Intention work: The scope of journalistic interpretation of political speech acts

Mia Schreiber*, Zohar Kampf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reported speech acts serve as a central journalistic resource for mediating public actors’ intentions, stances, and worldviews. Yet, journalists’ practices of interpreting and mediating intentions was fairly neglected by scholars of journalism. This study takes the example of reported condemnations, congratulations, and greetings, all of which consist of evaluative language that allows the examination of the ‘intention work’ journalists perform when meditating the words of others. Comparative analysis of 131 reported speech acts, with respect to the actual statements made by the quoted sources, suggest that journalists display variations in the level of adherence to the actual statements and show preference to intensify negative evaluations by resorting to subtle pragmatic and stylistic choices. We conclude by suggesting several reasons underlying reporters’ intention work and discuss the implications and professional stances assumed by journalists in their active role as mediators of intentions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)616-633
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

Keywords

  • Discourse analysis
  • intentions
  • interpretive journalism
  • news discourse
  • public speech acts

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