Personalisation in Mass Media Communication
British online news between public and private
It seems to be a truism that today’s news media present the news in a more personal and direct way than print newspapers some twenty-five years ago. However, it is far from obvious, how this can be described linguistically. This study develops a model that integrates and differentiates between the various facets of personalisation from a linguistic point of view. It includes 1) contexts that involve the audience by inviting direct interaction and through the use of visual elements; 2) the focus on private individuals who are personally affected by news events; and 3) the use of communicative immediacy, for instance in the form of direct speech and first and second person pronouns. This model is applied to data from five British online news sites, demonstrating how individual features contribute to personalisation, how different features interact, and what personalisation strategies are used by news sites of different market orientations.