Chapter published in:Diachronic Developments in English News Discourse
Edited by Minna Palander-Collin, Maura Ratia and Irma Taavitsainen
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics 6] 2017
► pp. 219–240
Narrative vs. “objective” style
Notes on the style of news (agency) reports on violence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
The paper examines stylistic changes in newspaper articles on violence between 1859 and 1910. I have looked both at news narratives, and at signs of the new, “objective” writing style. Whenever possible, I have chosen stories attributed to AP (the Associated Press) and Reuters news agencies, since as global distributors of news, they have had an influential role in creating and reinforcing conventions of news writing. The paper clearly demonstrates the difference between the ghastly, chronological murder stories of the late nineteenth century and the “modern” style adopted in the AP Siedlce narrative in 1906. The first evidence of the intentionally “objective” writing style I found in Reuters telegrams on the Siedlce pogrom in 1906.
Keywords: narrative, objective style, newspapers, news agencies, violence, Appraisal, Affect, Functional grammar, reporter voice, responsibility
Published online: 29 August 2017
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