I've been trying to read Japanese articles (easy ones) and was wondering if someone could explain how と話す and と言う differ in nuance or meaning. They seem to be used interchangeably.
For example, how would the following sentence's meaning (assuming my translation is accurate of course) change if 言っていました were used instead of 話していました? (This is an article about a Gyouza festival that happened recently by the way).
千葉県から来た男性は「いろいろなギョーザを食べることができて、とても楽しいです」と話していました A Man from Chiba-ken said ("reported" maybe), "You can eat many kinds of gyouza. It's a lot of fun."
As a side note, if possible, could someone please address why 話していました was used rather than just 話しました and how the latter would change the meaning?