Is Dutch crime news getting more subjective over time (1950-2014)?
In several studies of English data, researchers observed a trend of informalization: a shift towards a more conversational style in written discourse. This trend is directly related to subjectivity. The aim of this investigation was to find out if the trend of informalization is also applicable to Dutch crime news. In general, it is expected that crime news is an objective genre in which no false assumptions are made. Therefore, a closer look at Dutch crime news could provide new insights. The prediction in this investigation was that the subjectivity of the journalist would decrease, while the proportion and features of subjectivity of quotations would increase. Dutch crime articles of 1950 and 2014 were compared through the list of indicators of subjectivity as provided by Vis (2011) and counting the direct quotations. The results showed that there were not any significant differences within the subjectivity of the journalist, the proportion and features of subjectivity of quotations in general. Meanwhile, the subjective element subjective coherence relations used by the journalist revealed a significant decrease. This could mean crime news is a specific genre, in which objectivity is probably valued higher than in other genres.
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