“Where got I that truth?” An analysis of external sources in English and Persian news reports on Syria

Discourse and Interaction


While there has been a plethora of inquiries into reported speech, a cross-linguistic analysis of the source segments in political news reports is still a rarity. This study aims at a three-fold investigation: first, tracking the frequency, transparency, and types of the sources; second, identifying the strategies employed to introduce these sources in text, and third, interrogating the contextual elements. To this end, a bottom-up analysis of 120 news reports from four quality newspapers (Kayhan and Jomhouri-e Eslami from Iran and The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal from the U.S.), mainly informed by van Leeuwen’s (1996) model of social actors, was carried out. The findings suggest a heavy reliance of both sets of newspapers on external sources to fulfill their vested interests, although they varied significantly with respect to frequency, transparency, and type.

attribution; evidentiality; external source; political discourse; news report; reported speech
Author biographies

Abbas Ali Rezaee

University of Tehran

Abbas Ali Rezaee is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Tehran, IR Iran. He obtained his PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Exeter, England. His research interests are language teaching, language testing, ESP, and critical discourse analysis. He has published extensively in prestigious journals. He has also supervised many MA theses and PhD dissertations. He has presented papers and has conducted workshops at national and international conferences. He is currently involved in a number of research projects on language teaching and testing.

Address: Abbas Ali Rezaee, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, North Kargar Ave., Tehran, Iran. [e-mail: aarezaee@ut.ac.ir]

Mohammad Mozaffari

University of Tehran

Mohammad Mozaffari earned his MA in English Language Teaching from the University of Tehran, Iran. He has keen interest in critical discourse analysis, media studies, rhetoric, political discourse, and multimodal analysis. Currently, he is pursuing his second MA in multilingualism at the University of Oslo,Norway.

Address: Mohammad Mozaffari, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, North Kargar Ave., Tehran, Iran. [e-mail: mohammoz@student.iln.uio.no]


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