Vol. 4:2 (2014) ► pp.194–212
“Now there is a real effort to make sure people are adhering to orders they are supposed to be adhering to.”
Attitude construction through war journalism
It is widely regarded that war journalism is centred on the dichotomy good/evil, with “good” being (almost always) on the author’s side, who promotes a type of discourse that readers should adhere to. In this paper, we put forward an examination of events in various conflict areas (Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Senegal, and Dagestan) in order to identify and analyse linguistic strategies employed by journalists in order to construct attitudes. We refer to such strategies as: stance-taking patterns, source identification, use of military jargon, and inculcation of a politically-correct way of thinking. In order to carry out this analysis, we selected ten articles from representative American daily newspapers reporting on conflictive events. The data were gathered starting from the idea of simultaneity of opinions and of events. This feature allows our analysis to focus on recurrent patterns in the articles.