Evidentiality in Chinese newspaper reports: Subjectivity/objectivity as a factor

Chia Ling Hsieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to discover the principle that underlies correlations between choices of evidential qualification and the communicative purposes of Chinese newspaper reportage along the dimension of subjectivity/objectivity. Distributional comparisons of data from the China Times news website reveal a pragmatic distinction between evidential subclasses. Reportatives predominate in politics and business news, where objectivity carries higher weight, while in less objectivity-oriented reports as local news, sensories are of greater frequency. The latter is also prevalent as journalists reflect on a reported event. The level of evidential subjectivity thus varies significantly with the nature of evidence. An evaluation drawn from shared belief tends to be experienced as less subjective than one built upon what is accessible to the journalist alone. This suggests the use of evidentiality as reflective of the stance of the newspaper media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-229
Number of pages25
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese
  • Evidentiality
  • News
  • Objectivity
  • Subjectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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