Modelling Quoting in Newswriting : A Framework for Studies on the Production of News
Haapanen, L. (2020). Modelling Quoting in Newswriting : A Framework for Studies on the Production of News. Journalism Practice, 14 (3), 374-394. doi:10.1080/17512786.2019.1618199
Published inJournalism Practice
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The Mediated Social Communication (MSC) approach considers mass media a venue for opposing and complementary societal groups to publicly negotiate socially relevant topics. This negotiation is conducted through representatives of these groups and mediated by journalists. Inspired by the MSC approach, this paper presents an empirically grounded model that structures the mediating process through the process of quoting. By identifying the key phases of newswriting as sub-processes of quoting, the paper argues that journalists (1) decide on a topical issue to be addressed (topicalisation), (2) identify groups of people who are linked to this issue (societal localisation), (3) pick some people as representatives of these societal groups (personalisation), and (4) verbalise these people's points of view, often by means of quoting, inter alia (verbalisation). The four-phase model is then operationalised into a data collection method that facilitates access to and fosters new insights into the subtle dynamics of newswriting. Hitherto, these dynamics have often remained obscure, because the craft ethos is adopted as tacit knowledge through implicit socialisation and is therefore difficult for journalists to verbalise. The paper concludes by calling for reconsideration of journalists’ role as gatekeepers who decide which issues and voices are heard in public discourse. ...