Reporting Controversy in Constructed Dialogue

  • Peter A. Cramer
Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 19)


Journalists use constructed dialogue to narrate controversies in their reporting. They develop interlocutor profiles, constructing dialogues among participants whom they nominate and voice through reported speech. These are extended pragmatic event formulas, and through them, journalists provide a narrated location for public controversies. They regularly narrate dialogue among interlocutors who have not necessarily shared physical proximity, addressed one another directly, provided public, on-the-record statements that are relevant, nor engaged a common issue. While they do construct decision making dialogues, journalists do not necessarily narrate controversy according to the norms and standards promoted in the discourse arts. In most cases, doing so would tend to put journalists at odds with their own professional norms, which stress the reporting of events through assiduous display of empirical grounding in the statements of sources. By narrating controversy in constructed dialogue, journalists share with the discourse arts the use of a dialogue model.


News Article News Event Matrix Clause Authoritative Source Narrate Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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