What do texts do? the context-construing work of news

Annabelle Lukin*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Within the framework of Halliday's text and context relations, with key extensions of this model by Hasan, this paper presents an analysis of a TV news report by Australia's public broadcaster (the ABC) concerning the 2003 "Coalition" invasion of Iraq, in order to present a thesis about the context-construing work done by the register (i.e., functional variety) known as "news." Sociologists have argued that news is a symbolic commodity, in the business of purveying forms of consciousness. How does news do this? And what, more specifically, can be said about the social process which news texts realize? This paper considers these questions, drawing on the analysis of the texture of the ABC TV news report, based on Hasan's "cohesive harmony" schema. The findings from the analysis are the basis on which I argue the news item relied for its continuity on the derived and abstract notion of "the Iraq war," while failing to present a coherent picture of the actualized violence perpetrated by the "Coalition" as it rolled out its invasion of Iraq.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)523-551
    Number of pages29
    JournalText and Talk
    Issue number4-5
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2013


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