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Evaluation in media discourse

European perspectives


Ruth Breeze and Inés Olza

Despite the apparent novelty and fluidity of the media today, there is strong evidence that patterns are emerging which both reflect and extend the evaluative paradigms previously observed in the print and broadcast media. In this complex scenario, discourse analysis offers a rich and varied methodology for understanding the different types of evaluation conveyed through media texts and the way these project, reflect and develop their relationships with their audience. The chapters in this volume draw on a variety of analytical tools, including appraisal analysis, argumentation theory, multimodal approaches and corpus linguistics, to address the issue of evaluation in media discourse. The theoretical underpinning for these chapters ranges from corpus-informed discourse studies, through critical discourse analysis and semio-communicative approaches, to Bakhtinian perspectives. Although the chapters are all in English, the scope of the volume is broadly European, covering aspects of the British, Spanish, Dutch and German media in their traditional and online manifestations, as well as contrastive studies.

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Evaluation in the headlines of tabloids and broadsheets: A comparative study (Laura Alba-Juez)


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Evaluation in the headlines of tabloids and broadsheets: A comparative study1

1.  Introduction

This paper presents a comparative study of the use of the evaluative devices in the headlines of four different on-line British newspapers: two broadsheets, BBC Online and The Guardian, and two tabloids The Mirror and The Daily Mail. Some authors (e.g. Fowler 1991, Convoy 2004) have written about the distinguishing characteristics of tabloids as opposed in many ways to those of broadsheets. The main motivation leading to this study originated in the observation that all newspaper articles (whether in tabloids or broadsheets) seem to contain a given evaluation that is generally condensed or made relevant in their headlines, where the main stance of the article is thus reflected, a stance that may influence the reader’s decision to make the effort of reading the whole article, or on the contrary, to reject it in the first place.

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