Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595



The following paper adopts the vantage point of a linguistic ethnographic approach to news production, focused on the process of quoting, and combined with narrative analysis. The starting point of the analysis is an account given by a person who lived through a dramatic event. The paper investigates how the processes of recontextualization affects the account during the making of a broadcast news story. It explains how and why news practitioners adjust stretches of talk to the news text they are producing, and it reveals to what extent a pre-existing version of what happened (that of the account) can be reshaped by one in the making (that of the news story in which the account is going to figure). In the case study, the processes of recontextualization relates to three narrative issues: (1) quoting involves adapting the account’s characters’ categorizations to those of the news story; (2) quoting entails choosing between different schemes of incidence that depict what happened slightly differently; (3) quoting asks for a delimitation of the account’s spatiotemporal parameters that corresponds with those of the news story. Such a narrative adjustment is neither a tightly planned nor an arbitrary process but is embedded in the professional practice as it unfolds in the social and material world.

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