As a natural concomitant of the mass media, the consumption of news has become a staple of modernity. We encounter and attend to different kinds of news discourse on a daily basis – for example, print newspapers; news documentaries, current affairs programmes, news interviews, or investigative journalism programmes on television and radio; online news from digitised newspapers, news blogs, news updates or news feeds from social networking sites (e.g. Facebook/Twitter), Google news, YouTube news videos. In this course, we will examine the ways in which meanings are discursively constructed in the news. We will also critically reflect and debate on issues of power relations and ideologies of the news media: the influence they exert both on our governments and major institutions as well as their ability to shape our ideas, beliefs and behaviours through the news discourse that we immerse ourselves in. Adopting a linguistic/semiotic perspective, this course offers detailed insights into the language of the news by discussing the main characteristics of news discourse and exploring theoretical frameworks to research and analyse the use of text and image in the construction of news and the manifestations of power, control and ideology in the press.
- News discourse in context
- News values
- Language in the news
- Images in the news
- Evaluation in the news
- To introduce students to the main characteristics of news discourse;
- To introduce students to theoretical frameworks for analysing news discourse;
- To develop students’ capacity to conduct semiotic analysis of news texts;
- To develop students’ critical attitude towards news reporting and their capacity to uncover power relations and ideologies behind news discourse.
The course is comprised of weekly lectures and tutorials.
Assessment is by 100% coursework, consisting of:
- Tutorials and in-class participation (15%)
- Mid-term test (35%)
- Final essay (50%)
A list of primary and recommended readings will be provided.