Article published in:Popular News Discourse: American and British newspapers 1833-1988
[Journal of Historical Pragmatics 15:2] 2014
► pp. 228–254
“…but there were no broken legs”
The emerging genre of football match reports in The Times in the 1860s
The appearance of sports reporting was among the major developments of nineteenth-century journalism. While sports were only very exceptionally covered in the newspapers during the first half of the century, by the end of the Victorian era a diverse array of sports stories provided staple content for the pages of both broadsheet and popular papers. Dealing with the phenomenon of football match reports in The Times, this article documents the early specimens of the novel genre from the 1860s and the 1870s, tracing some of the linguistic forms and structural features that characterise the early search for the discursive conventions of the new genre. By focusing on a popular topic in a serious newspaper, the analysis illustrates that the emergence of the popular topic of football in a serious daily newspaper was not only very gradual and tentative, but was also marked with substantial uncertainty about the macrostructural and microstructural composition of the reports.
Keywords: genre development, Victorian journalism, football history, sports reporting, historical news analysis, historical pragmatics
Published online: 21 July 2014
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Taavitsainen, Irma, and Päivi Pahta
Cited by 1 other publications
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