An Introduction to News

CCJK is dedicated to providing a wide range of language solutions in respect of various industries, including: TechnologyManufacturingFinancialHealthcare, etc. This time i would like to talk about NEWS.

1. Definition of News


The definition of news is varied in the academic circle. Here are several quotations about news in the western press. “It’s not news when a dog bites a man, but absolutely news when you find a man who bites a dog.”  “News is a report of an event, containing timely or (at least unknown information), which has been accurately gathered and written by trained reporters for the purpose of serving the reader, listener or viewer.”
“News is anything that can make people talk.” (Geoffre,1982 :64).
“News is material that the public must have because it’s important.” (Mencher, Basic Media Writing 1996.)
“News simply defined, is what people want and need to know.” (Doug, Newsom & James A. Wollert, 1985)
However, there is no universally acknowledged definition of news available in view of the changeable nature of news.

2. Features of News


News has become an indispensable part in people’s life. What social features and functions can news serve? Since the language in news is different from that of other literary styles, what are the distinctive features in journalistic language? This part is intended to answer these two questions.

2.1 Social Features of News


The social features here primarily refer to the special social functions that news have as distinct from other forms of writing. Generally speaking, news has three features in terms of serving the society and the people: the informative feature, the persuasive feature and the entertaining feature.

2.2 Linguistic Features of News


“Language is used with certain purposes to achieve certain effects”. (Wang Zuoliang, 1987) The language used in news must differ from other forms of writing in many ways. According to Xu Mingwu, news language should be concrete, accurate, brief, common and vivid. (Xu Mingwu, 2003) News should be brief due to the limited space of newspapers. News reporting must be quick, which requires its writers to use simple words so as to meet the deadline. Linguistic features can be further classified into different levels:      Lexical Features, Syntactical Features, Textual Features and Rhetorical Features

3. Different Features between Chinese and English News


The differences between Chinese and English news lie primarily on the linguistic level.
On the syntactic level, Chinese language has less long and complex sentences than English does, especially in journalistic reports. Therefore, the Chinese translation of English news usually adopts short and simple sentences while there are more compound sentences with many conjunctions and relative words the other way around.
There are many more differences between English and Chinese reports. We will discuss more in the next time.

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