Panel 20 | News media discourse

CADAAD2022 | 06-08/07/2022 | Bergamo, Italy

12 | Muhammad Afzaal

A Corpus-Based Critical Discourse Analysis of Mainstream Media on the Discourses of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

A multi-billion-dollar project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or the "One Belt One Road” (OBOR), the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) symbolizes a vision for regional revival under China's economic leadership and clout. Propelled by the Chinese Premier’s dream to revive the Chinese economy as well as to restructure and catalyze infrastructural development in Asia, BRI is aimed at connecting Asia via land and sea routes with Europe, Africa, and the Middle Eastern states. It seeks to promote regional connectivity, policy coordination, people-to-people bonds (cross-culture coordination), trade and financial integration. However, Belt and Road Initiative has galvanized growth in trade, travel, cultural ventures, and higher education collaboration in the region, it has caused unease amongst some member states in the international community.

Against this backdrop, this study adopts a corpus-based critical discourse analysis to examine a corpus of newspaper articles from Pakistani and Indian publications to gain comparative insights into the ideological construction. Corpus-based approach and CDA provide an authentic approach for identifying the patterns of language and delineating the social context through textual analysis (McEnery & Baker, 2015). The study applies Fairclough's three-dimensional model for interpreting the prevalent patterns extracted from the analysis of targeted keywords and collocations to reveal the perceptions of CPEC and BRI. Fairclough (1992) defines CDA as a systematic tool for mediating the relationship between the discourse and society and categorizes these as a discursive practice, social and cultural relations, ultimately noting that these practices are viewed and shaped by the relationship of power and other social factors. While elaborating on the phenomenon of discourses and discursive practices, (Fairclough, 2005) presents the three stages of analysis of the discursive practices of discourses, namely description, interpretation, and explanation.

Data comprises articles pertaining to the Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC as well as interviews of politicians published in selected newspapers and official releases of CPEC. A large corpus spanning the period 2012 to 2019 was constructed based on publications on the official websites of selected English newspapers of Pakistan and India. The corpus of the study comprises two sub-corpora. The Pakistan English Newspaper Corpus (PENC) encompasses data taken from English newspapers published in Pakistan, and Indian English Newspaper Corpus (IENC) as a sub-corpus of the study.

The study investigates the answer to research questions; How are China’s BRI and CPEC initiatives perceived and projected in Pakistani print media discourses? In what ways does discursive image construction of China’s BRI and CPEC in selected Pakistani and Indian English newspapers converge and/or diverge? and how is the image of the BRI constructed in media discourses via micro-analysis of concordance lines and semantic prosody of the keywords?

The outcome of the study reveals how China’s BRI and CPEC initiatives are perceived and projected in print media discourses. It also aims to compare discursive image construction of China’s BRI and CPEC. The study contributes to the works on perceptions of BRI and CPEC in English newspapers of India and Pakistan. As this study provides empirical insights into the perceptions of CPEC and BRI prevalent in India and Pakistan's media discourses, it is of significance to policymakers, researchers, and officials. The study also identifies new directions for researchers of CDA, PDA and CL to probe political discourses related to CPEC and BRI to the understanding of the agendas which shape public opinion.

14 | Oleg Kalinin

Metaphor-driven discourse analysis

The study of speech impact has its origins in rhetoric, the science of persuasion. Nowadays, speech impact is becoming increasingly implicit and multilayered due to the changes in the cognitive system of modern man.

Thus, the essence of speech impact now consists in such a use of language in discourse, in which new knowledge is introduced and/or existing knowledge is modified in the conceptual system. The permanent nature of such ipmact is worth noting, as where communication takes place, there is cognitive interpretation and, therefore, a cognitive impact.

One of the most effective and most accessible forms of researching cognitive-speech impact by proper linguistic methods is metaphor, which is based on cognitive mapping from source domain to target domain.

Many scholars, considering the role of metaphor in communication, have pointed to the special persuasiveness of metaphors in texts [Boeynaems et al., 2017; Thibodeau, Boroditsky, 2013].

The work of [Sopory, 2006] and [Stee Van et al., 2018] suggests metaphor power in discourse can be connected with metaphor density, novelty, position in the text and source domain semantics.

We proceed from the thesis that it is possible to quantify the use of metaphorical expressions in discourse as one of the possible "metrics" of implicit speech impact. Metaphor-driven discourse analysis (MDDA) is a comprehensive approach to examine functioning metaphors in discourse that can become a valid method for analyzing the metaphor power.

MDDA refers to the calculation of certain indices related to the use of metaphors in a text: Metaphor Density Index (MDI), Metaphor Intensity Index (MII), Metaphor Functional Typology Index (MfTI), Metaphor Structural Index external (MStI). In order to optimize and refine the process of calculating, we developed a special software - Metaphor Index Calculator.

MDDA of Russian, Chinese and English media texts was conducted on a basis of 2 different types of news corpora from official media with a total volume of 173295 words. The "Coronavirus" corpus contains news reports published by different state-run media from March 1 to 28, 2021. The "Country" corpora contains news about relations of the three countries with each other. Such news messages mainly aim to form a certain image of a foreign country among the audience.

The results of MDDA of the two types of media texts demonstrates an undeniable relationship between the pragmatic characteristics of the text and the f the functional potential of metaphors, which is manifested in significant differences in all metaphoric indicators for the two types of texts studied.

Some interesting findings are listed:

1.Metaphor intensity and density in problem agenda texts directly correlates with the content of news reports, the metaphor power of texts with a negative evaluation is higher than that of neutral and positive ones.

2.The MII values of texts in Russian about the US indicate a persuasive speech impact made by increasing the emotional tone of the text.

3.The distribution of metaphors through the text structure indicates that coronavirus news were trying to describe a problem rather than to form a public opinion about it.

4.Metaphor indices for news problem agenda texts reflects the high functional potential of metaphor in the formation (Russian) and change (Chinese) of public opinion.


1. Boeynaems A. et al. The impact of conventional and novel metaphors in news on issue viewpoint // Int. J. Commun. 2017. Т. 11. № June. С. 2861–2879.

2. Sopory P. Metaphor and Attitude Accessibility // South. Commun. J. 2006. Т. 71. № 3. С. 251–272.

3. Stee S.K. Van et al The Effects of Metaphor Use and Message Format on Cognitive Processing and Persuasive Outcomes of Condom Promotion Messages // Commun. Stud. 2018. Т. 69. № 1. С. 23–41.

4. Thibodeau P.H., Boroditsky L. Natural Language Metaphors Covertly Influence Reasoning // PLoS One. 2013. Т. 8. № 1. С. e52961.

96 | Farah Sabbah, Najwa Fares, Houda Arkadam, & Ibrahim Matar

A Critical Discourse Analysis Across Crises: An Appraisal Analysis of Opinion Articles Covering Lebanon’s Triad of Crises

The discursive construction of crisis is essentially realized through language, for words constitute an orator’s perspective of reality (Neuff, 2018). Opinion articles have been shown to have the potential to shape public opinion (Coppock, Ekins, & Kirby, 2018) and contribute to a public sphere that debates important issues (Mitman, Nikolaev, & Porpora, 2012). This study analyzes how Lebanon’s triad of crises, namely the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, and the Beirut Port explosion, and its stakeholders were constructed in seven opinion articles. This study adopts a working definition of “crisis” as being an event or series of events that is construed as a threat and a detrimental disruption of the lives of its stakeholders, thus requiring an immediate response.

Seven opinion articles written by authors who viewed the crises from their own professional, social, and cultural lens constituted the data repository for this study. The opinion articles (total of 5,335 words), published on various English-language websites, were selected through Google Search. To analyze the language of evaluation and stance, the study adopted the theoretical framework of appraisal developed by Martin & White (2005). For the purpose of this study, the following research questions were formulated: 1) Which stakeholder(s) in this triad of crises have received the most attention in the opinion pieces? And how are these most appraised stakeholders constructed in the articles? 2) What does the ATTITUDE analysis reveal about how the Lebanese triad of crises is constructed in the opinion articles? The articles were qualitatively analyzed for attitudinal meaning that included instances of affect, judgement, and appreciation.

The findings showed that the crisis that has the most immediate and detrimental effect is the one that receives the most immediate attention when faced with multiple crises. In this study, the Beirut explosion was the crux of the articles discussed in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deteriorating economy. The politicians and governments were judged for their corruptness based on their response towards the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut Port explosion on August 4, 2020. When describing the Lebanese people, the authors frequently cited the economic devaluation and the lack of effort towards helping the Lebanese citizens. Moreover, the flawed reform narrative and the concept of Lebanese resilience were constructed as numbing the Lebanese people to a worsening quality of life. These findings show a resistance to the discourse of survival and resilience that had been presented as the Lebanese “normal”, which sparks an important reconsideration of whether the Lebanese should continue to accept or surrender to this seemingly inspiring but truthfully painful narrative. The findings of this study urge more critical discourse analysis research across both nations that may have accepted their constant state of crisis and instability as their “normal” as well as any nation that may need to practice a more active form of resilience during emergency times.


Coppock, A., Ekins, E., & Kirby, D. (2018). The long-lasting effects of newspaper op-eds on public opinion. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 13(1), 59-87. 10.1561/100.00016112

Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. (2005). The language of evaluation. Palgrave Macmillan.

Mitman, T., Nikolaev, A., & Porpora, D. (2012). The critical moral voice on American newspaper opinion pages. Communication, Culture & Critique, 5(3), 392-408.

Neuff, M. (2018). Words of crisis as words of power: The jeremiad in American presidential speeches (Vol. 77). John Benjamins Publishing. Company.

117 | Yingnian Tao

"I have not finished!" Understanding alleged Western media's bias against China through interruption

Previous research on media bias has seen in Communication, Media Studies, and Discourse Analysis, with a focus on biased news coverage based on comparative analyses between different news outlets. There remain contrasting views about bias in the mainstream Western media, centred on “the existence and ideological direction of bias in the media” (Eisinger, Veenstra, & Koehn, 2007, p. 20). The identification of media bias largely relies on anecdotal evidence (Covert & Wasburn, 2007) and is built upon text-based resources. With these research gaps in mind, the current study sets out to investigate the Western media’s alleged biased reports against China through interruption. The backdrop of this study is that there is a prevailing sentiment on Chinese social media that Western media are heavily biased against China. As pointed out by Chinese netizens that there are many clashes between hosts and guests in interviews that are conducted by Western news outlets (e.g., BBC) on sensitive issues relating to Chinese politics and development. Netizens have repeatedly remarked that the hosts hijack the conversations by constantly interrupting guests whose views do not suit the media’s negative narrative about China.

In light of this, the current research will examine the alleged bias in news interviews on Chinese topics through interruption (Baffy, 2020; Goldberg, 1990; Tao, 2022). It will collect news interviews conducted by Western mainstream media BBC (BBC Newsnight and BBC HARDtalk) on trending topics ranging from human rights disputes, crackdowns on freedom and democracy to climate change. The focus is on interruption speech between the host and the guest. I will seek to answer the following questions:

1) How do guests’ stances toward China influence interruptions in interviews?

2) How do hosts and guests react to being interrupted?

3) What insights can interruption offer to detect media bias in broadcasted interviews?

Using Conversation Analysis, I will closely examine the fine details of conversational interaction (e.g., repair, prosody, interruption timing, conversational move) between hosts and guests, teasing out how they understand and respond to what is going on. Each interruption utterance will be annotated according to the different aspects of conversational interaction. A quantitative analysis of the (possible) associations between each aspect will be conducted via R.

This project is innovative in two ways. Methodologically, it will offer the conversational analytic method (i.e., using rigorous analysis of the details of interactional activities with pragmatic concerns to reveal systematic patterns of social interaction) to the study of news media. Moreover, it suggests a shift of attention from discourse-based news coverage to audio-visual news interviews between journalists and guests. Theoretically, it will introduce a wider socio-political concept and research topic – i.e., institutional bias – to the scholarship of institutional interaction in Conversation Analysis.


Baffy, M. (2020). Doing “being interrupted” in political talk. Language in Society, 49(5), 689--715.

Covert, T. J. A., & Wasburn, P. C. (2007). Measuring media bias: A content analysis of Time and Newsweek coverage of domestic social issues, 1975--2000. Social Science Quarterly, 88(3), 690–706.

Eisinger, R. M., Veenstra, L. R., & Koehn, J. P. (2007). What media bias? Conservative and liberal labeling in major US newspapers. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 12(1), 17–36.

Goldberg, J. A. (1990). Interrupting the discourse on interruptions. An analysis in terms of relationally neutral, power- and rapport-oriented acts. Journal of Pragmatics, 14(6), 883–903.

Tao, Y. (2022). “Don’t Interrupt Me While I Am Talking” Interruptions in Everyday and Institutional Setting in Chinese. Lancaster University.

150 | Karl Patrick Mendoza

Identifying legitimization strategies in the online news coverage of the Dengvaxia scandal: A theory-driven content analysis of news reports from,, The Manila Times, and SunStar Philippines

Political scandals are generally believed to be trust-eroding events that damage the reputation of power holders and the institutions they represent. Yet, only a few scholars treat them as outcomes that trace their roots to the interplay between social and discursive structures. This study treats scandals as actualizations of deeper mechanisms (e.g., ideology, discourse, power, control, etc.) that, although not directly accessible to empirical investigation, can be activated in specific moments as drivers of trust-building or trust erosion in society. As part of a larger project examining the relationship between the Dengvaxia vaccine scandal and Filipino trust culture, the study identifies the various legitimation strategies used in the online news coverage of Dengvaxia by describing their multimodal representation of identity and social action.

Following an earlier work by Van Leeuwen (2007), the study views legitimization as a composite of discursive structures or strategies that justify specific practices and institutional orders. Legitimization is one mode of ideological operation that sustains dominance in society through discourse (Thompson, 1987). As such, the four (4) categories of legitimization that Van Leeuwen had identified in the same work (i.e., authorization, moral evaluation, rationalization, and mythopoesis) are not just strategies but also particular ways of structuring power via discourse representations. In line with this, the study employed theory-driven content analysis to identify legitimization strategies in the Dengvaxia scandal using the framework of social semiotics. Forty (40) online news reports were purposively sampled by the researcher from,, The Manila Times, and SunStar Philippines based on their topic relevance and possession of a press photograph. Afterwards, the researcher coded the body texts and press photographs of news reports using the participant and process categories of the Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) transitivity system. However, the category of circumstance was omitted to limit content analysis to actors and their actions in the scandal, thus making the coding process more manageable for the researcher.

Three empirical questions guided the study. First, how are the actions and identities of participants represented in news reports? Second, what institutional practices do these representations legitimize? Third and lastly, how are these legitimations semiotically expressed in language and visuals? Initial results from the content analysis show that most of the body texts across the four online news websites contain relational processes followed by verbal and material processes. By contrast, mental, existential, and behavioral processes were a minority in the data set.

Meanwhile, the most represented participants in texts were the Department of Health (DOH) and Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), signifying perhaps the legitimization of a government-sponsored order operating through bureaucratic and legal practices. Non-transactional actions and reactions in press photographs had reinforced these depictions. They visually represented their officials as participants engaged in a formalized political talk—in legislative hearings, meetings, and press conferences. Overall, further analysis is required to get a complete picture of the semiotic realization of the different legitimization strategies in the news coverage of the vaccine scandal.


Thompson, J. B. (1987). Language and ideology: A framework for analysis. The Sociological Review, 35(3), 516-536.

Van Leeuwen, T. (2007). Legitimation in discourse and communication. Discourse & communication, 1(1), 91-112.

159 | Maka Julios Costa

Using CL-CDS and Contact Theory to Tackle Anti-Muslim Prejudice via News-Based Contact Narratives: Towards A Research Programme for Prognostic Critique

In this paper I chart an interdisciplinary programme whereby prognostic critique (Reisigl & Wodak, 2001) can be enacted through empirically-assisted forms of CDA. In particular I explore the potential of news media texts to tackle anti-Muslim prejudice in UK audiences. The ubiquity of news texts makes them key sites for attitude formation and change, and this fact alone justifies their use in the quest for social transformation. Yet while the extent to which media discourses can support and reflect prejudice and related phenomena (e.g. stereotyping) is well documented (e.g. van Dijk, 1988; Al-Hejin, 2012; Richardson, 2004; Baker et al. 2012), their prejudice-mitigating potential is considerably understudied in CDA, leading to missed opportunities for prognostic critique. Outside of CDA, one area of research that has attempted this, but with little attention to linguistic detail, is Contact Theory (Allport, 1954; Brown & Hewstone, 2005), particularly in studies exploring Vicarious Contact (e.g. Mummendey et al., 2011). Vicarious contact is here defined as second-hand contact achieved via exposure to, among other things, someone else’s spoken or written reports of interactions with outgroup members (see Vezzali et al., 2014).

In this paper, I report on a study that draws on Cognitive-Linguistic CDS (see Hart, 2012) to systematically query news texts depicting instances of contact between at-conflict groups, i.e. contact narratives, combined with empirical methods used in social psychology and Contact Theory to experimentally explore the ways in which negative prejudice towards Muslim communities can be modulated. This is carried out in two stages.

In the first stage I advance a method of analysis designed to study contact narratives. I specifically put forth a cognitive-linguistic take on nomination and predication strategies (cf. Reisigl & Wodak, 2000; van Leeuwen, 2008) by means of which the discursive representation of outgroup identities and intergroup interactions can be systematically analysed. As proof of concept, I model this method of analysis on a long-form journalistic text detailing group relations between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Lincoln, UK during the construction of the city’s first-ever mosque. In this text, processes of attitudinal change -from opposition to support of the mosque- and contact between the two communities are depicted. Among other things I query the ways in which different social categories are linguistically invoked, the degree of abstractness and granularity (see Croft & Cruse, 2004) of social actor labels, and different transitivity patterns engaged in discursively constructing instances of contact between members of Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Overall, I observe the degree to which these discursive strategies potentially represent a move away from racist discourses.

In a second stage I empirically evaluate the prejudice-mitigating potential of the above text. Semantic associations between negatively charged adjectives and the generic noun “Muslims” are measured via a lexical decision task, as a means to operationalise and measure the general strength of negative prejudices before text exposure. Participants are randomly assigned to either an experimental (N=70) or a control group (N=70). Those in the experimental group are exposed to the contact narrative detailed above. Control participants are exposed to an unrelated text of similar length. Following exposure, participants complete another round of the lexical decision task such that any changes in negative prejudice can be tracked. The results from this experiment are evaluated in light of the extent to which the discursive strategies identified previously could be contributing to any observed changes in levels of negative prejudice, and therefore attitudinal changes

200 | Maria Ivana Lorenzetti

“It was self-defence”: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Kyle Rittenhouse Case in American Media

Due to their privileged access to the minds of the people at large, media outlets play a crucial role in the propagation of ideologically biased representations of reality aimed at influencing their audience (Fairclough 1995; Richardson 2007; Baker, Gabrielatos and McEnery 2013). The case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager who in August 2020 fatally shot two men and wounded another amid racial protests and rioting over police conduct in Kenosha, Wis., and the subsequent trial, attracted the media attention, and fueled the political debate in the US (Iqbal and Zurcher 2021). Its controversial nature and the fact that it revolved around central issues in American society and politics, such as race and systemic racism (Bonilla-Silva 2021), self-defence (McCord 2021), and gun restrictions (Duerringer and Justus 2016), made this case emblematic of polarization in the media and American society in general (Ricento 2003).

Employing the theoretical perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough 1995; Van Dijk 1991), and in particular, Van Dijk’s socio-cognitive model (Van Dijk 2016) and Van Leeuwen's (1996; 2008) discursive framework for the representation of the social actors, this paper investigates how American media of different political orientation (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Wire, The Wallstreet Journal, Fox News) framed this case. Focusing on the way the different actors involved and the ideologically polarising themes implicated (racism, self-defence, guns) are represented, our analysis of a small corpus of articles related to both the time of the event (August 2020) and the trial period (November 2021) reveals biased euphemisation and generalisation on specific issues. Moreover, stereotypes displaying an us vs. them logic tend to permeate the media on both sides of the political spectrum (Fürsich 2010).


Baker, Paul, Costas Gabrielatos and Tony McEnery. 2013. Discourse Analysis and Media Attitude. The Representation of Islam in the British Press. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2021. “What Makes Systemic Racism Systemic?” Sociological Inquiry 91,3: 513-533.

Duerringer, Christopher and Z. S. Justus. 2016. “Tropes in the Rhetoric of Gun Rights. A Pragma-Dialectic Analysis.” Argumentation and Advocacy 52: 181-198.

Fairclough, Norman. 1995. Media Discourse. London, Arnold.

Fürisich, Elfriede. 2010. “Media and the Representation of the Others.” International Social Science Journal 61, 199: 113-130.

Iqbal, Nomia and Anthony Zurcher. 2021. “Kyle Rittenhouse Case. Why It so Divides the US.” BBC News, 19 November 2021.

McCord, Mary. 2021. “Dispelling the Myth of the Second Amendment.” Brennan Center for Justice

Richardson, John. E. 2007. Analysing Newspapers. An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis. London, Palgrave.

Ricento, Thomas. 2003. “The Discursive Construction of Americanism.” Discourse & Society 15, 5: 611-637.

Van Dijk, Teun. 1991. Racism and the Press. London, Routledge.

Van Dijk, Teun 2011. “Discourse and Ideology” in Teun Van Dijk (ed.) Discourse Studies, London, SAGE: 379-407.

Van Dijk, Teun. 2016. “Socio-Cognitive Discourse Studies” in John Flowerdew and John E. Richardson (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Critical Discourse Studies, London, Routledge: 26-43.

Van Leeuwen, Theo. 1996. “The Representation of Social Actors” in Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard and Malcolm Coulthard (eds.) Texts and Practices. Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis. London, Routledge:

Van Leeuwen, Theo. 2008. Discourse and Practice. New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

209 | Huimin Xu & Peter Teo

A comparative analysis of Chinese and American newspaper reports on China’s Belt and Road Initiative

This study adopts a critical discourse analysis approach in comparing the portrayal of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in two English language newspapers, China Daily (CD) and New York Times (NYT). It focuses on how these two influential newspapers employ various discursive strategies to portray the BRI and its various players to unpack the embedded ideologies underlying the news reports. The data comprises 165 news reports on the BRI published in CD and NYT between 2013 and 2019. By examining key news features such as headlines, leads and quotes, three contrastive themes were uncovered: BRI as a unifying agent or disruptive force; bolstering support for or casting aspersions on the BRI; and a rising China versus a fading US. These themes coalesce and converge into two parallel but distinct discourses. While CD unequivocally depicts the BRI as a collaborative project that seeks to unify and bring widespread benefits to member countries, NYT presents a more complex picture that discursively constructs the China’s BRI as a geopolitical threat to the waning global influence of the US. These divergent discourses are discussed in light of motivated reasoning theory and in relation to the varying ideological standpoints from which the two newspapers operate.

By adopting a CDA approach to examine news discourses, the studies reviewed above were able to uncover how different newspapers re-present or frame news agents or events in different ways in order to serve particular ideological purposes or interests.

By examining the headlines, leads and quotes of news reports in CD and NYT, this study was aimed at comparing how events related to the BRI are discursively constructed in such a way that serves their respective ideological purposes. Specifically, the study sought to answer the following questions:

1. How is the BRI portrayed in CD and NYT?

2. What underlying ideologies do their portrayals reflect and reproduce?


News reports on the BRI from CD and NYT were collected between September 2013 and March 2019. This period coincides with the announcement of the BRI by the Chinese president on 8 September 2013 and the date when Italy, the first G7 nation, joined the BRI, marking a major milestone for the BRI. Hard news reports on major BRI events (according to the official BRI website: were culled from the ProQuest Global Newsstream website by using the keywords “One Belt One Road”, “Belt and Road” and “BRI”. This process yielded a total of 165 news reports (122 for CD and 43 for NYT) with a comparable number of words between the two newspapers (63,150 for CD and 63,346 for NYT), as the reports in NYT were significantly longer.

Three key aspects of news discourse – headlines, leads and quotations – were targeted in our analysis. A definitive feature of news reporting is the use of the headline and, to a lesser extent, lead paragraph to trigger readers’ knowledge and beliefs about a news event, highlight its newsworthiness, and orient readers towards a pre-determined interpretation. They can therefore reveal the particular interpretive frame/s adopted by the newspapers. Similarly, the use of quotes is de rigueur in news texts. Newspapers construct the objectivity and facticity of their news stories on the basis of the voices they quote. As Bell (1991) observed, ‘the quality of a story’s sources affects its news value’ (p. 192). However, whose voice gets selected, how it is represented, in what contexts, and with what frequency allow newspapers to use the news makers as a mouthpiece to project their own voices. As such, quotations reflect not only the credibility of the news sources but also the kind of news values perpetuated by newspapers.


Bell, A. (1991). The language of news media. Blackwell.

233 | Lea Markidis

Maintaining a complicit ‘normal’: How the BBC mediated Gaza

Understanding phenomena removed from our locality necessitates a reliance on mediated culture. The way that the events in Israel and Palestine were represented in western media in May 2021 are, therefore, crucial to our understanding of what transpired. This paper employs critical discourse analysis to examine 56 British Broadcast Cooperation (BBC) articles covering the events that occurred in Israel and Palestine between the 8th and the 25th of May 2021. I first coded the 56 articles in 18 different categories to then use that coded information to provide both a quantitative and qualitative analysis. This examination is undertaken within theoretical considerations derived from decolonial feminism. Utilising the framework of coloniality allows for an understanding of how events in the Global South are often decontextualized in Western media in a way that renders the racialised and gendered subjects invisible.

My paper argues that Israel is a settler-colonial state grounded in oriental and patriarchal understandings of Palestinians, which the BBC is complicit in upholding through mechanisms like discourse. We explore how the BBC wrongly framed the events in Israel and Palestine as a conflict, in which Israel is framed as a rational united force against ‘evil terrorism’. Palestinians, rather than casualties of Israeli settler-colonialism, are framed as the irrational and emotional victims of Hamas’ behaviour. Consequently, the Palestinian decolonial struggle against a settler-colonial state is silenced. Therefore, my suggestion is that the BBC is complicit in the continuation of Israel’s colonial project and the silencing of the Palestinian struggle. This paper is thus in line with the theme of CADAAD2022 because I argue that the BBC is complicit in maintaining a settler-colonial ‘normal’ for Palestine’s citizens.

248 | Thaís Braga & Sandra Marinho

Q&A about the day of fire in the Amazon: critical analysis of the Portuguese-Brazilian journalistic discourse

Day of fire in the Amazon refers to the allegedly criminal forest fires set by a group of farmers in the State of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazon, in August 2019, under the encouragement of President Jair Bolsonaro (2019-current). From this case, it was asked: what were the journalistic discourses produced about the day of the fire in the Amazon? Discourses are here understood as complex, specific and socio-cognitive communicative events, because they build a representation not only of the text, but also of the social context (Van Dijk and Kihtsch, 1983; Van Dijk, 1998). Particularly, journalistic discourses are produced around structures and strategies, as well as relating to institutional arrangements, to subtly influence the audience’s interpretation (Van Dijk, 1995). To answer the question, a non-probabilistic sample by typical cases was composed. It was selected the Portuguese-language newspapers Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil) and Público (Portugal), given that both are references in their respective countries and have institutional similarities. Among the various journalistic texts produced about the case, one from each newspaper was selected which presented ten questions and answers (Q&A) about the day of fire in the Amazon. The technique of critical discourse analysis was applied, especially the schematic analysis of the questions (Van Dijk and Kihtsch, 1983), as they have highlighted the ideas that the newspapers intended to discuss. As they were marked in bold, the questions also served as a tip for the audience to make a strategic decision about whether to read the text. The results revealed that while Folha de S. Paulo sought to understand the day of fire in the Amazon according to the natural characteristics of the forest, Público tried to understand the case from a political-economic point of view. The Brazilian newspaper was interested in discussing the Amazon as a mostly Brazilian biome in which there are not only indigenous tribes, but also large industrial cities, such as Belém and Manaus. On the other hand, the Portuguese newspaper sought to emphasize the dimensions of the burned area of the Amazon (probably because Portugal is a small country compared to Brazil), as well as the fact that part of the protection of the forest is financed by the European Union (especially Germany and Norway) via the Amazon Fund. In common, both newspapers pointed out that not all fires in the Amazon are criminal, because small farmers set controlled burnings. Also, they emphasized that all citizens have responsibility for the Amazon, given that the biome represents the largest source of biodiversity in the world. In conclusion, both Folha de S. Paulo and Público represent foreign points of view, as the questions about the day of fire in the Amazon did not favor the point of view of the local population, which is the one who suffers the most the consequences of the alleged environmental crime and of climate change. It was also noticed that the journalists did not move from São Paulo or Lisbon to the Amazon to produce their texts, since the questions did not highlight those responsible for the alleged criminal action. Although it is not possible to generalize the conclusions, the critical analysis of the journalistic discourses of Folha de S. Paulo and Público gave clues about the Portuguese-Brazilian perception of the Amazon and the journalistic practices in both countries.


Van Dijk, T. A. (1995) “Power and the news media,” in Paletz, D. (ed.) Political Communication and Action. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. Available at: and the news media.pdf.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1998) Ideology: a multidisciplinary approach. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Van Dijk, T. A. and Kihtsch, W. (1983) Strategies of discourse comprehension. New York; London: Academic Press.

251 | Zineb Khemissi

‘War Waifs’ the Reflective American Narrative of Korean American Adoptees: A Longitudinal Case Study of Transnational Adoptees’ Hybrid Identity Negotiation within the Third Space.

Throughout seventy years, over 200,000 South Korean Children have been displaced to the US for adoption (Kim, 2015; McKee, 2016). Transnational adoption (TNA) is known as the inclusion of nationally and racially different children within white households (Barn, 2013). This global phenomenon established from the 1950s onwards, it delimits the Korean War period, which engendered thousands of unwanted mixed-race children. In this paper, I argue on one hand, that media depictions of war orphans, legislative modifications along with ‘the Christian Americanist’s discourse’ (Oh, 2005) helped children displacement and commodification—as a post-cold-war-policy. The American paternalistic image served to maintain the established core-periphery relation through these adoptions; that developed into a form of neocolonial control. On the other hand, children’s inclusion into the ‘global adoption market’(McKee, 2016) as commodities subjected them to laws of supply and demand. Assimilation was their only choice to fit-in the white backgrounds they were transplanted into (Hübinette, 2007). Korean American Adoptees (KADs) were often perceived as the foreign other, aliens and ‘outsiders within.’ They face racism and issues of belonging which result into the construction of a hybrid identity in the third space ‘in-between’ along with other transnationally adopted peers. I use van Dijk’s Socio-cognitive approach to critical discourse analysis for a deeper understanding of adoptees’ case and to decipher the power relations between the US and South Korea then and now. I foreground ‘third space’ as a binding medium for a hybrid identity negotiation which redeems the physical split—or geographical displacement. I then explore the double-sided cultural dimensions KADs navigate between in terms of their ‘double consciousness’ and sense of belonging. For this purpose, my research questions are: 1) How does media endorsement of TNA under the American narrative triggered the construction of a hybrid identity in the third space? And 2) How do shared inter-generational experiences among KADs apply to other TN/TR adoptees globally? Korean American adoptees constitute 18% of the global adoptees’ population and 10% from the Korean population in America (Selman, 2015). The flow of transnational adoptees is still ongoing through this adoption global market. As McKee states it: “South Korea's relationship with the United States has become a template for a multimillion-dollar industry spanning the globe” (2016, p. 44). The commodification of those children remains a dehumanising act which goes against ‘the best interest of the child’ (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). This research is qualitative and has two main goals: It considers media depictions using CDA to highlight the power language has in establishing and maintaining transnational adoption’s global market. It scrutinises adoptees’ narratives, starting with KADs moving to other transnational adoptees and then closely identifying shared aspects between transnational adoptees’ generations. My data consist of adoptees’ authored books, media depictions of war orphans from the 1950s onwards (news briefings, newspaper articles, pictures, and blog posts) to answer the first research question. To answer the second research question, I analysed 20 selected interviews from the Side-by-Side project (adoptees narratives) in addition to film documentaries reflecting adoptees’ experiences. I propose a theoretical fusion that describes stages adoptees go through along the process of self-recognition and identification which I labelled The Fusional Model of Dual Identity Negotiation within the Third Space. This research pertains to the field of Critical Adoption Studies by exploring the historicity of TNA.

252 | Imane Bahri

The Dichotomy of Violence and Peace in Framing The 2019 Algerian Hirak by the BBC and Aljazeera English (AJE) Web-Based Reports

The 2019 Algerian Hirak refers to the wave of weekly insurgencies erupting across Algeria starting from February 2019. Al-Hirak, principally, called for the stepdown of the ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and a radical removal of his political system. More specifically, It came as a reaction against Bouteflika’s official announcement of his intention to participate in April’s elections for a fifth term bid given that the president suffered a stroke in 2013 which distanced him from the political scene for six years (Caruso, 2019). However, a new successive term in power seems to be the strow. Al-Hirak could be a result of accumulative factors including political and economic corruption (Caruso, 2019), social problems such as contempt, unemployment, and poverty (ibid). It resulted in the stepdown of Bouteflika and the removal of his political system. A number of government officials, business tycoons, and military figures were arrested and lively prosecuted upon their involvement in corruption scandals. It appears that the 2019 AH kept its peaceful character for one year. This peacefulness won it a worldwide admiration (Adel et al, 2019). Similarly, the European Green Party (2019) described the movement as being “striking” (p. 1). However, through initial readings of a few of the BBC and AJE online news reports on the event, it has been evident that two different accounts have been released. For a detailed investigation of this phenomenon, I have examined a set of fourteen articles on the start of the protests against Bouteflika’s candidacy from a critical discourse Studies perspective (CDS). Specifically, the study endeavours to answer questions related to the differences and similarities between BBC and AJE regarding their presentation of the Hirak’s main actors and actions , and to explore the ideologies behind such representation. To that end, it has adopted an eclectic approach adhering to Fairclough’s (2009) dialectical relational approach (DRA) and Reisigl and Wodak’s (2017) discourse historical approach (DHA) as the general framework to analyse the representation of actors and actions and evaluate the ideologies behind their representation. At the micro (linguistic) level, the study has analysed the use of Halliday’s (1985) transitivity to examine the link between the linguistic structure and the social values and ideologies represented by them. For a deep analysis of the main participants and their related processes, the study has examined Reisigl& Wodak’s referential and predicational strategies. It has, also, incorporated some elements from Van Leeuwen’s (2008) socio-semantic inventory on the representation of social actors and actions. Textual findings have been systemised in two analytical categories: macro-strategies of representation and discourse topics. This study claims originality in that it seeks to propose further adjustments to Galtung’s (2006) Peace/War Journalism Model (P/W J) based on McGoldrick& Lynch’s (2000) framework. The adapted model has been used as a complement to CDS in the analytical process and an interpretative framework of the textual findings. Linguistic analysis has revealed striking asymmetries between the BBC and AJE regarding their overall portrayal of the movement in its beginning. While the AJE’s representation is peace-oriented, the BBC adopts a violence journalistic perspective. This contradictory representation might stem from the social and political background of each outlet. Therefore, the critical linguistic analysis of the news discourses on the 2019 AH is another clear indication that No piece of news is immune to subjectivity. It, also, shows how the differences of the ideological and socio political context of the news outlets influence the news production namely when their interests are involved.

254 | Axel Vikström

New inequalities, new normativities? – A critical discourse analysis of normative contradictions in the representation of the super-rich in Swedish elite newspapers

One of the major developments following the shift from Keynesianism to neoliberal forms of capitalism has been rising levels of wealth concentration towards the richest apex of the capitalist class, often referred to as the super-rich. While the neoliberalization of capitalism has carried an increasing cultural acceptance for inequality, the advent of movements such as Occupy Wall Street and a growing body of critical work within the social sciences showcase the potential of the supe-rich to emerge as sites of ideological struggle. As such, this paper approaches the super-rich as a phenomenon that neoliberal capitalism must discursively incorporate into its hegemonic justice narratives if the social order is to steer clear of a legitimation crisis. In an effort to counteract the prevailing absence of research into the super-rich within critical discourse studies, this paper studies representations of the super-rich in Swedish elite newspapers by exploring the following research question: How do the discursive representations of the super-rich in Swedish elite newspapers serve to mitigate or intensify tensions between contradicting norms of justice?

Theoretically, the paper embarks from Nancy Fraser’s (Fraser & Jaeggi 2018) grand theory of capitalism as an institutionalized social order consisting of multiple normativities each associated with one of capitalism’s separate yet interrelated spheres, e.g. norms of ‘market justice’ within the economic sphere and norms of ‘social justice’ within the political sphere (cf. Streeck 2017). Drawing on Fraser’s concept of normative contradictions, which describes the potential emergence of crises when these norms conflict head-on, the paper argues that the naturalization of the super-rich under neoliberal capitalism depends on them being discursively evaluated according to norms of market justice, or alternatively, ‘market-compatible’ forms of social justice.

In order to analyze whether and how normative contradictions around justice are intensified or defused in relation to the super-rich, the paper performs a critical discourse analysis drawing on van Leeuwen’s (2008) approach for studying discursive transformations in the representation of social actors and social actions. The data consists of 31 feature articles centering on domestic billionaires published in four Swedish elite newspapers between 2018–19. Given that the methodological toolbox provided by critical discourses studies is apt for studying social change, Sweden provides a particular interesting case considering its transformation from being perhaps the most equal country in the world by the turn of the 1980’s towards having more dollar billionaires per capita than any other country in the European Union.

The analysis shows that the recontextualization of market-friendly discourses of competitiveness, meritocracy and ‘responsible family capitalism’ in the representation of the super-rich leaves them largely evaluated according to ideals compatible with norms of market justice. While the super-rich are occasionally subjected to criticism, the critique leans towards criticizing the consumption of moral hypocrisy of individual billionaires rather than providing emancipatory alternatives to challenge acknowledged instances of social injustice. As such, despite traces of ambivalence in the reporting, the discursive representation of the super-rich in the studied material gravitates towards neutralizing rather than intensifying the normative contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.


Fraser, N. & Jaeggi, R. (2018). Capitalism: A Conversation in Critical Theory. Oxford: Polity Press.

Streeck, W. (2017). Buying Time. London: Verso.

van Leuween, T. (2008). Discourse and Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

259 | Lorenzo Zannini

The representation of social actors in media coverage of the 2019 Hong Kong protests

Protests take place in specific temporal and spatial frames and are witnessed first-hand only by a few people; therefore, public reception and outcomes of protest movements depend highly on their media representation. While some research on media discourse of protests emphasises how mainstream media’s treatment of protest movements tend to be largely negative, others highlight that the affordances of web 2.0 allow alternative media narratives to spread into the communication network (Castells 2015). In this regard, the coverage of the 2019 Hong Kong protests may provide significant insights, for it has been shaped by opposing forces attempting to gain primacy in the communication network. On the one hand, state-affiliated media appear to adhere to the protest paradigm (Lee and Chan 2018); on the other, liberal-oriented and independent outlets set forth alternative discourses. The proposed paper sets out to analyse comparatively and qualitatively the representation of social actors in three prominent Hong Kong's English-language online news outlets, which hold contrastive perspectives and conflicting ideological orientations, to examine the extent to which these differences are reflected in the discourse of the 2019 protest wave. The paper will focus on the specific contextual features that influence news production processes and the relevance of ideological underpinnings of newsroom procedures in terms of perspectivisation. Hence, the paper tries to answer how the ideological underpinnings of newsrooms’ production processes and the socio-political context have impacted the representation of social actors during the 2019 Hong Kong protests. To this end, the research draws on the theoretical stance of Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), both of which acknowledge the dialectical relationship between language and the social context (Hart 2016). Methodologically, combining the dialectical-relational approach to CDA (Fairclough 2015) and SFG analytical categories allows for a comprehensive analysis of textual instances against their social context. Building on works that regard transitivity as the foundation of representation (Fowler 1991), a transitivity analysis will be carried out to investigate how the meaning potential of language is realised at the ideational level to construct conflicting representations of the protest movement. In addition, the socio-semantic inventory provided by the Social Actor Model (Van Leeuwen 2013) will be employed to account for the referential scope of transitivity patterns. The data gathered consist of online published articles drawn from a six-month monitoring of the protests’ coverage (from June to November 2019) by three prominent local media outlets (China Daily, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press). In short, the paper explores how transitivity patterns in the discourse of the 2019 Hong Kong protests reflect ideologically oriented representations of social actors under the conditions of the local media ecology.


Castells, M. (2015). Networks of outrage and hope: Social movements in the internet age (2nd ed.). Polity Press.

Fairclough, N. (2015). Language and power. Routledge.

Fowler, R. (1991). Language in the news: discourse and ideology in the press. Routledge.

Hart, C. (2016). Discourse, grammar and ideology: functional and cognitive perspectives. Bloomsbury.

Lee, F. L. F., & Chan, J. M. (2018). Media and protest logics in the digital era: the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong. Oxford University Press.

Van Leeuwen, T. (2013). The representation of social actors. In C. R. Caldas-Coulthard & M. Coulthard (Eds.), Texts and practices: readings in critical discourse analysis (pp. 32–70). Routledge.

312 | Simina-Maria Terian

Fake News as News: Toward a New Taxonomy

The past previous years have shown that fake news can have an extremely damaging effect on various communities, from companies and organizations to nations and even to society as a whole. To effectively fight against fake news, we require not only a series of well-directed institutional practices, but also a rigorous definition of fake news and a clear delimitation from other similar categories of news. Building on the corpus established by the FAKEROM project, consisting of over 10.000 Romanian-language news, and using the instruments of critical discourse studies, the present paper puts forward a new classification of fake news within a broader news taxonomy, replacing prevalent dichotomies and gradations with a typology organized on two levels: subgenres (true news – fake news – imaginary news) and microgenres derived from them (real news – authentic news; propaganda news – fabricated news; satirical news – fictional news). The merit of this taxonomy is that it helps overcoming three of the most common fallacies which can be identified in the characterization of fake news: the deontic fallacy (the excessive permissiveness of scholars who are inclined to include nearly anything in the definition of fake news), the binary fallacy (reducing the concept’s specificity to the simple opposition to an ideal category, usually identified under the name of “real news”), and the gradual fallacy (in which, on the one hand, the border separating the categories seems to be fluid, and on the other, sometimes the most harmful of fake news frequently emerge as “mostly-true”).