Using the Words of Others: ‘Reporter’s voice’ and the construal of objectivity in the reporting of political conflict in Finland.

Maj-Britt Höglund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Abstract

The notion that news reporting is objective is part of the professional ideology upheld within journalism. Journalists will talk of the ‘angle’ of the story, forgetting that ‘angle’ is constituted by strategic linguistic choices and structures. The strategies result in a particular discourse style, which is known as ‘reporter voice’ – an evaluative stance ultimately based on a particular ideology.

This chapter employs Critical Discourse Analysis (see for example Fairclough 1995) and appraisal theory to investigate the reporting style and evaluative stance in three Swedish language newspaper reports in Finland. The items provide coverage of a crucial stage in the political conflict which followed the aborted appointment of a new CEO for the Finnish Broadcasting Company in 2004.

This study shows how reporter voice may manifest itself in the appropriation of the other voices of the interviewees and in how these may be built into the generic structure of the text. It shows how the reporter, by structuring the criticism of the interviewees as topics in a news report, may subscribe to the credibility of their criticism and, after having created common moral ground for the reader and him/herself, may make the ideological choice of positioning him/herself with the critics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating Conflict. : Multilingual Case Studies of the News Media.
EditorsElizabeth A. Thomson, Peter R.R. White
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherContinuum
Publication date2008
ISBN (Print)978-08264-9782-6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeB2 Book chapter

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    Höglund, M-B. (2008). Using the Words of Others: ‘Reporter’s voice’ and the construal of objectivity in the reporting of political conflict in Finland. In E. A. Thomson, & P. R. R. White (Eds.), Communicating Conflict. : Multilingual Case Studies of the News Media. Continuum.