Media, power and representation

Authored by: Clara Neary , Helen Ringrow

The Routledge Handbook of English Language Studies

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138913455
eBook ISBN: 9781351001724
Adobe ISBN:


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As the influence of the media continues to grow – largely powered by ever-changing and increasingly rapid technological changes – continued investigation into how it uses language to create meaning is crucial. In addition, media institutions play a significant role in society as they simultaneously construct and maintain societal norms and values. Media English is a broad term referring to the ways in which language is used to construct reality on media platforms, ranging from the front cover of a print newspaper to magazine advertisements, radio programmes, text messages and tweets. This chapter summarises the key linguistic approaches to and debates within the study of Media English. It explains key contemporary media terminology; considers the dominance of English in Media English; and details research into media power and representation(s) in terms of social class, race, ethnicity, gender and so on. Both ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ media texts are considered while changes wrought by digitisation in general are discussed, particularly in terms of the rise of social media. The chapter concludes with a look at future directions in the study of Media English, highlighting new and developing research on the changing communicative choices and shifting contexts of media output.

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