Framing the news: An ethnographic view of business newswriting

Tom Van Hout*, Felicitas MacGilchrist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This article is an ethnographic case study of a senior business reporter as he discovers, writes, and reflects on a news story. We "follow the story" from its entry in the newsroom through the review process during a story meeting and the writing process up to the point the story is filed for copy editing. Drawing on ethnographic data, this article sheds light on how a news story about Russian gas exports to France is discursively constructed. In this writing process, we focus in particular on a frame shift in the construction of the lead and argue that this shift is led primarily by technological rather than overt ideological concerns. The detailed description of one newswriting process supports the argument that framing is an interpretive practice achieved within the demands, relationships, and discourses that anchor business news as a social institution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-191
Number of pages23
JournalText and Talk
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Discourse analysis
  • Entextualization
  • Ethnography
  • Framing
  • Newswriting


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