The function of the news seems no longer to present

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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 structure. 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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This essay was uploaded on 02/24/2014 for the course LING 1100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Fall '09 term at Cornell.

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