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Unformatted text preview: ther fictitious, but subordinated to certain idealizations: it is a wished for, postulated, and desir- Corpus linguistics and the language of mass media 71 able world. Hegel’s principle of the legitimacy of the real world is reversed here. Another example of the analysis of the language of the media, or at least
written for a publication in press, is Cap (1998). He shows how language
is used in a construction of the political identity of Russia, Byelorussia,
Latvia and the Ukraine; their identity framed in opposition to the expansion of NATO. Assertions, simplifications and implications abound in this
linguistic narrative, which often employs a thesis-antithesis argumentative
Majkowska – Satkiewicz (1999) investigate the language of the
Polish media in the 1990s and notice its increasing informality and expressivity. They contrast the results of their analysis of the Polish headlines with that conducted by Pisarek (1967) and emphasize that thirty
years ago they did not contain emotionally or stylistically loaded words,
while today they approach the rhetoric of advertising slogans. Their primary function is no longer to inform, but to shock and in this way to catch
the attention of the readers. The intensification of dramatic effect is often
achieved through a recourse to the rhetoric of conflict, full of aggression,
accusations, and strong value judgements. The function of the news
seems no longer to present information in a transparent language, but
rather to draw the attention of its consumers to the media themselves. The
media become self-reflective.
Frankowska (1994) applies Conceptual Metaphor Theory to an
analysis of Polish political press texts and identifies a number of metaphors employed by the authors. These include: POLITICS IS THEATRE,
POLITICS IS A GAME, POLITICS IS SPORT and POLITICS IS WAR. She also
shows that metaphors from different domains can co-occur in one sentence. This leads her to suggest that it is possible to claim a synthetic,
overarching metaphor: POLITICS IS A GAME, with the remaining conceptual
metaphors: POLITICS IS THEATRE, POLITICS IS A GAMBLING GAME, POLITICS
IS SPORT, POLITICS IS WAR being its subtypes (hyponyms).
A slightly different, philological approach is presented in Hughes
(1988), who attempts to give a social history of certain semantic fields of
the English vocabulary. In its history he points to the development of
journalism as one of the forces driving semantic change. He emphasizes
that the first news reports were occasional, i.e. appeared in response to an
event of historical import, such as a battle. Only in 1702 did the regular Chapter II 72 daily newspapers appear. Such regularity of publication required the construction of news on an everyday basis. Also, as the major objective of the
newspaper publishers was to make profit, rather than primarily to inform
the public opinion, so the news presentation and the choice of newsworthy items could not remain unbiased. Hughes believes that the popul...
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