Jan Chovanec


Jan Chovanec

Associate Professor in English linguistics in the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

His research has addressed various socio-pragmatic issues related to interpersonal interaction in traditional print, online and broadcast media. He has recently done work on sports discourse, media humour, online reader comments and the interface between news and social media. His publications include Pragmatics of Tense and Time in News: From Canonical Headlines to Online News Texts (2014), The Discourse of Online Sportscasting (2018), as well as several co-edited volumes on public and social media, all published with John Benjamins.



Transforming Genres in the Online World: Live news on the internet

Similar to other kinds of specialized discourses, news discourse has undergone some major transformations as a result of recent technological changes. This talk discusses the specific nature of live online news – a new media genre that has emerged thanks to the compression of time between the occurrence of a news event and its mediatized presentation in the online environment. Adopting a socio-pragmatic perspective, the talk analyses an extensive data set of live news from British online newspapers in the fields of national politics and sports. The talk outlines several distinct types of online commentaries and their linguistic characteristics on both micro and macro levels, and identifies three main aspects of such ‘news texts in progress’: a distinct narrative structure; a different approach to intertextuality; and a strong audience-directed interactivity. The findings indicate that this genre of specialized discourse represents a new format of not only breaking information but also engaging the audience and, ultimately, transforming the audience’s traditional passive recipient role.