Presentation on theme: "British Newspaper Discourse Lesson 4: Review and extension Evaluation & persuasion."— Presentation transcript:
British Newspaper Discourse Lesson 4: Review and extension Evaluation & persuasion
A brief quiz… What is described as ‘the voice of the newspaper’? What characteristics does it have? What does ‘the inverted pyramid’ refer to? What information is usually included in the ‘lead’ or ‘intro’ to a news story?
Commenting In the editorial, who is evaluated –favourably? (give ex of vocabulary used) –unfavourably? (give ex of vocabulary used) Underline example(s) of: –modality –a rhetorical question –first person plural pronouns – who do they refer to? –a metaphor
A brave widow and our broken society 19th January 2008 Brave: Devastated widow Helen Newlove spoke wise words about today's society Anyone who wants to know how to tackle the tide of drunken, mindless lawbreaking that threatens to engulf our communities, should read the wise words of Garry Newlove's widow, Helen. Despite still raw grief for the loss of her husband and the father of her three daughters, Mrs Newlove set out a clear template for dealing with Britain's social breakdown in her impact statement to the court that this week found three youths guilty of kicking her husband to death. The first culprit was the legal system. The ringleader of the gang had been released on bail hours before the attack. Mrs Newlove believes that we have a "justice system that does not do enough to protect decent hard working people". Yesterday, in a separate case, a judge agreed that our obsession with rights was leaving society "bedevilled by feral youth". Then, Mrs Newlove criticised the police. The gang that killed her husband had, along with others, she said, been terrorising the neighbourhood for weeks. Local police had done nothing to stop them. What kind of policing is it that allows criminal gangs to make people prisoners in their own homes? But Mrs Newlove did not limit her criticism to the authorities. Parents must "take responsibility for their children". It's up to parents to teach their children respect for authority and for other people. It's up to parents to set an example about drinking. It's up to parents to ensure that truanting children get the education that will put them on the path to a better life. Mrs Newlove and her daughters have suffered a terrible loss, but if we act on what she has learnt, we'll be taking the first steps to making our streets as safe as they ought to be.
Evaluation ‘Evaluation is the broad cover term for the expression of the speaker or writer’s attitude or stance towards, viewpoint on, or feelings about the entities or propositions that he or she is talking about. That attitude may relate to certainty or obligation or desirability of any number of variables’ Hunston & Thompson 1999
Evaluation is a significant element of our lives: as a device for interpreting the world and offering this evaluation to others, it pervades human behaviour: when we interact with the world around us, we perceive, categorize and evaluate what we encounter. Our short term evaluations turn into long term values. (Bednarek, M. Evaluation in Media Discourse )
Expressing opinion The most obvious function is to tell the reader what the writer thinks or feels about something. Every act of evaluation expresses a communal value system and every act of evaluation goes towards building up that value system. This value system is in turn a component of the ideology of the society that has produced the text.
Maintaining relations The second function of evaluation is to build and maintain relations between writer and reader Evaluation can be used to manipulate the reader, to persuade him or her to see things in a particular way
How to recognise evaluation Some lexical items are clearly evaluative with evaluation as their chief function and meaning e.g. Adjectives: splendid, terrible, obvious, surprising, important Adverbs: happily, unfortunately, plainly, possibly, necessarily Nouns: success, failure, tragedy, triumph, likelihood Verbs: succeed, fail, win, lose, doubt
Evaluative and non-evaluative Jane is a genius : genius is a comparative term, the assessment of genius-ness is highly subjective and to be a genius is socially valued positively Jane is a student: Objective category? Value free?, purely descriptive? Connotations?
Synonyms and evaluation assist collaboratecolludeengage Help interfere joinmeddle participate All have a meaning of being involved in something or taking part in an activity But they have different evaluative values
Assist and helppositive Meddle and interferenegative Colludeevaluates the activity negatively as well as the involvement Collaborate, engage, join, participate Do not evaluate the participation, it depends on the nature of the activity
Approval and disapproval Dewy-eyed and sentimental An attitude towards the past + speaker disapproval Flag-waving The speaker disapproves of this kind of patriotism Rebel vs malcontent Execution vs killing, murder, slaughter
persuasion The choice of lexis provides evaluations which can be built up to form a position or stance to persuade readers of values.
Grammar Certain aspects of grammar have been associated with evaluation Intensifiers Comparators (e.g comparatives and superlatives) Hedges (e.g. sort of, about,like, a bit, perhaps) Emphatics (for sure, certainly) modals
evaluation Involves comparison: comparative adjectives and adverbs, adverbs of degree, comparator adverbs such as just, even, only, at least: expressions of negativity Is subjective: markers of subjectivity Is value laden: markers of value, including indications of goal-achievemnt or non-achievement)
Evaluation in texts See Hunston and Thompson 2000 Chapter 1 evaluation: an introduction
Mori poll January 2007 What population of the UK do you estimate are immigrants? –Daily Express readers believed that 21% of the population were immigrants –Daily Mail readers thought that 19% of the population were immigrants and –Guardian readers thought that 11% of the population were immigrants. In reality, approximately 7% of the population were immigrants
Representation of refugees and asylum seekers in UK newspapers Baker & Gabrielotos 2006