Language of News Reporting in Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Instead, however, the headline does follow the sequence of events as they happened to present a more chronological overview of the event while still maintaining a good inverted pyramid structure. For example, take the head line of the news story in Appendix A: 'Iranian election uproar tests U.S.', this headline without giving specifics of the actual election result implies that the results were not great overall because of the impact that it has on the relations between U.S. And Iran. Hence, whoever reads this headline and know even the slightest bit about the background of the U.S.-Iran relations will interpret the possible results without actually reading about them.

Similarly, when analyzing the headline in Appendix B, 'Regime Change Brewing in Iran?' another format of headline comes to mine. The headlines can also be used to exhibit the actual strategic breakdown of the news story in a single sentence. This simply means that headlines following this format mainly represent the actual chronological pattern of the news story in which facts and information will be presented in the lead and the body of the news story.

Rothery and Stenglin (1997) in their research proposed a strategic structure for designing the headlines of news stories. They called it the "synopsis" and explained that this format allowed headlines to present a general and macro representation of the facts in a news story instead of merely focusing on one solid aspect of the news story. This also means that headlines no longer needed to necessarily follow the inverted pyramid format as strictly as before and present a more sequential opening substituting the focus from one specific most important fact to an overview of all important facts of the news story (Rothery and Stenglin, 1997).

Text Structure: Inverted Pyramid

The two main features of the inverted pyramid are that, one it always breaks down the information into parts of what is most important, less important and least important and then arranges them in the same order so that the reader can get the grasp of the important facts without having to read the entire news story. This allows the writer the chance to add facts to the end of the story that can be deleted if and when the space of the news story on a given page needs to be adjusted. The second important aspect of the inverted pyramid is that it always concentrates on providing a concise overview of the main story in the beginning with details in the body of the story. It is important to note here that all the details in the body follow the most important to least important structure as well (Rich, 2000; Bagnall, 1999).

Most researchers agree with what Rich in his study explained about the inverted pyramid (facts aforementioned). Rich further explains that the leads or opening paragraph pf the news story that present the summary or overview of the main event is called the "summary lead" which basically encompasses the answers to the 5 most important questions when gathering facts about any event: who, what, when, where, why and how. The details then focus of the explanation of the facts gathered through answering the 'what, how and why' aspects of the news story. These are called the Ws and H. Of journalism (Rich 2000; Bagnall, 1999).

"Iranian election officials declared yesterday that incumbent hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran's hotly contested presidential election in a landslide prompting riots in Tehran from voters alleging election fraud and raising fears in Washington that President Obama's attempt to hold talks with the Iranian government will now be far more difficult"

- The above text taken from Appendix A is a good example of a summary lead as it not only overviews the main story but also answers the questions: who - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, what -- won Iran election, when -- yesterday (dateline of the news gives exact date), where -- in Iran, why -- claims of fraud, how -- in an overwhelming majority ('landslide' as in text). Furthermore the main headline and the lead are both complementing each other and completing the essence of the news story together.


Paragraphing is also a very important aspect in the language use of any news troy as it not only breaks down the news story into separate parts but also allows the journalist to use transitional words like meanwhile or furthermore that allows the story to have a flow and simultaneously allows the journalist to represent different emotions and importance of facts through difference in language use form one paragraph to the next (Ghadessy, 1988).


In the paper we have discussed how in the modern era the text of and the

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