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News Talk

News Talk
Investigating the Language of Journalism

$46.99 (P)

  • Date Published: March 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521525657

$ 46.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Written by a former news reporter and editor, News Talk gives us an insider's view of the media, showing how journalists select and construct their news stories. Colleen Cotter goes behind the scenes, revealing how language is chosen and shaped by news staff into the stories we read and hear. Tracing news stories from start to finish, she shows how the actions of journalists and editors - and the limitations of news writing formulas - may distort a story that was prepared with the most determined effort to be fair and accurate. Using insights from both linguistics and journalism, News Talk is a remarkable picture of a hidden world and its working practices on both sides of the Atlantic. It will interest those involved in language study, media and communication studies and those who want to understand how media shape our language and our view of the world.

    • Includes the main points at the beginning of each chapter, providing the reader with the ability to quickly obtain the crucial elements of the argument
    • Focuses on news media, including processes, production and practice, allowing for a greater depth of understanding of the background of what we read, see and hear as news
    • Organised along the story 'life cycle' from conceptualisation to realisation, providing the reader with a clear picture of story development and process
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A former journalist herself, Cotter draws on both her experiences and interviews with working reporters, offering keen insights into the behind-the-scences constraints that shape news stories. This critical scrutiny makes this book a valuable addition to any library and a must read for both linguists and journalists. Highly recommended." --Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521525657
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 24 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Process and Practice of Everyday Journalism:
    1. An interactional and ethnographic approach to news media language
    2. Craft and community: reading the ways of journalists
    3. The ways reporters learn to report and editors learn to edit
    Part II. Conceptualizing the News:
    4. News values and their significance in text and practice
    5. The 'story meeting': deciding what's fit to print
    6. The interaction-based nature of journalism
    Part III. Constructing the Story: Texts and Contexts:
    7. Story design and the dictates of the 'lead'
    8. 'Boilerplate': simplifying stories, anchoring text, altering meaning
    9. Style and standardization in news language
    Part IV. Decoding the Discourse:
    10. The impact of the news process on media discourse
    Conclusion and key points
    Appendix 1. Story samples
    Appendix 2. Outline guide for the analysis of news media language
    Appendix 3. SPJ ethics code
    Glossary of news and linguistic terms

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Language in Mass Media
    • Newswriting
  • Author

    Colleen Cotter, Queen Mary University of London
    Colleen Cotter is a senior lecturer at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a former daily news reporter and editor in the USA. Her previous publications include USA Phrasebook: Understanding Americans and Their Culture, Second Edition (2001).

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