News texts represent and share the most newsworthy events through familiar and conventionalized ways of communication in a specific society, write Afrooz Rafiee, Wilbert Spooren and José Sanders, all of Radboud University.
The authors compare the discourse structure of crime reporting articles published in Iranian and Dutch newspapers. 100 crime-reporting news texts were collected and the structure of each text was analyzed. The article discusses three discourse structures that can be used for presenting news: inverted (non-chronological), chronological and hybrid (mixed).
It seems that the structures used in the news texts differ significantly between the two countries. In Iranian crime news texts, hybrid is the dominant pattern in journalists’ statements. In Dutch texts the dominant pattern is inverted. A quotation-based structure of news writing only found in Iranian texts.
The authors state that journalistic conventions must be defined through a bottom-up approach based on the needs and cultural codes of the audience.
The article “Culture and discourse structure: A comparative study of Dutch and Iranian news texts” was published by Discourse & Communication and it is available here (abstract public).
Picture: time flies by Fulcher Photography, licence: CC BY-ND 2.0