Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Journalists' language awareness: inferences from writing strategies

Daniel Perrin, Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow



What journalists want to do is not always what they actually do as they sit at their computer workstations writing news based on source texts. This article focuses on journalists' writing behavior and their writing strategies in a sample of 17 case studies. Data was collected with progression analysis, a multi method approach combining ethnographic observation and interviews with computer logging and retrospective verbalizations. With this approach, it is possible to make inferences about the awareness journalists have of their language and their language use. The explorative findings show that there might be considerable differences between the professionally guided intentions of writers and their actions - a strong argument for multi-method approaches in production- oriented discourse analysis. Furthermore, the findings show clear differences between experienced and inexperienced journalists: the repertoires of the experienced journalists contain more writing strategies that are oriented to the management of the writing process and the design of the text function. Heightened language awareness may well be linked causally to writing success.


Lenguaje periodístico; Conciencia lingüística; Usos lingüísticos; Periodismo; Escritura


Copyright (c) 2006 Daniel Perrin, Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow

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