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Covering Conflict: Between Universality and Cultural Specificity in News Discourse, Genre and Journalistic Style

Covering Conflict: Between Universality and Cultural Specificity in News Discourse, Genre and... The present article takes under scrutiny news discourse along with the dialectics between the universal journalistic norms and culture-specific determinants. Following van Leeuwen’s (2011) view that notions of genre, discourse and style, though distinct, are very much interrelated, news discourse, understood as both process and product, is discussed here together with hard news reporting genre and styles. The underlying theoretical assumption is that the concept of news in its totality is, by definition, highly contingent on “journalistic work on distance” in its various dimensions (temporal, spatial, epistemic, axiological, and emotional), referred to as “proximization process”. “Proximization strategies”, which are intended to bring the reality represented cognitively and affectively closer to the audiences, on the one hand rely on some universal cognitive mechanisms, but on the other hand are context-sensitive, that is culture-bound and ideologically motivated. The data used to illustrate this process comes from the local and international coverage of post-election violence in Kenya in 2007–2008. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Review of Pragmatics Brill

Covering Conflict: Between Universality and Cultural Specificity in News Discourse, Genre and Journalistic Style

International Review of Pragmatics , Volume 7 (2): 308 – Jan 1, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
ISSN
1877-3095
eISSN
1877-3109
DOI
10.1163/18773109-00702007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present article takes under scrutiny news discourse along with the dialectics between the universal journalistic norms and culture-specific determinants. Following van Leeuwen’s (2011) view that notions of genre, discourse and style, though distinct, are very much interrelated, news discourse, understood as both process and product, is discussed here together with hard news reporting genre and styles. The underlying theoretical assumption is that the concept of news in its totality is, by definition, highly contingent on “journalistic work on distance” in its various dimensions (temporal, spatial, epistemic, axiological, and emotional), referred to as “proximization process”. “Proximization strategies”, which are intended to bring the reality represented cognitively and affectively closer to the audiences, on the one hand rely on some universal cognitive mechanisms, but on the other hand are context-sensitive, that is culture-bound and ideologically motivated. The data used to illustrate this process comes from the local and international coverage of post-election violence in Kenya in 2007–2008.

Journal

International Review of PragmaticsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2015

Keywords: genre; news discourse; proximization; journalistic style; conflict; Africa

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