Digital quotations in news texts

Marjut Johansson
University of Turku
marjut.johansson _arvaa_

In this presentation, my aim is to analyze news texts that include material from social media. In particular, I will concentrate on new types of quotations in digital news texts. I use the term ‘digital quotations’, to refer to tweets, screen captures and videos used as quotations and remediated from various sources of social media.

Digital quotations contribute to several discursive processes that take place in news genres. They can function as ordinary types of literal quotations in a news report; however, if they are not integrated into the article by the journalist, their use may remain mechanical, thus fragmenting a news text. Nonetheless, there are cases where the use of digital quotations is abundant: either they are reporting a discussion that has taken place on social media, or they are a compilation of quotations from different sources, presenting a sort of remix of quotations and summarizing reactions to news events. In these processes, news texts become written dialogues and debates. They represent a shift in news making and reception practices. These reconfigurations of texts have to be accounted for in the practices of digital literacy. In reading them, users need to be acquainted ‒ at least to some extent ‒ with the practices of social media. My data come mainly from French online journals and news sites.


keywords: digital quotation, digital literacy, discursive processes



Johansson, M. 2012. Political videos in digital news discourse. In A. Fetzer and L. Berlin (Eds.), Dialogue in Politics. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 43-67.

Thurlow, C. and K. Mroczek. 2011. Introduction. Fresh Perspectives on New Media Sociolinguistics. In C.Thurlow and K.Mroczek (Eds.), Digital Discourse. Language in the New Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, xix-xliv.


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