A PALEONTOLOGY OF STYLE

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Abstract:

This article looks at the commonly understood rules and guidelines, which are set out and regularly modified in the Associated Press Stylebook, for how news about the Middle East “ought” to look and sound for US readers. By examining official news language longitudinally across a period from before the Iranian revolution to the second decade of the “war on terror,” it finds patterns that shed light not only on the normal evolution of news language but on the particularly Orientalized features of news about the Middle Eastern “other.” These findings are especially relevant in an era of shrinking newsroom resources in which centrally determined features of language are, increasingly, national decisions.

Keywords: Associated Press; Orientalism; news practice; news style; stylebooks

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2012.674834

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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