Publication details

How important or unimportant : Analyzing evaluation in the news



Year of publication 2017
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description When turning on the radio or TV in the evening, many are in search of unbiased and reliable news about the world around us. One of the obligations imposed on presenters in broadcast news is thus to preserve their neutrality and objectivity and the audience expects them to do so. Nevertheless, some previous studies (e.g. Montgomery 2007) have shown that evaluation plays a significant role in certain parts of the broadcast. In my research, I examine if and how presenters evaluate the news that they deliver to an unsuspecting audience. The data used in my analysis consists of five transcriptions of ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir. In order to assure variation in news content, the material was collected using ‘constructed week’ sampling. As the transcripts illustrate, news presentation is divided into three parts, namely news kernel, news report and live interview with the correspondent, which is optional. The aim of the present study was to identify instances of evaluation in these three sections and to categorize them into ten parameters of evaluation, as proposed in the framework developed by Bednarek and Caple (2012). In addition, the attention is paid to linguistic resources (both lexical and grammatical) for expressing evaluation. Such two-fold analysis thus demonstrates to what extent evaluative parameters and means of evaluation differ in the individual parts of news presentation. Since the production of broadcast news involves a number of people with various institutional rights, the source of evaluations is also scrutinized and the motivation for evaluating is debated.
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