Multimodal expression of authorial affect in a British television news programme

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Quality journalism is expected to adhere to norms of objectivity and neutrality whereby the authorial reporting voice avoids expressing any emotive reaction to the events reported. Research (Martin and White, 2005; Bednarek, 2008 and Pounds, 2010) has shown that authorial affect is virtually absent in quality British print-media news reporting. In the case of television news reporting, however, the nature and distribution of authorial affect have not yet been investigated in any detail. This paper shows how the appraisal framework (Martin and White, 2005) and Montgomery's classification of authorial voices in television news reporting (2007) may be used as a basis for such an investigation. The analysis is applied to an episode of the British news programme BBC News at Ten. The findings show that, as might be expected, some authorial affect is, to some extent, always conveyed through the audio-visual and dialogic dimensions. It is further shown, however, how affective expression still appears to be subject to some constraints in relation to the nature of the authorial voices represented in the programme, even though the distinction is often blurred. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalDiscourse, Context and Media
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • TV news reporting
  • Affect
  • Emotion
  • Authorial voice
  • News values

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