Chapter published in:Emotion in Discourse
Edited by J. Lachlan Mackenzie and Laura Alba-Juez
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 302] 2019
► pp. 335–356
Victims, heroes and villains in newsbites
A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Spanish eviction crisis in El País
This chapter explores, from a systemic-functional perspective, the role that emotional meaning plays in the press representation of news actors in the Spanish housing crisis. By drawing both on the Appraisal framework and on the transitivity distinctions made in Systemic Functional Linguistics, 139 newsbites published in the Spanish newspaper El País and tagged with “desahucios” (“forced evictions”) were collected and analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the results. Findings show that: (a) El País triggers emotional responses from their audience by representing social actors in the eviction crisis as emotionally suffering victims, as sympathetic heroes or as dehumanized financial and political villains, and (b) journalists strategically use emotional meaning as encoded in verbal processes to highlight the differences in the press representation of the main news actors in the Spanish eviction crisis. These results contribute to a deeper understanding of the social issue under analysis and are discussed in relation to previous literature in Critical Media Discourse Analysis.
Keywords: newsbites, Spanish, eviction crisis, emotional meaning, news actors
Published online: 27 March 2019
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