tenses usage in news reports

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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tenses usage in news reports

Post by fisherlam » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:41 am

This morning, I was reading a piece of news from NZ Herald, which is a New Zealand newspaper company.
The tenses in the following sentence have raised my interest.

The tourists at the centre of a storm after leaving rubbish on Takapuna Beach and abusing a local woman have spoken exclusively to the Herald.

Among their counter-claims, they say one of their children was assaulted at the beach and denied fleeing restaurants without paying for their meals.

When the news was written, the interview with the family should have been done. Why didn't the writer use past tense (an action happened in a particular time in the past) or present perfect(in case the time of the interview is not important)?

Thanks for helping!

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Re: tenses usage in news reports

Post by Alan » Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:28 am

'Say' here is a kind of historic present common in journalistic usage.