Journalists as Mindful Users of Language (Change): Gender-Inclusive Spanish in Argentinian News

Mariana Fried*, Isabel Awad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

In Argentina, arguably a front-runner country in efforts to challenge linguistic sexism, a wide variety of gender-inclusive styles are visible across and within the news media. This suggests that Argentinian journalists’ language does not simply accommodate to structural pressures, as the literature would indicate. To attend to journalists’ agency in processes of sociolinguistic change, this study combines the analysis of news articles with in-depth interviews with their authors, fifteen Argentinian news practitioners working for nine media organizations. The results challenge, first, ideas of journalists as necessarily conservative language users: Interviewees use diverse linguistic varieties when mentioning human referents (ranging from the generic male to indefinite collective nouns and duplication to the non-binary endings -x and -e). Second, mediacentric perspectives—assuming that institutional socialization, professional values, and audiences’ expectations shape journalists’ language—prove limited. Interviewees’ linguistic choices also respond to personal gender and linguistic politics. Argentinian journalists’ meaningful reasons and strategies for deviating from sociolinguistic norms expand our understanding of journalism’s potential to challenge traditional dominant cultural institutions and machismo more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-98
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Research programs

  • ESHCC M&C

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