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Roberta Piazza

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  • Relying upon a Critical Discourse Analysis approach to the media, this paper explores the way in which, in a sample of documentaries broadcast on public and commercial television, the minority community of travellers and gypsies is represented. Starting from the premise that what is reported in factual films of this type is always a mediated and interpreted vision of reality, the paper highlights different aspects of the film narrative from the voice of the main narrator who orchestrates the various segments in the films, to the questions asked by the reporter. A brief mention of the images at the opening of the films completes the analysis and indicates that in some cases, rather than divulging information about these barely known groups, journalists produce a film that entertains and/or shocks the viewers.
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Andrew Panay

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  • The rhetorical fear appeal is a technique of political communication that seeks to elicit an emotional response in receivers with the intention of provoking them to political action desired by the rhetor. This paper examines a single example of fear appeal construction in the British press, the Mail Online’s ‘Prime Minister Corbyn and the 1000 days that Destroyed Britain’ (2015), through analysis of its use of two defining political myths, a conservative myth of declinism, and the utopia/anti-utopia binary myth. I firstly examine the origins and contemporary uses of fear appeals as techniques of political persuasion, before going on to examine how these are constructed. I then go on to analyse the Mail Online article’s use of these two powerful political myths, one, declinism, which I argue is utilised descriptively for the purposes of discourse construction, and the other, utopia/anti-utopia, which is utilised instructively.  Finally, I propose a method of analysis combining recent approaches to the critical discourse analysis of myth with the cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion drawn from social psychology, in order to show how the Mail Online article is constructed as a discursive fear appeal.
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Saira Fitzgerald

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  • This paper examines the discursive construction of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in a 1.5 million word corpus of Canadian newspapers to see how different discourses not only reflect public perceptions but also shape them. The study combines corpus-driven and corpus-based methods together with critical discourse analysis to identify patterns of language that work to build up ‘notions of typicality’ (Hardt-Mautner 1995) in discourses surrounding the IB. Collocational and concordance analysis reveal a positive discourse prosody (Stubbs 2001) with underlying ideas of quality and morality. These values and attitudes, indicative of wider public opinion (majority discourse), have real world implications in terms of advantaging one group while disadvantaging another.
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Chih-Hai Chiao and Ju Chuan Huang

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  • This study compared the ideologies of U.S. newspapers and Taiwanese newspapers by examining how they reported the Sunflower Student Movement (SSM) in Taiwan. Twenty-seven news reports were selected from New York Times, United Daily News (Taiwanese newspaper written in Chinese), and Focus Taiwan (Taiwanese newspaper written in English). The results showed that the three newspapers framed the event differently. The New York Times reported the SSM from a distanced viewpoint, whereas the United Daily News was explicitly partial to the government by dramatizing the damage and condemning the violence in the occupation. In contrast with the other two newspapers, Focus Taiwan seemed implicitly biased toward the government by highlighting the conflicts in the movement while trying to report the event relatively plainly. Through critical discourse analysis, this study highlights how newspapers reconstructed the event differently with underlying ideologies.
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