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Overtime, it has been acknowledged that what may have resulted to appear to be a form of bias or the lack of objectivity with the ways news is delivered is often not attributed as a responsibility credited to individual journalists rather should be accounted to the institutional constraints that are obligatory upon them and are recognized in convention and practice.
Mayr (2008: 2) provides a comparative analysis of the institutional power which is evident on news against the power which is vested upon other social institutions like prisons arguing that "[w]hile the news mediaâ€¦...." (ibid.) adding "just as news tells us who is bad through the definitions of the â€¦." (emphasis in the original) (Mayr 2008: 2). With the same regard, Machin also provides a comparison of news organizations as against other institutions reiterating that "[a]ll institutions, such as schools, hospitals and â€¦." (Machin, 2008: 63). He also pointed out that "we must understand the social and cultural goings-on that lie behind news to really understand the nature of the texts" (ibid.).
Conboy (2007) pointed out the presence of various institutional sets of preference which administers the practices pertaining to source selection, hierarchy of credibility with regards to respondents and witnesses, determining the lead of the news, and the selection and presentation of protagonists in the story. These kinds of questions are highly reflective of the perceptions towards the issue being told in a news story along with the significance of the actors and the story itself.
Machin (2008) argued on the significance of the discussion of the bias which is present among journalists. He maintained that "The kinds of distortions that we often call .â€¦."(Machin 2008: 63).
Barkho (2008: 133-135), on the other hand, asserts that these constraints in the institution are "engraved in tablets" which is evident as guidelines being adhered to by reporters and journalists. The works of Barkho demonstrated that professionals or journalists who have transferred between BBC, CNN, and Aljazeera has allowed for the modifications in their style. They have also demonstrated ease in being able to effectively adapt to the discourse of news which is practiced in the institution. The author compared the discourse of these institutional style guidelines, with using imperatives like "do not, avoid, call â€¦" and modals like "will, must, need, ." (ibid.: 148), with the conversation which happens in normal instances such as in the case of a patient and a doctor or a teacher and a student. He also noted that "style guidelines address their interlocutors from a vantage point of authority who expect their words not to fall on deaf ears" (ibid.: 135). Another significant factor to note with the work of Barkho is the secrecy which is present among many media institutions which are used to guard the guidelines they have stipulated regarding the manner in which news should be appropriately reported. Such media institutions "usually keep their style booksâ€¦."(Barkho 2008: 135).
It is also important to note the presence of institutional constraints which are evident in the application of news values. It is revealed by these news values that there are ideological orientations and choices which are being assumed by news organizations (Conboy 2007).
Conboy (2007: 30) emphasized that news values in a specific broadcast channel or newspaper are one of the ways to potentially pin-point the social targeting of news. As earlier said, some of the events which take place all over the world can be considered as items which are newsworthy because they are seen to be substantial for publication and broadcast. However, there are various degrees of priorities which are accorded, inside different news organizations, to the news stories which can be considered to affect a larger scope of the target audience or those stories which is of global importance like natural disasters and other issues which affect different countries all over the world.
2.5. Translating News
Machin (2008: 65) emphasized that being able to compare two various news texts showing one common story demonstrates how "the same story has been dressed up differently". This note from Machin reflects a specific news story which is presented in various ways in the same language, on the same country, and on the same day. In the example of Machin, "dressing the story up differently", refers to an activity in which the tone of the entire story is modified to be able to have a different focus of the narrative with the objective of trying to present the news story in a different group of audience. Nonetheless, when the news are translated and are geared to be presented to other linguistic communities which is not the same as the original target audience, the same story might possibly be dressed up differently, to the degree of total disguise and camouflage. There are, however, very limited studies which have been completed to address such an issue. Wodak and Busch (2004: 112) emphasized that "Researchers working in linguisticsâ€¦." (Wodak and Busch 2004: 112)
The researches which have focused on the discussion of news discourse have been characterized by monolingual focus, in which most of the attention has been geared towards news in the English language. Translation is a very significant process in the industry of news. Nonetheless, putting few studies into exception, most of the cross-linguistic research about news, did not originate from a domain which is discourse-oriented, but coming from various studies of multilingual agenda, specifically those which are from the areas of cross-cultural studies and translation.
For most journalists, they are very highly dependent on translation, considering the multilingual nature of the world of news and having them originated from various linguistic and cultural groups. For example, there is a need to translate the testimonies of the people who are directly involve din the story in order to send reports from one field office to the other especially if international languages are being used. Also, there are many agencies of news which produce and make their stories available in different languages or maintain websites and portals which are multilingual. The same news story is received by a set of other journalists and they are translated and then re-translated into a number of various languages depending upon what is required.
Although translation is seen to be of significance to all mass media, the discipline is still perceived differently. Cook, Tosi (2003: 103), presenting the dichotomy of perspective, noted "[â€¦] journalists think that translators are â€¦..."
Furthermore, despite the role which is assumed by translation at all levels of the news, only very minimal recognition was given to it by many news producers. Darwish (2005) stated that although translation has been very significant in the international press, the codes of ethics of many journalists, which nearly totaled to 370, totally ignore the process of translation as being a critical factor in the framing of news as well as in being able to achieve neutrality and objectivity with the news story. However, an exception from such would be the code of ethics which ahs been issued by the Pres Foundation of Asia which states that "Harm can be done by distortion in translation...."
Beshir (2009) stated that there are various news organizations which stipulate in their guidelines their policies regarding the process of translation. For instance, there is a particular news agency which referred to the process of translation as "In cases where we conduct an â€¦..."
In the above statement, the news organization points solely to the translator's identity with high regards to the translation which has been accomplished by its reporters. There is no direct attribution to translation itself and to its extent of faithfulness.
The media came up with their own concept of equivalence. Bielsa (2007: 35) noted the presence of some news agencies with international operations as being originally founded by multilingual businessmen who have demonstrated an interest in the field of translation (ibid.). A specific emphasis was given to the role, significance, and professional nature of translation in news agencies. Raising the argument that extending a hand to the international audience is one of the reasons why news agencies are structured, and to be able to potentially act as an effective facilitator in the communication flow across various linguistic communities, Bielsa (2007: 135) stressed that "If news translation has traditionally been neglectedâ€¦â€¦â€¦...."
However, the view which ahs been expressed by Bielsa does not seem to be agreeable for some researchers. For others, those who translate for the media in general, and those who translate news in particular, are not equipped with the required and necessary training. These translators are being accused for the application of practices that are on the contrary to the guidelines which have been stipulated by the academics and other professionals who are experts in the field of translation. Kelly (1985: 59), commented that "[â€¦] the translations of terms published â€¦â€¦."
One of the greatest works which have been accomplished to address translation in the industry was presented in a conference which took place in 1996. The research project is known as Translation in Global News. In this conference, it was revealed that transalation ahs become a very significant research question and it inevitably affects the very definition of the word. Bassnett (2006: 6) presented the outcomes of the research while acknowledging that "Since news translation is not â€¦â€¦. .."
Contrary to the results of the study of Bielsa, as discussed earlier, the Warwick project ends with the conclusion that there is no particular training program which can address news translation. There were also arguments which were raised on what to call those who are into interlingual news writing: translators or international journalists (Bassnett 2006: 5).
Furthermore, Gambier (2006) raised the question whether the study of reports from the foreign press can be able to extend help in understanding how translators modify the discourse which is dominant in their respective societies. Some of the dimensions which were included in his research include hyperbole and understatement as tool to be able to manipulate the translated press. The author also identifies the essential techniques which can help in the presentation or packaging of news which targets different culture and language (ibid: 13).
The strategies which were identified include the steps on processing between eyeing and event in an international location and the final news story, printed to be read, involving: translation or editing or when taken together known as transediting, and the transformation of the text and structure of the original procedures like re-organization, deletion, addition, and substitution (ibid.)
The author also elaborated that (ibid: 14) re-organization is an activity which involves the re-structuring of the source text, with a refocus on information and the movement of some of the information in some other parts of the story. He also noted that it is possible to re-organize either because of the existing differences between languages or to be able to give better service to the people who are reading news stories. Deletion can include either the omission of a certain word, statement, or the entirety of the paragraph. Addition is done to be able to clarify some information or to provide background on some assumptions. Substitution happens when the details are less specific, such as when rounding-up numerical figures, changing the focus, depersonalizing, which can happen, for instance, when personal names are replaced with the name of their country or their official designation, and even summarizing.
Bani (2006) also completed a study which highlighted the practices and strategies to translation as characterized by press translation, with specific emphasis on the investigation of Internazaionale, an Italian magazine. The following are the main points of the said research (ibid.: 40-41):
- The translators are invisible, graphically and geographically, primarily because they are working away from the editorial staff of the said magazine.
- The major role which is assumed by translation is to possibly make the target text very similar to the Italian newspaper article.
- It frequently happens that the translators are not the only genuine experts from the cultural and linguistics point of view who can be able to fully appreciate the original text.
- If it has been completed, the translation is reversed to the editorial office and it is taken as a draft which has been revised by several figures. The editor first checks and compares the target text from the source text (target translation - source text). Secondly, a separate editor is tasked to proofread the version of the story which is written in Italian (translation). Once this is completed, a copy editor comes in the picture, tasked with being able to locate in which parts of the newspaper the translations will be inserted (translation - translations). Lastly, the director will come into the procedure (translation - translations). Out of the four proofreaders, only three check the Italian version. The author who completed this research mentioned that the final product which will confront the readers is considered to be more significant as against the fidelity of the source text.
The textual manipulation which is being carried out by the editorial board in the situation which has been mentioned above include the following activities: making adjustments on the translation and the modification of text by re-organizing text, changing the structure of paragraph, cutting, and modifying the syntax or the insertion of explanations. With regards to the headings, the articles which are translated are commonly given a different heading as against the original (ibid: 41).
With regards to translation strategies which aim to address the diversity of culture, Bani (2006: 42) pin-points the following activities: Summarizing or cutting (the cultural elements can either be condensed or totally removed); including explanations (cultural elements can be paraphrased or can be expounded by being able to provide explanations); generalization (the use of to generic element to take the replacement of a particular cultural element); and substitution (cultural element which proves to be unfamiliar to the target readers and viewers is replaced with elements which are more familiar to the target audience).
Kelly (1998: 59) noted that in the editorial process, most of the media and news texts eliminate the concept of being written by only one individual. Before a translated news story can be finally approved for publication, it commonly go through the hands of at least five to six editors allowing the tone, theme, terms, order of elements, and other things to be substantially altered before final publishing. Therefore, it is an ultimately hard task to pin-point who is the one responsible for the final output of the news story. The author reiterated that "the editorial filter will almost certainly eliminate any term considered to be contrary to the editorial policy of the newspaper concerned" (ibid.).
The truth that there are many hands which are responsible for the final story encompasses all news items. While stating that "many hands make tight work", Bell (1991: 35) stipulates the series of steps in which a typical news story journeys in a typical small-sized news agency. The stages in which it travels include: news source, chief reporter, journalist, chief reporter again, subeditor, editor, subeditor again, and finally, on the receiving media.
Hursti (2001), while providing a confirmation about the multiplicity of hands which are working to finally publish a news, studied the question on how and why English has been an influence in the Finnish language by means of communicating international news originating from Reuters to Finnish News Agency. He ended that "[N]ews production from English â€¦.." (Hursti 2001: 1).
According to Hursti (ibid), the process of transedintin, which might involve edinting and translation, can be equated to the process of gatekeeping. The two, in fact, are considered to be two faces of the same coin. The diagram which is reflected below (ibid: 2) stipulates the gatekeeping or transedting methods which is typically experienced by a news story.
news input == re-organization, transfer, deletion and addition.====== news output
(Source Hursti 2001: 2)
Figure 2: Gatekeeping process
It is evident from the above run-down of the procedures which are used for translated news stories that there is a recurring theme for the words re-organization, transfer, deletion, and addition. These terms are used to denote the degree of manipulation which is present in the translated news story. The end result of the process is expected to be re-writing or re-contextualization (see, for instance, Muntigl et al 2000) of the story and not translation which is done in good faith.
Because of the 'double process' which results as the application of the gatekeeping procedures, initially to the original story and followed by the translated text, with multiplicity of hands working together to accomplish the story, it is almost impossible to call the translation of the news as really "translation". This is because the end result would inevitably prove to be an entirely new work with the discourse greatly varying from the original. This review will be very significant to be able to understand the analysis of this study as well as the results.
2.5.1. Critical Approaches to the Translation of News
Despite the fact that they are both considered to be of critical importance, CDA and Translation Studies have not been closely related in previous empirical researches. Schäffner (2004: 137) reiterates that there is a significant influence from linguistic studies on translation studies. Nonetheless, the author remarked that "[â€¦] Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis, and Political Discourse Analysis have not made use of Translation Studies concepts to a similar extent, although analyses were conducted on the basis of translations."
The studies which have been earlier finished regarding the critical linguistics have provided a considerable investigation and analysis of news from its original languages, commonly in English, but less attention ahs been dedicated towards the cross-linguistic dimensions of news, and specifically to news translation. Nonetheless, such gap has also recently attracted other studies to be conducted about this area of news production either directly from the approach of critical discourse analysis or using any related approaches.
For example, Kelly (1998), researched about how various decisions which are made for translation solutions could possibly be able to introduce ideological elements, particularly the positive presentation of 'self and the negative presentation of the 'other'. Kelly mentioned that "the lexical choices and other solutions adopted in translation decisions negatively influence the target readers' perception of the source culture" (ibid.: 58). Furthermore, the author also noted that the examples which are used in her study take into considerations the case of Britain and Spain. She is also fascinated about what would possibly be the situation given that the nations are culturally or geographically distant or considered to be mutually hostile (ibid: 63).
Another example of recent study is the one which was conducted by Barkho (2007) which is about BBC, CNN, and Aljazeear Middle East giving out their news reports in Arabic and English. In this research, Barkho investigated the relationship between the linguistic features of the stories and the prevailing economic condition, social assumptions, and ideologies. It ahs also been observed that the discrepancy in the patterns of linguistic as evident in the discourse of the three news producers which were earlier mentioned, largely demonstrates the networks social assumptions, economic conditions, and political practices (ibid: 11).
In general, the critical approach towards translation, and the translation of the news in particular, are both considered to be essential elements of this study. It is believed that it is very important to have stipulated guidelines which can be able to outline the process in the translation of a news story. With the use of actions which are utilized habitually and often taken for granted in the industry at question, such analysis could be helpful in being able to bring out power relations, ideologies, and manipulation of news or more so, of what is actually real.
The people who have performed extensive studies on CDA uphold that CDA is not reflective of a single method which is empirical by nature but a group of various approaches which are grounded of comparable theoretical frameworks and similar questions (Meyer 2001: 23). Wodak reiterated the need to integrate the concepts of ethnography and fieldwork in the study of CDA to be able to potentially analyze the subject which is under scrutiny as a pre-condition for further tests and theorizing (Meyer 2001: 24).
It has also been pin-pointed by Wodak (2001) that "the term discourse analysis is used in various ways in relevant literature". The author also states the critical discourse analysis is too far from being equated to a homogenous approach in discourse analysis.
According to many CDA scholars, what we refer to today as being CDA is actually best perceived as being a direction of wide and vast studies which entails the inclusion of various disciplines rather than just a concentration on a single and specific school. Nonetheless, although CDA cannot be classified as a single school in which a single theoretical framework can be found, the perspectives, principles, and aims of CDA can be taken as closely related and linked to one another and used in similar rather than different ways (see Meadows 2005: 1).
This study relies basically only on qualitative analysis. The information which will be sued to support the discussions in this paper will be largely dependent upon news stories as discourse samples will be the objects of analysis. This section presents the research guideline including a discussion to stipulate techniques which will be sued for data gathering and analysis.
1.2. Data Collection
1.2.1. Primary Data
The primary data which will be analyzed in this research will include the news stories. Fifteen news stories will be used to complete this study and such data will be collected from international websites. Their Arabic translations will be extracted from Saudi websites. The stories which are posted in Saudi websites will be followed and their international counterparts will be determined to be able to retrieve their English content. This method was chosen primarily because I can personally read both Saudi and Western media everyday. This goes to show that the data collection aspect of this research can be completed with relative ease. To ensure more updates, the site will be visited at least two times daily and the news stories will be collected, printed out, and coded for easy reference once they become substantial components of this study.
To be able to easily identify the language used in the news, those which are written in English will be coded "E" while those which are made available in Arabic will be coded "A". After the letter, it will be followed by a number which will contain the date, the day first followed by the month. For instance, if it is coded E0306 it means that the story was written in English and published on the third (03) of June (06). The news stories will be given comparative analysis and they will be linked to treat similar subjects.
1.3. Data Analysis
For the purpose of triangulation, the following will be sued to provide a thorough analysis of the data which will be used in this research:
- Textual analysis which will put an emphasis on the subjects treated by the stories which were collected along with their headlines. This will also be done together with the macro-structure and micro level features.
- Comparative analysis of the source text and target text will be done by the evaluation of the meaning with regards to language, content, transitivity, context, coherence and structure.
The discussions presented below will give details on each category.
As highlighted in the previous chapter of this research (see section 184.108.40.206 above), headlines form a very critical part of the news story. The analysis will examine website in two languages, English and Arabic, demonstrating the manner in which they are constructed, translated or re-written in a different context between the two mentioned languages. Since headlines provide a gist of the entire discourse which will be presented in the news story, the main elements of the headlines which will be evaluated will include agency, actions, and referential elements.
Agency. From the headline of the news, it is already aimed that the reader will be provided with the outset of the start specifically about its protagonist like the agent. The first questions in the news formula, "Who did what?" is answered in here. The evaluation or analysis will demonstrate if agency relations show to be maintained across various languages or igf they are modified, and how.
Actions are closely linked to agency and they will be evaluated on the same section. With this, I will provide a discussion regarding the use of verbs, like transitive and non-transitive, and whether their elements and meaning are changed when the story has been translated from one language to another. Any changes in the verb might possibly cause changes in the context, perspective, and ideology in relation to the news.
Referential indications is a word which is given to refer to all elements of linguistics which are used to refer to or identify a particular entity such as a place or a person. This can be inclusive of names, titles, positions, affiliations, and functions above all. I will try to find out if the same entities are being described in the two different version of the news story as well as connotations and if they are inferred from the referential indications.
1.3.2. Analysis of News Stories
For the in-depth analysis, several stories will be chosen for further evaluation. Because of this, I will take some news stories which are concerned with different types of topics or addressing various important issues. There will also be identical stories which will be chosen. The stories will be evaluated and analyzed on the basis of its length, macrostructure, and critical micro-structural components. There will also be a contrastive analysis of the macrostructure of the news stories to be able to show the extent of similarity or differences of the news stories published in the two languages. Furthermore, an analysis of the news stories based on the criteria of language, content, structure, transitivity, context, coherence, and cohesion will also prove to be essential.
Based con the manner on how the data for this study will be collected, the next step would be looking at the end results of the analysis of the data to be able to potentially arrive at significant conclusions. The remaining chapters of this paper, which will consist of results, interpretation, and conclusion, are anticipated to effectively address the research questions as well the hypotheses. The remaining chapters are also expected to indicate the boundaries of this study and the views and approaches for researches to be conducted in the future about similar topic.