Nyhet, information eller reklam? En interdiskursiv analys av kommuners pressmeddelanden
Sammanfattning: The study aims to clarify and examine signs of interdiscursivity between Swedish municipal press releases and three other types of texts that relate to the press releases: informative texts, marketing texts and journalistic texts. Based on results from text analysis, emerging linguistic patterns are investigated. I discuss whether these patterns can be interpreted as discourse conventions, and whether there are common discourse conventions between the text types that can be interpreted as signs of interdiscursivity. The study highlights both differences and similarities between the texts. One clear similarity is the way of visually marking preambles. Other distinct similarities include the use of “the inverted pyramid structure” (the most newsworthy information comes first), as well as the use of direct speech, that the press releases have in common with the journalistic texts. When the press releases represent the author’s voice, an effort is made to avoid subjectivity, which is a feature that is generally also seen in the informative texts, and to some extent in the journalistic texts. A particularly interesting difference emerges from a comparison between the journalistic texts and the press releases’ way of using direct speech. While the journalistic texts include a diversity of opinions and perspectives, the direct speech passages of the press releases are more homogeneous in that they appear uncritical. The dialogicity is thus more superficial in the press releases compared to the journalistic texts. It is concluded that the critical and problematizing approach to the news, typical of the journalistic texts, is an aspect that has been filtered out in the recontextualization process when press releases appropriate features of journalistic texts. The study shows that it is possible to find signs of interdiscursivity at the micro level of language, and that a comparative or contrastive method can be useful for discovering similarities between texts, but also for discovering the characteristics of texts. The study also shows that interesting patterns emerge when the overall message of the texts is taken into account, which indicates that micro level text analysis can advantageously be supplemented with analysis of themes or rhetorical messages. The study concludes with a discussion of the role of the municipal press release in a mediatized democracy and states that from a democratic perspective, it is problematic if citizens are only presented with positively angled news about the municipality and its representatives. From that perspective, the local journalistic processing has an important function.
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