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Reading: External points of view in the PrEPUK News Corpus

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External points of view in the PrEPUK News Corpus

Authors:

Luke Curtis Collins ,

Lancaster University, GB
About Luke
Dr Luke Collins is a Senior Research Associate in the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS). His interests are in corpus linguistics and its application to online discourse and health communication. He is also interested in media representations and public understanding of science, often combining corpus linguistics with other forms of (critical) discourse analysis. His most recent monograph, entitled 'Corpus Linguistics for Online Communication: A guide for Research' was published through Routledge in 2019.
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Lucy Jones

University of Nottingham, GB
About Lucy
Dr Lucy Jones is Associate Professor in Sociolinguistics at the University of Nottingham, working in the area of language, gender and sexuality, within the broader field of sociolinguistics. Her research makes use of queer theory, feminist theory, critical discourse analysis, sociocultural linguistics, ethnography, and queer linguistics. Her published work includes 'Dyke/Girl: Language and Identities in a Lesbian Group', published by Palgrave Macmillan.
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Abstract

This work examines the use of reported external points of view (EPVs), with a focus on direct speech, in a corpus of news coverage of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) in the U.K. Forms of external attribution have been shown to be a prominent feature of news discourse (e.g. Juillan, 2011; Semino and Short, 2004) and computational approaches to investigating this have relied upon the identification of particular components relating to the forms of external attribution (e.g. Pareti, 2015). We report the findings of a combined corpus analysis of the patterns of direct speech in the data, with a closer discourse analysis of three articles covering the same news event. We find that forms of direct speech representation are relatively uniform, with journalists favouring – in particular – forms of the reporting verb SAY, or declining to use a reporting expression at all. We find that rather than the form of EPVs cited in the text, the text-level structure provides evidence of differences in the ideological positions between publications. Nevertheless, the attribution of views to specific, named commentators contrasts with the indefinite attribution of views to, for example, 'critics' and this has implications for the perceived 'legitimacy' of such views. We critically consider the organisation of news texts and incorporation of EPVs as a reflection of differing practices relating to interpretive journalism and a commitment to 'balance'.
How to Cite: Collins, L. C., & Jones, L. (2021). External points of view in the PrEPUK News Corpus. Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies, 4, 108–134. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/jcads.53
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Published on 10 Nov 2021.
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