When resuming her English language studies in the mid-1990s, Maija Stenvall was still working at YLE TV news. Thus, news agency discourse was a natural choice for her research topic, especially as she could access the agency material which at that time was only available for paying subscribers. Her first paper, which was published in 1995, dealt with metaphors in political language, in the dispatches of the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters news agencies. After her retirement in 2002, she got a chance to join the VARIENG research unit, which provided her with the working premises and enabled her participation in various conferences.
My focus has always been on the (alleged) objectivity and factuality of news agency discourse, though the topics of my papers have varied. I have examined, for example, the terrorism discourse, the use of anonymous sources, and the role of emotions in news agency (AP and Reuters) reports. My PhD thesis in 2011 contained six published articles. Recently, I have looked at the news agency discourse from a historical perspective, too, exploring especially the birth and development of the so-called ‘objective’ writing style. My forthcoming study, however, deals with today’s hot topic, Europe’s migrant crisis.
Keywords: news agency discourse, objectivity, factuality, metaphors