Organizations and corporate communication

Linguistic ethnography in the newsroom

Authored by: Geert Jacobs

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Media

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138014176
eBook ISBN: 9781315673134
Adobe ISBN:


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It is hard to believe that media discourse analysts and other scholars interested in the language of the news have only recently started to venture into the newsroom. Ever since early Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) scholars called for critical scrutiny of the language of the media in the 1980s and 90s (Hodge 1979), we have seen exciting new studies about such wide-ranging topics as the syntax of tabloid headlines and the turn-taking on radio phone-in programs, but few of the researchers who produced this work actually talked to the copy editors who typically make essential last-minute changes to the journalists’ writing or overheard the host giving instructions to the listeners before they go on air. With growing consensus that the impact of what goes on behind the scenes on what gets published or broadcast is undeniable, it is all the more surprising that the interest of media linguists in journalistic practices hardly dates back a dozen years, with some of the contributors to the present volume playing a key role in this development (cf. Cotter 2010; NT&T 2011 position paper; Perrin 2013).

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