The first step in giving an oral account of a press article consists in mentioning its origin, that is the newspaper, magazine, press agency or Internet site from which it is taken.

Taking for example the articles used for the English oral exam at the “Concours communs Polytechnique”, one finds that they come from a number of news outlets whose nature, periodicity and content a candidate cannot afford to ignore.

A brief survey of the collections of press articles for the 2004 and 2005 oral examinations yields the following names : The Australian, BBC News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Mail on Line, The Daily Telegraph, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The International Herald Tribune, The Nation, Nature Update, The New York Times, New Scientist, Nova Magazine, The Observer, Reuters Limited, Scientific American, The Times.

The indication of the original medium to be found at the end of each article is always preceded with the words “adapted from”, meaning that the document is not the full text but an abridged version, not more than 450 words or 4 minutes long.

The following phrasing may be used :

- The text is an adapted version of an article published in the October 8th, 2005 issue of The Financial Times, an international business daily newspaper

- The text is an abridged version of a news report, dated October 8th, 2005, issued by Reuters Limited, the British news agency

- The text is a shortened version of an article taken from the Web site of Nature, the international scientific journal

The phrase “is extracted from” is to be avoided, being fitter for a wisdom tooth that is taken out than for a press article; it is best simply to use “is taken from”.

The important things to know about the other news outlets mentioned above:

- The Australian: Australia’s national daily newspaper

- BBC News: the newsgathering operation of the BBC

- The Christian Science Monitor: a daily published by Christian Scientists, a religious denomination

- The Daily Mail On Line: the electronic version of the Daily Mail, a British right-wing tabloid

- The Daily Telegraph: a British right-wing broadsheet national newspaper

- The Economist: a British market liberal news and international affairs magazine

- The Independent: a British compact newspaper whose politics are close to the Liberal Democrats, also called 'The Indie'

- The International Herald Tribune: an English-language international newspaper, also called 'The IHT'

- The Nation: an American leftist weekly devoted to politics and culture

- Nature Update: daily updates of news and features from, the Web site of Nature, the international weekly scientific journal

- New Scientist, an international science and technology news magazine

- The New York Times: an American daily newspaper that is regarded as the 'newspaper of record' in the US

- Nova magazine: a free health and lifestyle monthly based in Australia

- The Observer: a British national Sunday newspaper that specialises in analysis of UK and world politics

- Scientific American: a popular-science magazine, informally abbreviated to 'SciAm'

- The Times: a British compact national daily newspaper, considered as the 'newspaper of record' for Britain

A few useful words:
abridged (a) abrégé - broadsheet (a) grand format - compact (a) petit format - feature (article) grand article, article de fond - newsgathering collecte de l’information - news outlet organe d’information - 'newspaper of record' journal de référence - press agency agence de presse (outre newswire / wire service) - shortened (a) raccourci - tabloid (a) demi-format - taken from tiréde

See also:
The media

© Christian Lassure - English For Techies

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