News style : how the discourses of newswriting produce and restrict British broadsheet news texts
The study explores aspects of how British broadsheet news journalists produce news stories. It seeks to understand news texts in terms of their production within the journalistic community so as to develop a critique and investigate alternative ways of writing. Chapter one situates the study against the author's personal concerns as a practising journalist. Chapter two draws on a Foucauldian model of discourse, Etienne Wenger's theorisation of communities of practice and journalists' own understanding of their writing in terms of style to describe the situated knowledge within which news texts are produced. Chapter three places the study historically, arguing that 'modern' news discourse as a mode of practice, writing and understanding the world developed between 1880 and 1930 in Britain. Following chapters analyse this knowledge of writing in a number of ways. Chapter four uses journalists' memoirs and other metatexts to investigate how news texts make sense from within the practice. Chapter five reads the work of students on a postgraduate journalism course to explore what needs to be learnt in order to gain competence in newswriting. Chapters six and seven analyse news texts from British broadsheets in terms of news writing practice. Chapter six suggests that a number of aspects of news texts can be accounted for in terms of journalists' search for capital within their community, and chapter seven that news texts are constructed with only loose coherence. Chapter eight draws these points together in an exploration of the potential of online journalism to offer ways of writing outside or on the edge of this practice.