Reporting armistice: authorial and non-authorial voices in The Sydney Morning Herald 1902-2003

Claire Scott

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Media discourse is dialogic in nature (cf. Bakhtin, 1981; Zelizer, 1989), frequently including information or opinions sourced from beyond the reporter (e.g. Fairclough, 1995; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004: 252; Waugh, 1995). The way reporters include other voices in the dialogue, as well as the range of meanings permitted in the dialogue, are crucial factors in the issue of ‘grounding’ news reports (Carey, 1986; Waugh, 1995: 132). This paper presents findings from an analysis of non-authorial sourcing in armistice reports from the Sydney Morning Herald over a century (1902-2003), and considers how the uptake of resources for attributing this kind of information has changed in relation to changes in context, particularly technological and institutional context. A downward shift in the degree to which authorial responsibility is articulated and circumscribed seems to coincide with increasingly advanced and diverse technology for gathering and disseminating news. This suggests that advancements in technology do not necessarily lead to more accurate, balanced or grounded reporting, even when the technology potentially makes available a much greater range of information sources. Findings such as this have implications for understanding the changing character of news as a product of changing production processes, and for understanding the social purpose of news as a dynamic, changing social activity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of ISFC 35
    Subtitle of host publicationvoices around the world
    EditorsCanzhong Wu, Christian M.I.M Matthiessen, Maria Herke
    Place of PublicationSydney
    Publisher35th ISFC Organizing Committee
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)9780980544718
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventInternational Systemic Functional Congress (35th : 2008) - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 21 Jul 200825 Jul 2008


    ConferenceInternational Systemic Functional Congress (35th : 2008)


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