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postgraduate thesis: Construction of 'objectivity' in hard news : a study of stance strategies in student-produced crime news texts

TitleConstruction of 'objectivity' in hard news : a study of stance strategies in student-produced crime news texts
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Jhaveri, A.. (2014). Construction of 'objectivity' in hard news : a study of stance strategies in student-produced crime news texts. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5610951
AbstractThe thesis uses Appraisal Theory to examine patterns of authorial stance in hard news crime reports written by A, B and C-graded students from an Associate degree journalism programme in Hong Kong. Relying on Appraisal Theory’s configuration of ‘reporter voice’, the study seeks to investigate the ways in which subjectivity surfaces in second language learners’ hard news crime reports, i.e. a genre of news that is known for its claims of ‘objectivity’. The small number of texts selected for this study allows a close and comprehensive analysis of each text in a way that the focus is on the depth rather than the breadth of the study. Therefore, the research offers insights, particularly those concerning the logogenesis of discourse, which the examination of a large corpus of texts cannot provide. The observable instances of authorial stance in terms of lexico-grammatical and syntagmatic resources that signal evaluative keys and betray authorial subjectivity are then identified in the selected texts. Through this detailed analytical approach, the research makes explicit the patterns of stance in student writing of crime news that correlate with A, B and C grades within the discipline of journalism. Broadly, this dissertation renders explicit the patterns of interpersonal meanings constructed in students’ texts that are valued by teachers of newswriting and are regarded as journalistically objective. The research contributes to the field of journalism education by pinpointing linguistic resources that enable some student writers to construct crime news texts according to the ethical norms of journalism, i.e. objectivity and neutrality, better than others. Specifically, the study of recurring patterns of stance in differently graded texts show that writers graded A in their assignments frequently constructed their news texts in what has been referred to in the thesis as a ‘novice journalist stance’ because these texts correspond most closely to the features of ‘reporter voice’ according to which authorial evaluation or stance is curtailed through a variety of strategic techniques of impersonalisation. Among these techniques, attribution is found to be of critical importance within the context of this study. Stance features that deviate from the ‘reporter voice’ of hard news writing are classified as ‘student stance’ in this study. Writers graded B use a combination of ‘novice journalist stance’ and ‘student stance’ whereas C grade writers largely use ‘student stance’ features. While the former stance is characterised by rhetorical skills of dialogic control and critical distance, the latter is marked by personalising moves and a visible absence of adequate attribution. Consequently, the study emphasises the need to implement the strategic use of valued stance formulations in pedagogic settings. The results of the study suggest the need to raise journalism instructors’ critical language awareness so as to enable them to make the genre requirements more explicit to students when they are assigned a particular news writing task as well as when their hard news writing is evaluated. In addition, these findings have further pedagogical implications, particularly in terms of how newswriting teachers can create a metalanguage for writing hard news stories, and for discussing desirable and undesirable stance moves with students in a clear, systematic and in-depth manner.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectJournalism - Authorship
Reporters and reporting
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221195

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorJhaveri, Aditi-
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-04T23:11:57Z-
dc.date.available2015-11-04T23:11:57Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationJhaveri, A.. (2014). Construction of 'objectivity' in hard news : a study of stance strategies in student-produced crime news texts. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5610951-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221195-
dc.description.abstractThe thesis uses Appraisal Theory to examine patterns of authorial stance in hard news crime reports written by A, B and C-graded students from an Associate degree journalism programme in Hong Kong. Relying on Appraisal Theory’s configuration of ‘reporter voice’, the study seeks to investigate the ways in which subjectivity surfaces in second language learners’ hard news crime reports, i.e. a genre of news that is known for its claims of ‘objectivity’. The small number of texts selected for this study allows a close and comprehensive analysis of each text in a way that the focus is on the depth rather than the breadth of the study. Therefore, the research offers insights, particularly those concerning the logogenesis of discourse, which the examination of a large corpus of texts cannot provide. The observable instances of authorial stance in terms of lexico-grammatical and syntagmatic resources that signal evaluative keys and betray authorial subjectivity are then identified in the selected texts. Through this detailed analytical approach, the research makes explicit the patterns of stance in student writing of crime news that correlate with A, B and C grades within the discipline of journalism. Broadly, this dissertation renders explicit the patterns of interpersonal meanings constructed in students’ texts that are valued by teachers of newswriting and are regarded as journalistically objective. The research contributes to the field of journalism education by pinpointing linguistic resources that enable some student writers to construct crime news texts according to the ethical norms of journalism, i.e. objectivity and neutrality, better than others. Specifically, the study of recurring patterns of stance in differently graded texts show that writers graded A in their assignments frequently constructed their news texts in what has been referred to in the thesis as a ‘novice journalist stance’ because these texts correspond most closely to the features of ‘reporter voice’ according to which authorial evaluation or stance is curtailed through a variety of strategic techniques of impersonalisation. Among these techniques, attribution is found to be of critical importance within the context of this study. Stance features that deviate from the ‘reporter voice’ of hard news writing are classified as ‘student stance’ in this study. Writers graded B use a combination of ‘novice journalist stance’ and ‘student stance’ whereas C grade writers largely use ‘student stance’ features. While the former stance is characterised by rhetorical skills of dialogic control and critical distance, the latter is marked by personalising moves and a visible absence of adequate attribution. Consequently, the study emphasises the need to implement the strategic use of valued stance formulations in pedagogic settings. The results of the study suggest the need to raise journalism instructors’ critical language awareness so as to enable them to make the genre requirements more explicit to students when they are assigned a particular news writing task as well as when their hard news writing is evaluated. In addition, these findings have further pedagogical implications, particularly in terms of how newswriting teachers can create a metalanguage for writing hard news stories, and for discussing desirable and undesirable stance moves with students in a clear, systematic and in-depth manner.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshJournalism - Authorship-
dc.subject.lcshReporters and reporting-
dc.titleConstruction of 'objectivity' in hard news : a study of stance strategies in student-produced crime news texts-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5610951-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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