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DIRECT QUOTES IN SPANISH NEWSPAPERS

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The journalist usually introduces the voices of different people—sources, witnesses, and protagonists—into the writing of the news. This makes studying how oral discourse is translated into writing, along with the consequent ethical implications that this implies, a very interesting field within journalism. This article, limited to Spain, shows that while newspaper stylebooks and news-writing manuals require that direct quotes be textual transcriptions of the words of the person quoted, research conducted by Spanish scholars whose background is in linguistics shows that direct quotes in print media sometimes change with respect to the actual words used by the quoted speaker. This creates two problems: first, the risk that some readers may interpret erroneously the direct quotes in the news, as literal transcriptions of the words said, when that is not always the case. Second, that news-writing textbooks do not train journalists for the use of others' voices in the news they report.
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Keywords: journalism practices; journalism quotes; journalism texts; news-writing; reported speech; stylebooks

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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