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Subjectivity and story-telling in journalism: Examining expressions of affect, judgement and appreciation in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin 2013. Subjectivity and story-telling in journalism: Examining expressions of affect, judgement and appreciation in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories. Journalism Studies 14 (3) , pp. 305-320. 10.1080/1461670X.2012.713738

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Abstract

This paper studies the role of subjectivity in the language of award-winning journalism. The paper draws on a content analysis of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles in a range of news categories between 1995 and 2011. The analysis indicates that despite the continued prominence of the ideal of objectivity in scholarly and journalistic debates, award-winning journalistic stories are in fact pervaded by subjective language in the form of what linguists refer to as “appraisals,” as well as the narrative construction of emotive appeals. The subjective language use of award-winning stories, however, does not straightforwardly or consistently undermine claims to objectivity. On that basis, the paper concludes that any binary oppositions between objectivity and subjectivity and, relatedly, emotionality and rationality, may be overly simplistic and obscure the complexities of journalistic story-telling.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect, appraisal, Bourdieu, emotion, objectivity, Pulitzer Prize, subjectivity, strategic ritual
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1461-670X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:49
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/53804

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