioning. Discourse, Context and Media 1 (2–3), 57–67.

[90] White, Peter R. R. and Elizabeth A. Thompson (2008) The news story as rhetoric: linguistic approaches to the analysis of journalistic discourse. In: Thompson, Elizabeth A. and Peter R. R. White (eds.) Communicating Conflict: Multilingual Case Studies of the News Media. London: Continuum, 1–23.

[91] Zelizer, Barbie (1989) 'Saying' as a collective practice: Quoting and differential address in the news. Text 9 (4), 369–388.

[92] Zhan, Lili (2012) Analysis of lexical repetition – Taking a news discourse as an example. Theory and Practice in Language Studies 2 (10), 2160–2167.

[93] Alleyne, Richard (2010) How pencil lead and sticky tape led to Nobel Prize. The Daily Telegraph, October 6, p. 12.

[94] Black, Ian (2010) UK diplomats survive Yemen rocket attack. The Guardian, October 7, p. 8.

[95] Frost, Vicky (2010) Channel 4 defends its kidnap drama fiction about Prince Harry. The Guardian, October 7, p. 16.

[96] Gledhill, Ruth (2010) Pope forgets Jesus's female friends. The Times, July 28, p. 28.

[97] Hickman, Martin and James Cusick (2011) Murdoch's £100m plan to settle hacking cases before they get to court. The Independent, December 29, p. 10.

[98] Lichfield, John and Vanessa Mock (2011) Liège gunman 'feared going back to prison'. The Independent, December 15, p. 31.

[99] Prince, Rosa (2010) Gaza is like a prison camp, says PM. The Daily Telegraph, July 28, p.10.

[100] Smith, Rebecca (2010) Health care at home by 'remote control'. The Daily Telegraph, December 6, p.1.

[101] Winnett, Robert and Andrew Porter (2010) Tax- break olive branch in child benefit row. The Daily Telegraph, October 6, p. 6.

[102] Wintour, Patrick (2010) Taxpayers £15m bill for diplomats' private school fees. The Guardian, July 29, p. 1, 2.