Layering of Intertexts
Alongside this generic shift is a significant change in the type of source text that is drawn upon as resources for the researched texts. I have already noted a process of layering of intertexts which is evident by 2012, for example, (a) a review of (b) a documentary based on (c) news reports that in turn draw upon (d) press releases or eyewitness statements. From this observed process of the layering of textual resources, we can postulate that social and conventional meanings and understandings are constantly being added to, amending and potentially obscuring the original Iconic representation until it becomes a product of agreement and convention.
Individuals and groups mentioned in the 2010 reporting of BP events are closely attached to the events, from BP executives, (over-)specifically named experts and public participants. Journalists take care to connect these actors closely with the events: their importance lies in their capacity to illustrate and validate the story. Their value lies precisely in the fact that they are “real”. By 2012, the actors mentioned are considerably more loosely attached to the story. Interestingly, an increasing number are “not real”. These include the fictional characters in related artworks, and hypothetical characters in scenario-building exercises such as those described in crisis management manuals. An examination of actors reveals one way in which the story is increasingly less anchored in the real world and increasingly inhabits a Symbolic world.