Science in the news: a diachronic perspective

Alan Partington

in Corpora

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640607
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671502 | DOI:
Science in the news: a diachronic perspective

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This chapter contains an analysis of the changing rhetorical role of science in UK broadsheet newspapers from 1993 and 2005, and conclude that there have been noteworthy changes. First, science, and more specifically, the formulation the science, is increasingly employed as a model of authority, appealing to ethos rather than logos; the authority is asserted but relatively rarely justified, and this may be considered the most significant change in that it drives several others. At the same time, there has been a popularisation of the science in the newspapers as it becomes an ‘add on’ to popular stories. Furthermore, there is evidence that science is being progressively fitted into the news story format, which demands recency as a news value, as opposed to features-style reports. Finally, science appears to have shifted from its earlier place in opposition to art and culture, to a paradigm in which its primary alter, or opposition, is religion.

Keywords: corpus linguistics; discourse analysis; corpus-assisted discourse studies; rhetoric; authority; science; popularisation; newspaper discourse; media; recency

Chapter.  11236 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Computational Linguistics

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