The Portrayal of Natural Disasters in News Reporting

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The Portrayal of Natural Disasters in News Reporting

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title The Portrayal of Natural Disasters in News Reporting
Author Rapo, Hanna
Date 2020
English abstract
As climate change becomes more destructive to our planet, some governments have taken action towards a more sustainable future. One being the UK, where a Climate Emergency was declared in 2019, which affects public corporations and news outlets. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how do news reports portray natural disasters from an eco-linguistic perspective. This qualitative study focuses on analysing data regarding the 2019-2020 wildfires in Australia through the linguistic choices made in the texts by incorporating a combination of corpus linguistics, eco-linguistics and media discourse. The corpus under investigation consists of 41,055 words collected from 4 different UK-based news outlets. In order to analyse the data, I chose three search words (fire, climate and animal) to further investigate by using both corpus- and eco-linguistics. The results showcase a consistent pattern within the selected search words: fire and climate are portrayed as threats whereas animals are portrayed as victims. Yet, the most remarkable finding is regarding climate, as it is viewed as a cause rather than an effect caused by human actions. This study is a step towards a better understanding of climate change in news reporting; providing an insight on what the discourse is lacking but should be included.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject Wildfire
Australia
Erasure
Framing
Metaphor
Eco-linguistics
Corpus linguistics
Media discourse
UK media
Fire
Natural disaster
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/32593 Permalink to this page
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA.
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