Article published in:Language, Politics and Media: The Hong Kong Protests
Edited by Guofeng Wang and Ming Liu
[Journal of Language and Politics 21:1] 2022
► pp. 17–36
Britain as a protector, a mediator or an onlooker?
Examining the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests in British newspapers
Since Hong Kong’s handover to China, British newspapers still play an active role in constructing Britain’s connections with its former colony. This study elaborates a schema for protests to help better understand protests in general. Based on this schema, the study examined representations of the 2019–20 protests in British newspapers using the approach of corpus-assisted critical discourse studies. The analysis shows that they mainly used the predicational strategy, and emphasized the Chinese government’s control of Hong Kong – including the inabilities of the Hong Kong government and police violence – in contrast with the protestors’ demands for universal suffrage. They suggested that Britain act as a mediator to shoulder a moral responsibility over Hong Kong. Their attitudes are interpreted with regard to Britain’s foreign policies and the dominant ideology cultivated in its historical, socio-political contexts and suggest that the UK journalistic practice regarding Hong Kong issues is political-driven to a great extent.
Keywords: news discourse, Hong Kong protests, critical discourse study, corpus-assisted approach, The Times , The Guardian , The Telegraph
- 2.2019–20 Hong Kong protests
- 3.Theoretical base
- 3.1A schema for protests
- 3.2News discourse and ideology: An approach of corpus-assisted critical discourse studies
- 4.Data and methods
- 5.1Keywords and the collocates of five social actors
- 5.2The Hong Kong government
- 5.3The Chinese central government
- 5.4The protestors
- 5.5The police
Published online: 29 September 2021
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