Exploring ideological messages in newspaper editorials and news reports on the first human gene-editing case


This chapter explores evaluative standpoints, opinions and potentially ideologically charged messages in newspaper editorials and news reports covering the birth of the first human gene-edited twins. The corpus under analysis consists of British tabloid and broadsheet news reports and editorials covering the case. The analysis is carried out applying the combined paradigm of Critical Discourse Analysis, Argumentation Theory and Appraisal Theory, with a predominantly linguistic focus. The evidence adduced indicates that most news reports and editorials pass negative evaluative messages starting from their headlines and ending with the local textual structures. The readership is oriented towards a given interpretation of the event using negative judgment and negative affect derived from the headline. The texts of news reports and editorials demonstrate overlapping sequences of evaluation and argumentation. News reports tend to provide the reader with a more explicit yet depersonalised evaluation of the event, as the responsibility for the opinion expressed is shifted to third parties through the mechanism of attribution. Editorials, on the other hand, tend to argue the preferred outlook by syntactic structures and, specifically, concessive constructions and concur-counter patterns.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v42p101

Keywords: news reports; editorials; appraisal; CDA; argumentation; gene-editing


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