Constructing press releases: quotations as preformulation
Faculty of Applied Economics
Antwerp , 2002
Research paper / Faculty of Applied Economics UFSIA-RUCA ; 2002:017
University of Antwerp
This paper reports on empirical research into how press releases are being constructed. It starts from previous corpus-based work which has pointed to the preformulated nature of press releases: in particular, it has been shown that through a number of metapragmatic features press releases can easily be copied by journalists in their own news reporting. In this paper we set out to subject one of these features, viz. pseudo-quotations, to a further, empirical study, in which we scrutinize the process of constructing the press releases. We propose a detailed analysis of this process by combining ethnographic fieldwork with some of the methodology of cognitive psychology, including think-aloud protocols and on-line registration of the total writing process. Our preliminary results indicate that this combination provides a sound starting point for both quantitative and qualitative analysis, allowing for a detailed analysis and interpretation of how press releases are being constructed.