Journalists are always expected to be objective in their reporting. What does it mean by objectivity in journalism? Can journalists avoid subjectivity and be truly objective? In this talk, the speaker argues that journalist reporting is the result of a set of significant choices about language and images, which make objectivity in news reports an illusion. Subjectivity, rather than objectivity, is inherent with reports due to the following three factors: 1) the perception and the newsworthiness of the situation; 2) choices about language and images in formatting the news; and 3) the subjectivity in the registers to express. The speaker will present arhetorical analysis of cases of news reports to uncover how journalists can systematically identifying and categorizing linguistic choices available to him/her to reconstruct the reality. Based on the case analysis, he proposes that the naive concept of objectivity has to be replaced by the concept of transparency, and critical rhetoric plays a major role in doing so.
Prof. Paulus van den Hoven
Paulus van den Hoven出生于1954年，现为厦门大学新闻与传播学院教授，荷兰乌得勒支大学语言与传播学教授，法学专家，语言学博士。他长期从事语言表现力的研究，著述颇丰。研究领域包括符号学、批判修辞学、以及话语理论。在2015年出版的《淘金：修辞话语分析的艺术》一书中，他将批评修辞发展成话语建构中必然选择的理论。他认为，现实世界是进化的产物，它以人类为中心，部分主观地解释着我们感受到的东西。而通常我们的感官体验都只是一种“中介”，我们对“现实世界”的了解则更多是来自他人的话语。
Paulus van den Hoven (1954) is chair professor at the School of Journalism and Communication of Xiamen University and full professor of language and communication at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He owns a PhD in Linguistics and also graduated as a jurist. This combination may explain his lifelong fascination for the performative power of language. He published extensively on the tools of the communicator (semiotics), their function in how an audience’s reality is discursively created (critical rhetoric), and the relation between rhetoric and rationality (argument theory). In his book Gold Mining, the Art of Rhetorical Discourse Analysis (2015) he develops critical rhetoric as a theory of inevitable choices in discourse construction, choices that matter to the audience. He argues that our reality is actually an evolutionary product, a human-centered, partly subjective interpretation of what our senses register. But most of our sensory experiences are sincerely “mediated”: we learn our “reality” from others out of discourse.