Thomson, Elizabeth A.; Fukui, Nagisa; and White, Peter R.R., 2008, Evaluating 'reporter' voice in two Japanese front-page lead stories, in E.A. Thomson & P.R.R. White (eds.), Communicating Conflict: Multilingual Case Studies of the News Media, Continuum, London.
The Asahi newspaper is the second-most-read national broadsheet newspaper in Japan and is considered left-wing and anti-American (Komori et al. 2002). The Nihon Keizai newspaper is a broadsheet which specializes in the economy and is motivated by economic imperatives. In this study, one front-page lead story from the Asahi and one from the Nihon Keizai, both of which report on the handover of power to the Iraqi Interim Government on 28 June, 2004, are selected to investigate the nature of the 'reporter' voice in Japanese. The analytical tools used are appraisal analysis (Martin and White 2005) and generic structure potential analysis (Hasan 1996). The study demonstrates that these lead stories are far from being 'neutral' and 'objective': the authorial reporters in each article take an evaluative position in relation to the handover of power to the new provisional Iraqi government. However, these two reporter positions are not overtly expressed but rather are presented through two different rhetorical strategies, construing two covert arguments but within a similar organizational structure. The chapter concludes that White's definition of 'reporter' voice, as it applies to English, applies equally to these two Japanese news stories.