Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted Version.

Johnston, J. & Breit, R. (2010). Towards a narratology of court reporting. Media international Australia, (137), 47-57.

Access the publisher’s website.

2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 200200

© Copyright Media International Australia, 2010


This article uses the theory of narratology to connect legal discourses and processes with the way the media translate the law into news. It identifies how narratology has been used by other disciplines, notably the law, to provide a framework for better understanding, and uses a range of theories and examples to propose a narratology for court reporting. The research identifies six key elements of narrative and expands these into a three-level schema of story level, discourse analysis and the interpretative context of stories. Finally, the article foreshadows a methodology through which to develop the narratology that follows court proceedings through various stages: from the metanarratives within court to the final production of courts as news. It suggests that such an approach may assist the media to gain greater insights into their involvement within the court system while also providing a deeper understanding between the courts and the media.



This document has been peer reviewed.


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