Financial narratives. A multimodal analysis of newspaper articles


Financial narratives have always been relevant to economic fluctuations, rationalising current actions, such as spending and investing, inspiring and linking activities to important values and needs (Shiller 2017). In 2014, the European Parliament adopted the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) which includes the bail-in tool. This means that taxpayers would not risk losses, but rather creditors and depositors would take a loss on their holdings. This Directive was applied to four banks and the press and media coverage of both resolutions and their effects was remarkable, influencing several issues regarding these banks’ bondholders. The present study will investigate a corpus of articles from The Financial Times (, Europe) and one from The Times (, selected around the keyword bail*-in, attempting to highlight how financial information is provided multimodally. The choice of the expression bail*-in was made because of its highly specialised semantic load in the financial field. The use of textual organisation, tables, graphs, and the relationship between text and image will be dealt with and applied to the corpus gathered. Verbal and visual elements have been considered as fulfilling, on the one hand, the three functions of informing, narrating and persuading, characterising news discourse, and, on the other hand, those of informing, evaluating and predicting, typical of financial discourse. This paper is part of an ongoing study on financial newspaper articles and whether and to what extent knowledge dissemination is popularised from specialised to non-specialised texts, recombined and recontextualised to be more intelligible to the layman. The main aim will be to analyse the combination of the verbal and visual structures of these articles, trying to detect any differences in the multimodal strategies employed by a specialised and a non-specialised newspaper.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v40p291

Keywords: narratives; multimodality; news; finance; popularisation


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