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Unformatted text preview: ved as the basis of argument through analogy, or as illustrations
strengthening the points made. In some cases, the metaphor did not domi- A qualitative analysis of war news 191 nate the entire text, but permeated the discourse, reappearing in a number
of texts, but without much influence on the text structure (AFGHANISTAN
IS A MAZE WITH A WALLED-IN EXIT in example (86); example (85) is a case
of a structural metaphor).
Second, conceptual metaphors were used to increase the expressive power of texts. Their aim was to arouse emotions in the readers and
through empathy to induce the feeling of unity in the nation. Third, within
the vilification of the enemy strategy, the role of the metaphors consisted
in evaluation. A reference to a metaphor-based scenario increased the intensity of the evaluation activating all the analogous frames and narratives
related to the metaphor (e.g. AMERICAN AIR RAIDS ON LIBYA ARE NAZI AIR
RAIDS ON POLAND). Finally, the metaphors performed an ornamental function, especially when used by the speakers who wanted to stress their own
eloquence (the gunning down of the Shops Bill).
The same functions have also been performed by other devices,
for example, the emotional appeal of the text could be increased by saturating it with emotionally loaded, but non-metaphorical vocabulary, such
as terms of emotion (concern, solemnity, hysterically), verbs of negative
valuation (accuse, condemn) or value-laden propaganda key words (jingoism, progressive, colonial, junta, liberty, etc.). The aesthetic function
could also be expressed through intertextuality (e.g. the quotation from
Macbeth by a Moscow diplomat). The unexpectedly high emotionality of
the texts analysed lends further support to Silberstein’s (2002) claim that
the mass media do not so much report the facts as construe emotions,
which apparently sell better than facts in the mass media market.
The last two issues I would like to emphasize here are what I call
self-conscious journalism and slips of the pen. The Trybuna Ludu and
Rzeczpospolita journalists of the 1980s showed minimal if any awareness
of the mass media as the fourth estate. Probably after years of totalitarian
censorship, which controlled not only what should not be, but also what
had to be published, they viewed the media as a mere channel for the official propaganda. Quite to the contrary, the British journalists appeared
highly self-conscious.43 In some articles they discussed the role of war reporters and the question of journalists’ impartiality, in others they talked
about the public mission of the media in educating society and explaining
43 On the sense of public mission in the British media as opposed to the sense of
commercial entrepreneurism in the US see Gripsrud (1998: 24–26). 192 Chapter IV the motifs behind the government’s policy. Finally, they touched upon the
ethical dilemma that reporters of human suffering and death must face,
i.e. whether they should limit themselves to professional coverage o...
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