What is News Item?
1. Definition of News Item
News item is a text which informs readers about events of the day. The events are considered newsworthy or important.
2. Generic Structure of News Item
1. Main event
2. Elaboration (background, participant, time, place)
3. Resource of information
3. Language Feature of News Item
1. Focusing on circumstances
2. Using material process
4. Examples and structures of the text
Newsworthy events Moscow – A Russian journalist has uncovered evidence of another Soviet nuclear catastrophe, which killed 10 sailors and contaminated an entire town.
Background Events Yelena Vazrshavskya is the first journalist to speak to people who witnessed the explosion of a nuclear submarine at the naval base of shkotovo – 22 near Vladivostock.
The accident, which occurred 13 months before the Chernobyl disaster, spread radioactive fall-out over the base and nearby town, but was covered up by officials of the Soviet Union. Residents were told the explosion in the reactor of the Victor-class submarine during a refit had been a ‘thermal’ and not a nuclear explosion. And those involved in the clean up operation to remove more than 600 tones of contaminated material were sworn to secrecy.
Sources A board of investigators was later to describe it as the worst accident in the history of the Soviet Navy.
Example of Procedure
A. Malaysian Women Suggested to Carry Condoms
Malaysian Deputy Health Ministry urged every woman to carry a condom to protect against HIV, a news report said.
“This is not to debate them but to protect them. Women are the first ones to get exploited by their partners (whom are infected by HIV-positive)” Abdul Latiff Ahmad was quoted as saying by Sunday Star Newspaper. “But this just a suggestion, it’s up to them”.
Abdul latiff made remark to coincide with the International Aids Memorial day, which was celebrated openly for the first time in Malaysia, in bid to reduce stigma for HIV-victim. In the past the event was held behind closed door.
Last year, 745 Malaysian women were identified as HIV-positive and 193 were diagnosed with AIDS, he said in the report. Officials have said nearly 81000 Malaysian have been infected with HIV, less then 10 percent are woman, but the number is steadily rising.
Malaysian Aids Council president, Adeebah Kamarulzaman, was quoted as saying besides sex workers, many women who contract HIV are housewives, were infected unknowingly by their husbands. “It’s not that people don’t know that condoms can protect them. But there are some men who don’t care to take precaution, even though they know they have HIV” she said.
(Source The Jakarta Post, June 01, 2008)
Generic Structure Analysis
News worthy event: Malaysian women is urged to carry condoms to protect HIV.
Background event 1: International Memorial Day was held openly in Malaysia to reduce stigma for HIV victims.
Background event 2: The number of Malaysian women who are infected with HIV is steadily rising.
Source: Malaysian Aids Council president said that there were some men who did not care to take precaution even though they knew they had HIV
B. Indonesian Maid in HK Court after Having Sex
A 45-year old Indonesian maid admitted having sex with her Hong Kong employer’s 14-year old son after watching internet porn together.
The maid is a divorcee and a mother of two children. The maid, named Suwartin, had worked with the boy family for 11 years.
A court heard how the maid had sex with the boy in relationship that lasted five months. The boy tried to end the affair but she refused. The teenager eventually confessed to the relationship to the leader of Christian group he belonged to.
Then the maid was arrested. She pleaded guilty to five charges of committing an indecent act with underage partner. She will be sentenced in two week’s time.
She later apologized and said that she would live with the shame of what she had done for the rest of life. “She had acted out of loneliness” the maid’s lawyer said.
(Adapted from Reuters, Hong Kong, May 6, 2008)
Generic Structure Analysis
News worthy event: Indonesian maid court and admitted having sex with her young employer
Background event: The maid is a divorcee. She had worked in the boy family for 11 years. She had relationship the boy for five months. She apologized and felt guilty
Source: The maid lawyer said that the maid had acted out of loneliness
C. Indonesian Maid beheaded
An Indonesian housemaid has been executed in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of killing her employer, the Saudi Interior Minister said.
The woman was beheaded in the Southern Asir province in what was the second execution in the country.
The maid was earlier found of suffocating her female boss and stealing her jewellery. Rape, murder and other serious crimes can carry the death penalty in the conservative desert kingdom.
Last year, Saudi Arabia, which follow a strict intepretation of Syaria, Islamic law executed more than 130 people.
(Taken from: www.news.bbc.co.id)
Generic Structure Analysis
Main event; an Indonesian maid was beheaded in Saudi Arabia.
Background 1; the maid was found guilty of suffocating her bos.
Background 2; serious crimes can carry death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
Background 3; Saudi Arabia executed more than 130 people last year.
Resource; the Saudi Interior Minister statement.
Language Feature Analysis
Focussing circumtances; law of serious crimes.
Using material process; behead, execute, carry, etc
a) NEWS ITEM
Purpose: to inform readers about events of the day which are considered newsworthy or important
Dominant Generic Structure:
1. Newsworthy event(s)
2. Background event(s)
Dominant Language Features:
1. Short, telegraphic information about story captured in headline
2. Using action verbs
3. Using saying verbs
4. Using adverbs : time, place and manner.