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Putting the nation in the news: the role of location formulation in a selection of Scottish newspapers

Higgins, Michael (2004) Putting the nation in the news: the role of location formulation in a selection of Scottish newspapers. Discourse and Society, 15 (5). pp. 633-648. ISSN 0957-9265

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Abstract

This article explores the role of location formulation in the expression of nationhood in six Scottish newspapers' coverage of a domestic political event. The article draws upon a corpus analysis comparing the incidence of 'location lexical tokens' in the Scottish papers with a selection from the UK and England. It finds that the Scottish papers stress the national character of the political process, occasionally doing so alongside an inclusive rhetoric. The article also finds that the Scottish papers mobilize an internal political vocabulary around the expression of location, manifest in the widespread adoption of the political metonym 'Holyrood' for the Scottish parliament, and in the use of localized political discourses. The article therefore suggests that explicit reference to the home nation is an important component of news discourse, and that the systematic study of location formulation also offers an insight into the generation of an internal and nation-specific political vocabulary.