Don’t let the facts spoil the story: Foregrounding in news genres versus scientific rigour


News producers habitually make use of the technique of “foregrounding”, that is, deploying structures and resources that make specific elements in the text more or less prominent. This is closely linked to the media’s overriding need to communicate one clear narrative, which is bolstered by a variety of foregrounding strategies that operate both textually and multimodally. This chapter tracks the discursive processes through which a health-related research paper emphasising the benefits of a non-meat diet was transformed, through the cumulation of different foregrounding processes, into a media story about the disadvantages of a vegetarian diet. Some practices that contribute to the generation of bias are discussed, with a particular emphasis on combined multimodal effects.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v34p167

Keywords: Health reporting; framing; foregrounding; headlines; multimodality


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