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Evaluation in media discourse

European perspectives

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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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Negotiating futures in socio-technical controversies in the media: strategies of opinion orientation (Paola Catenaccio)

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PAOLA CATENACCIO

Negotiating futures in socio-technical controversies in the media: strategies of opinion orientation

1.  Introduction

It is an undisputed truism that, despite ever-repeated claims to objectivity and factuality, the media play a key role in setting political agendas and influencing public opinion (McCombs 2004). This occurs in all areas of social life, but is especially evident in the case of scientific controversies carrying crucial policy implications (Nelkin 1992³), where the media become the privileged loci for the enactment of discursive struggles, effectively contributing to shaping the way in which policy issues linked to science and technology debates are defined and symbolized (Nisbet et al. 2003; Nisbet 2014).

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