Abstract: Evolving Genres in Online Domains: The Hybrid Genre of the Participatory News article

Evolving Genres in Online Domains: The Hybrid Genre of the Participatory News article

by  Ian Bruce

In: Genres on the Web Computational Models and Empirical Studies
Alexander Mehler, Serge Sharoff and Marina Santini
Text, Speech and Language Technology
Volume 42, 2011, DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-9178-9


Cognitive science proposes that any category, such as a genre as a category for a certain type of text, is formed in relation to human purpose or intentionality. Grouped in relation to three types of high level, general purpose for academic writing, Young posits three broad categories of genre: those of personal discourse (such as diaries, journals, notebooks); interactive discourse (letters, emails, fora in publications and other written messages) and public discourse (articles, reports, presentations). However, an outcome of internet-based communication and publication has often been to con ate these general types of writing purpose, resulting in the hybridising of what were previously discrete genres. An example of this con ation of writing purposes leading to the development of a hybrid genre is that of a news article immediately followed by readers’ comments | sometimes termed participatory journalism. In this web genre, public discourse (such as the publication of a news article sourced from a press agency) is combined with interactive discourse of the blog that follows the article, typically including readers’ reactive comment about both the content of the article and also about the views of other readers. In this chapter, this particular hybrid genre will be analysed in terms of dual approach to genre proposed by the writer [16]. The chapter rst reviews approaches to the notion of genre as a method of categorisation of written texts, leading to the presentation of a rationale for the dual approach of social genre and cognitive genre as being necessary to account for the range of di erent types of knowledge that combine to identify texts as belonging to a particular genre. An explanation of the knowledge frameworks of the social genre/cognitive genre model is then followed by analysis of a sample of ten sample texts of the participatory journalism genre. The sample is rater analysed in terms of the social genre aspects of context, epistemology, writer stance/audience addressivity and content staging. The texts are also examined for their use of cognitive genres, involving types of general rhetorical purpose, their related discourse patterns and relations between propositions. The genre modelling and research reported in the chapter is an argument for the notion that an adequate operationalisation of a genre as a category of written texts, including a web genre, should be able to account for the socially constructed, cognitive organisational and linguistic elements of genre knowledge.  [Continue reading excerpts here or download PDF from here]

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