The Study of news
Events are subjective to time and place. With increase in population, the occurrence of different kinds of events has increased simultaneously. It is important for people from diverse backgrounds to be aware about these events for better connectivity (Scollon, 2014). News is referred to the information that is associated with a current event. For instance, an earthquake that occurs in Japan is reported in the form of news to the people of America or Europe through mass media. The media of communicating news are numerable. However, primary modes include word of mouth, printing, broadcasting (through television or radio), etc. As per the views of Kadhim and Shaker al-Shaibani (2013), news has helped in scaling distances of farther countries to smaller ones by easy
The diversity of news topics includes war, politics, education, society, environment, health, business, economics, sports, terrorism, etc. News has also transformed itself into basic connecting link between country governments and citizens (Elvestad, Blekesaune and Aalberg, 2014). Any sort of changes in laws, taxes, policies for public or royal ceremonies, etc. are well communicated through news channels, radio broadcasts or newspapers majorly. Scollon (2014) stated that news has to be structured in certain manner so that the receiver is not misguided in any form. Journalists across the globe consider the Inverted Pyramid for structuring their news stories and then presenting it to the world. This structure starts with heavier and higher priority news and less important or lighter news at the bottom of inverted pyramid.
Structure of News
In order to understand the inverted pyramid structure in depth, an example is provided. If a journalist has to present two types of news in his article one being about fire in a local building and the other being a bomb attack at commercial office; the structuring begins. The heavier news is bomb attack which will be portrayed earlier and followed with fire break out in local building. However, Elvestad, Blekesaune and Aalberg (2014) stated that prioritisation of news is complex yet important. There cannot be news on child birth without any unusual characteristics more important than a terror attack or major change in government. First used by Jessica Garretson Finch for teaching current events in the Barnard College, news has gained an important position in every discipline (Fowler, 2013)
The structure of news once placed on the inverted pyramid now includes several elements to maintain the flow of communication. Details associated with an event are significant parts which cannot be ignored. Fowler (2013) stated that least important information linked with an event should be portrayed at the bottom of the news while significant details are to be mentioned in the earlier parts of news. When presenting news article, story has to be linked with a lead. It is the key element on which the entire event revolves. For instance, an event of burglary takes place in primary bank should be structured in a news article or bulletin over channel in the form of lead. This will contain information about where the burglary took place and the people involved or injured. This is further followed by fact associated with the crime scene.
On the contrary, inverted pyramid is quite a traditional form of presenting events in newspapers and articles; it helps in providing concise form of information. The entire structure is based on lead because it helps in forming the flow of story (Caple and Bednarek, 2016). The objective behind news is to provide information to the readers regarding particular information which can be accomplished through effective use of lead but in concise form.
Communication when presented in written or spoken form is known as discourse. On the other hand, Van Dijk, (2013) stated that discourse is presented as generalised conceptual conversation that is based on communication context. Additionally, discourse analysis is covered as approaches that are used for analysing the language used for covering an event in different forms like written, vocal or signs. TV has become the primary source of information and is followed by internet on the second position. The role of technology is exemplary in delivering news to every individual without much effort. Discourse analysis contains certain elements which include sequence of sentences with coherence, speech and propositions (Van Dijk, 2013). It is focused on analysing the nature of language used apart from the sentences formed while delivering the news.
The application of discourse analysis can be stated multidisciplinary. These include psychology, spiritual talks, cognitive psychology, education, sociology, humanities, international relations, etc. (Scollon, 2014) Discourses unlike news can be repetitive communications but with meaning and specifications included. Political forums are subjective to discourse analysis because it includes analysis of speech, meaning to be conveyed and central issues conveyed. According to Boesman, Berbers and Van Gorp, (2017), every bit of language used by the speaker in some form is analysed in discourse analysis. The ways in which meaning being conveyed by the speaker is affected and transformed is also a part of this systematic process.
A typical type of discourse analysis is frame analysis. However, discourse analysis includes evaluation of the sentence beyond its formation based on semantics, syntax, phonetics, morphology, etc. (Pan and Kosicki, 1993). Frame analysis is based on judging the activities in which a speaker is involved when talking about reframed or re-interpreted subjects. Consecutively, it also includes the attributes like thinking process of speaker and their sense of peaking behind the topic. The process of discourse analysis includes getting an insight about the time taken by one speaker and their relative completion which is followed by next speaker (Pan and Kosicki, 1993). This judgement is based on turn-taking process. However, discourse analysis is mainly based on running discourses or those communications that involves speakers and auditors.
New discourses when organised in thematic forms helps in making the analysis process easier (Hong, 2002). When considering the global aspect, discourse is completely based on a particular theme or topic. The ideas related with this theme are presented in textual structures in the discourse by speaker or presenter. Newspapers and commentaries of current events when presented in thematic structures require topic presentation. However, only summaries or comprised form of the event are included in the discourse if topics are regarded. According to Jing (2014), propositions are simplest form of thematic structures. The headlines which help in attracting users towards a particular subject are known as propositions. Assertions are made through propositions that portray the actual fact in shortest possible format.
On the other hand, thematic structure of discourse news involves genre that depicts the subjective relativity of theme. As per the views of Van Dijk (2013), news stories have varied perspectives depending on the presenter as well as the reader or receiver. Genres help in gaining an insight about the nature of topic that is being analysed. For instance, a proposition made for so and so actor being involved in new movie depicts is cinematic genre with relations to the acting world. The thematic structures associated with longer discourses have more than one topic (Welch, 2013). These can be general or abstract in characteristic. There are two kinds of propositions involved in these types of thematic discourses i.e. higher level and lower level macro-propositions. The arrangement of all the topics associated with longer discourse is based on these levels in a hierarchy (Caple and Bednarek, 2016).
When new models are to be proposed for actual events so that old models can be updated then thematic structures are taken into consideration. The use of this style of news presentation helps in modelling the entire situation in new format (Rogers, 2017). This news discourse is helpful in developing textual structures with cognitive information. However, topics or themes shall remain unrealised if no proper propositions are involved in expressing the discourse (Discourse Analysis—What Speakers Do in Conversation. 2017). The presentation is made in such a manner that readers are able to relate with topic and can infer with details as they go through the news discourse.
The newsroom discourses involves two particular attributes i.e. frames and schemata. According to Kadhim and Shaker al-Shaibani (2013), frames are fractured paradigm and prominent element of communication sciences. It is a series of patterns that are interpreted to gain the meaning of discourse. On the other hand, schemata in a news discourse are the basic unit that forms a frame when placed in sets. In other words, when perceiving reality, news interpretation results in framing a particular subject. There areas in which frames are applicable include newsrooms, amongst journalists, groups that have political, social or cultural connections. Van Dijk (2013) stated that schema is analogously associated with frames. It is either associated with one particular subject or provides a relation between different objects
Considering the perspective of journalists, news schemata is referred to as cognitive realities which can include social objects, protagonists, interactions, problems or developments, etc. When considering news schemata, the routines associated with newsrooms and co-orientation is significant. As per the views of Scollon (2014), newspapers and news discourses that include textual structures have referred to schema as the type of organisation of knowledge and the way it is presented. However, modern day news includes superstructures considers schemata as the characterisation of specific genre. Information obtained for an event is fitted through use of frame-schema settings (Boesman, Berbers and Van Gorp, 2017). The orientations of news discourse if changes then previously defined frames and schemas are also changed accordingly.
However, frames and schemata are bound to content. Depending on the genre of information, specific schemas are used by the news discourse producers (Boesman, Berbers and Van Gorp, 2017). For instance, attack schemas are used for crime news. The decisions associated with reporting of specific frames are based on the decisions that are taken prior to framing. According to Hong (2002), political and party discourses are covered under the newsroom frames and schemata. The style of language and terms used in production of the event are also considered in the layout of schemata. Inter-media discourses involve opinions of journalists as well as the mediating leaders which makes the frame and schemata interdependent on different media.
The microstructures of News Discourses
The structure of news discourses when considered at macro level involves germinal idea on which the overall event develops (Pinto-Coelho, Carvalho and Castro Seixas, 2017). However, microstructure provides links or clues to the macrostructure of the discourse. Semantic rules are applied in the microstructure of the event description. The entire framework involves cognitive entities, textual facts and mental schemas. It helps in providing deep impact over the reader’s mind. However, there are specific rules associated with macrostructures which helps in retrieving deepest information from the discourse. These are deletion, generalisation and construction (Welch, 2013)Focusing on the microstructure of news discourse, there are local insights provided in this form. The objects involved in this structure include semantics, syntactic and rhetoric aspects (Caple and Bednarek, 2016). The writer’s strategy is analysed through development of understanding of the rhetoric parts and the words which are used in propositions. Microstructures help in gaining better connectivity with the news discourse in reader’s perspectives. According to Fowler (2013) the microstructure of news discourses can be considered as the microscopic view of persuasive processes and succeeding elements that the writer conveys. Further, specific words help in delivering the political consciousness and clear choices to the readers with regards to the news.
As per the views of Welch (2013), the news discourse may include complex sentences and textual formats which make it difficult for the reader to grasp. Microstructures help in analysing the complexities of sentence at deeper levels. The number of different words, length of utterance in mean value, etc. are some of the parameters that help in analysing the microstructure. An example of microstructure for a part of news discourse is provided ahead. The President of USA shall make it difficult for spouses of Visa holders to get access to American residence. He is seeking opportunity for developing strict laws… In the example, the word “he” denotes the microstructure sentence which leads to the news of changes in visa complications in the news discourse. The basic ideology of the news presenter in the discourse is easily grasped through microstructure (Van Dijk, 2013).
News Discourse Style
Every style is a kind of language property which is quite complicated for exact definitions. However, uniqueness of a person is clearly denoted by the expressions provided in his/her styles. It can be in writing or in the way news is presented. With development of socio-linguistic approaches, style in news took the limelight. The onset of 1960s led to variations in languages and their presentation. The patterns associated with sound, sentences, social factors, etc. together constituted to a particular style irrespective of the similarity in meaning propagated. Public discourses involve use of various styles by speakers depending on their discipline of speech or the subject that has to be elaboratedt
he news discourse style is dependent on the selection or choice of the presenter as well as subjected to variations. For instance, the legal discourses include lexical jargon and have peculiarities in syntactic reference. The news discourse style is subjected to variations in words, patterns and sounds that are used for utterance while meaning and assumptions do not change. According to Kadhim and Shaker al-Shaibani (2013), news discourse styles also change according to the members or groups that are being targeted for communication. The cognitive impact over different listener with variations in styles is different when language, semantics and other dimensions are changed. Depending on the situation that is being addressed, group styles are categorised according to genres. However, these styles are based on peculiarities of grammar and hence personal addition to the discourse is acceptable (Van Dijk, 2013).
The various environments with specific news discourse style include courtroom hearings, auction, medical news, public forums, debates, etc. On the other hand, there are specific constraints on the news style (Pinto-Coelho, Carvalho and Castro Seixas, 2017). When considering written news discourse, the presence of readers is in indirect format which leaves no room for proper addressing. Additionally, the public news discourse such as broadcast over a television or radio or any public platform requires allegiance which should be undifferentiated (Fowler, 2013). Certain presumptions of distributing shared knowledge have to be included in the news discourse style which often becomes difficult due to the large audience that is being addressed.
A significant impact over readers is experienced when readers cannot relate to the news provided in a discourse with specific style of not including any single individualistic belief (Kadhim and Shaker al-Shaibani, 2013). The news discourse style is subjected to social acceptance also which differs from place to place. The type of newspaper that is printed in Netherlands will vary to some extent when compared with that of America. The ideologies associated with a news writer’s article are impersonal and they are subjected to patterns followed for particular genres.
The Rhetoric of News Discourse
News discourse rhetoric and effectiveness provide an insight regarding the techniques which are involved in saying the news and its impact. Major dependence on the goals and intentions associated with communication differentiates rhetoric of news discourse from its style. A severe contradiction is experienced in style of news discourse and rhetoric because rhetoric is engaging freely without considering the subject while styles change according to genre (Caple and Bednarek, 2016). Specific cultural background influences the news writer to present and organise information in a particular manner. This determines in contrastive rhetoric. The reason behind communication of information associated with a news event is to make the listener or reader understand the assertions provided with belief and execute or perform the actions that are requested (Van Dijk, 2013).
The rhetoric of news discourse is traditionally pragmatic. This implies that every news discourse has certain aim and motive which needs to be fulfilled in a persuasive manner (Pan and Kosicki, 1993). The domination of elite section of the society is visible in the news in the form of selective promotion of certain commodities or products. However, news is not a product to be sold or transferred within institutions for monetary benefits. There is a significant assertion made in everyday news that is provided to audience which reduces the effectiveness of actual meaning behind the subject (Elvestad, Blekesaune and Aalberg, 2014). The use of rhetoric structure helps in developing beliefs amongst receivers when accompanied by systematic assertions. The process of conquering beliefs through assertion is based on level of persuasion used in news. If this is limited people might be least subjected to changes in opinions which means that news discourse will transform into source of knowledge propositions (Discourse Analysis—What Speakers Do in Conversation. 2017). However, rhetoric regulates the formation of propositions which helps in creating news that lasts long over memory and is better organised.
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