Departing from previous descriptions of the language of Italian journalism, situated in the context of the normative debate over standard vs regional varieties of Italian (e.g. Bonomi, 2002; Antelmi, 2006; Gualdo, 2011), and expanding on a recent comparative study of English-Italian news reporting by Pounds (2010), this paper investigates interpersonal style in the discourse of the Italian press, which, in the 2012 (and later) surveys of press freedom by Freedom House was distinguished among other, ‘free’ Western European presses as ‘partly free’. The paper draws on the notion of ‘evaluative key’ which has emerged from applications of the Appraisal framework (Martin & White, 2005) to English language newspaper discourse (Iedema et al, 1995; White, 1998) to conduct a similar study exploring the extent to which Italian newspaper discourse stylistically distinguishes, like its Anglo Saxon counterpart, between objective, ‘factual’ and more subjective ‘opinion’ type writing. A small corpus of news articles from the cronaca, domestic and international news pages of 14 Italian language national newspapers was analyzed for the frequencies of three kinds of explicit attitudinal language and its use in attributed and non-attributed contexts. The results largely confirm the findings of Pounds (2010), and, compared with the findings for the Anglo-Saxon press reported in Martin & White (2005), show less regular patterns of use, and a less clear stylistic distinction emerging between ‘factual reporting’ and ‘subjective commentary’. The results are discussed in the light of socio-cultural and contextual factors and the ‘partly free’ qualification of the Italian press by Freedom House.

Voice in a 'partly free' press: evaluative key in Italian journalistic discourse

SWAIN, ELIZABETH ANNE
2013-01-01

Abstract

Departing from previous descriptions of the language of Italian journalism, situated in the context of the normative debate over standard vs regional varieties of Italian (e.g. Bonomi, 2002; Antelmi, 2006; Gualdo, 2011), and expanding on a recent comparative study of English-Italian news reporting by Pounds (2010), this paper investigates interpersonal style in the discourse of the Italian press, which, in the 2012 (and later) surveys of press freedom by Freedom House was distinguished among other, ‘free’ Western European presses as ‘partly free’. The paper draws on the notion of ‘evaluative key’ which has emerged from applications of the Appraisal framework (Martin & White, 2005) to English language newspaper discourse (Iedema et al, 1995; White, 1998) to conduct a similar study exploring the extent to which Italian newspaper discourse stylistically distinguishes, like its Anglo Saxon counterpart, between objective, ‘factual’ and more subjective ‘opinion’ type writing. A small corpus of news articles from the cronaca, domestic and international news pages of 14 Italian language national newspapers was analyzed for the frequencies of three kinds of explicit attitudinal language and its use in attributed and non-attributed contexts. The results largely confirm the findings of Pounds (2010), and, compared with the findings for the Anglo-Saxon press reported in Martin & White (2005), show less regular patterns of use, and a less clear stylistic distinction emerging between ‘factual reporting’ and ‘subjective commentary’. The results are discussed in the light of socio-cultural and contextual factors and the ‘partly free’ qualification of the Italian press by Freedom House.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2361979
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