Header collage featuring the cover of The Language of Newspapers by Danuta Reah

The Language of Newspapers

An essential text in these days of ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth.’

“A clearly written and sometimes compelling introduction to the theory and practice of textual analysis of British newspapers.” – Language Today

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Explores the ways in which newspapers often exploit language to present a slanted view of the world, and the skills the reader needs to bring to these texts.

The Language of Newspapers

The Language of Newspapers explores in detail the way newspapers use language to form a coherent whole; but one that can present the same narrative in radically different ways:

  • What is a newspaper

  • Headlines

  • Audience

  • Representation of groups: words, words, words

  • Making monsters: syntax

  • Discourse

Language and misrepresentation

The Language of Newspapers explores the ways in which this form of news media can represent and misrepresent, and has represented and misrepresented, individuals from members of the royal family to convicted killers, Mary Bell, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson; or groups from women to ethnic, cultural and social groups.

Fact, opinion and manipulation

It explores the way the image of a person or group can be established by the selection of a specific word; how perpetrators can be removed from an account by the manipulation of active and passive voice; by foregrounding different elements of clause structure; how inaccurate or misleading information can be presented as factual via the use of implicature and presupposition.

In these days of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ it is important to understand the ways in which language can be manipulated to misrepresent or obscure the facts.

For anyone who is researching the language of newspapers, or who is studying it for A-Level or undergraduate level, this book is an invaluable resource.

The book focuses on print journalism, but can be used to analyse multimedia news sources. It is a companion book to Working with Texts and takes the same interactive, activities-based approach.

Making Monsters

An extension to this discussion can be found in my article Making Monsters, which originally appeared in the English and Media magazine.