Le mercredi 17 avril 2019, 13h15-15h00, Anthropole, salle 3128
Entrée libre, conférence de Tom Van Hout, University of Antwerp & Leiden University.
Infotaining the imagined audience. How journalists recontextualize elite discourse.
Conférence présentée dans le cadre du cours de Laura Delaloye "Ethnographie des pratiques journalistiques".
In an era of proliferating news discourse, journalists face a double bind: they need to embrace the digital world to maintain and attract audiences and keep up to speed with news flows across social networks, while at the same time they must work to distinguish their profession, their product, and their outlets from knowledge rivals. To live up to this challenge, journalists employ a range of discursive techniques. One such technique, usually reserved for campaign coverage but increasingly used in business-as-usual coverage, focuses attention on the linguistic performance of people in the news and associates types of language use with types of speakers. To illustrate this claim, I discuss journalists’ uptake of political (mis)communication.
My data consist of recycled snippets of reported speech taken from a Belgian news site. These snippets present us with what journalists consider worth using (and re-using), revealing, and thus infotaining, bits of reported speech about the main characters: the quoted politician and the journalist captioning the quote. Rather than speak for themselves, the quotes are recentered to speak through recontextualization and double-voicing. I argue that such journalistic metadiscourse formulates acceptable and unacceptable interactional styles and linguistic performance in the public sphere. Findings show how a media logic conditions what politicians can and cannot say, to whom and about whom, and how journalists assess politicians who do not comply with this logic.
Tom Van Hout is associate professor and academic director of the Institute of Professional and Academic Communication at the University of Antwerp. He holds a secondary appointment at Leiden University. He studies professional and media communication to understand how expertise is performed, audiences are anticipated, and social events get represented. Recent publications include journal articles in Text & Talk, and IEEE Transactions in Professional Communication, a research methods for journalism studies textbook, and book chapters in edited volumes published by Routledge and Oxford University Press.
Affiche_VanHout_SP19 (410 Ko)