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.
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;