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External points of view in the PrEPUK News Corpus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/07/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies
Number of pages35
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This work examines the use of reported external points of view (EPVs), with a focus on quotations, in a corpus of U.K. news coverage of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Forms of external attribution have been shown to be a prominent feature of news discourse (e.g., Juillan, 2011; Semino and Short, 2004) and this has implications for public understanding of health issues. In the case of PrEP, the polarised views found in news coverage (Jaspal and Nerlich, 2017) have implications for the wider support and uptake of the treatment.

We report the findings of a corpus-assisted study of quotation, outlining patterns in the prevalence and distribution of quotes across the corpus according to frequently-cited sources and reporting verbs. Drawing on the Appraisal framework (White, 2012), we then provide a closer analysis of three articles covering the same news event to discuss the broader integration of external points of view and the ways in which journalists indicate their dialogistic association with the views they report.

We find that forms of speech presentation in quotations are relatively uniform, with journalists favouring — in particular — forms of the reporting verb say, or declining to use a reporting expression at all. This reflects a broader practice in which dialogistic association with quotations is largely unmarked. We find that journalists rely on the content of quotations for inscribed attitude, yet still invoke attitudes towards EPVs through the labelling of their sources, the reporting verbs they use and through the inclusion and positioning of EPVs in the article.