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  1. #1
    Kyle is offline Newbie
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    TODAY is the deadline!! Could someboday have a quick check on my essay?

    Discourse Analysis on Headlines

    This chapter concentrates on discourse analysis on four British newspapers: One broadsheet, the left-wing Guardian; two middle-market newspapers, the right-wing Daily Mail and the right wing Express; and also one tabloid, the left-wing Mirror. The purpose of discourse analysis aims to illustrate how the Chinese world was presented in the headlines of the four newspapers.

    China as the source of SARS
    During the first period of SARS coverage, the British newspapers tended to call SARS virus ‘KILLER BUG’ or ‘KILLER VIRUSES’ in the headlines. For instance, one of the earliest SARS reporting in the Mirror was with the headline ‘KILLER VIRUS TRAVEL WARNING’, which was on March 17, 2003. On the same day, the headline of SARS coverage in the Daily Mail is ‘KILLER BUG FLIES IN ON JET PASSENGERS: BRITAIN ON ALERT OVER MUTANT PNEUMONIA VIRUS AFTER 150 ARE INFECTED. ’ Most of the news items did not mention about ‘China’ or ‘Chinese’ in the headlines. In the Mirror’s coverage, the reporter only wrote that ‘SARS was first detected in China’ and also talked about ‘the department of Health advise people returning from Asia’ should be ‘aware of the disease if they develop symptoms.’

    When SARS was first reported in mid-March in the British newspapers, the reporters did refer to some Chinese places, such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, but the majority of context focused on the treatments of the suspected British infectors. In the Mirror, editors concentrated on ‘QUARANTINED’ with such a headline: ‘QUARANTINED: SCHOOL SHUT DOWN AS SARS SPREADS.’ (March 28) Although in these reports, the related school were all in the Far East, such as in Hong Kong and Singapore, the headlines did not clearly point out the locations of the schools. However, headlines changed to focus on the Chinese world in the next two weeks.


    Hong Kong as a horrific no-go city
    About two weeks after the first coverage of SARS, Hong Kong became a key term in headlines in the British newspapers, as well as the word ‘MASK’. On March 30, the headlines of SARS coverage in the Sunday Mirror was ‘PANIC AS HONG KONG GRIPPED BY KILLER FLU’. The reporting in the Guardian was also titled ‘CHINA ADMITS THAT NEW FLU HAS KILLED 34; SINGAPORE CLOSES SCHOOLS AND HONG KONG ALERTS PUBLIC AD BEIJING ADMITS FAR MORE ARE INFECTED.’ In other newspapers, more headlines mentioned Chinese-related places, such as in the Daily Mail: ‘BRITONS URGED TO AVOID HONG KONG.’ (April 3) In the Mirror: ‘DON’T GO TO HONG KONG’ (April 3), in the Guardian ‘DON’T GO TO HONG KONG, BRITONS URGED’. And in the Express: ‘COUPLE ILL AFTER TRIP TO HONG KONG.’ In the above headlines, Hong Kong became a no-go area, where anyone passing by would have highly possibilities to become infected. ‘AVOID’ and ‘DON’T GO TO’ where the indicative signs to show the opinions of the newspapers. The title of ‘ILL AFTER TRIP TO HONG KONG’ suggests that there was a high relevance between the infection and Hong Kong.
    Another term appearing often in headlines in this period is ‘MASK’. On March 31, the headline in the Mirror was ‘GAS MASK SALES SOAR’, which reported masks became the hottest selling items in Hong Kong. On April 3, in the Daily Mail, there was a headline of ‘WEAR MARKS IN THAILAND OR FACE JAILS’, saying that Thailand urged all tourists from affected areas to wear masks of face six months in jail. Also in the Mail, anther story titled with ‘FASTEN SEATBELTS AND PUT ON YOUR MASK’ was talking about how passengers and crewmembers kept wearing masks on the plane. In this period, headlines of SARS coverage in the British newspapers showed a horrific image of Hong Kong, where people wearing masks all the time, just like what doctors and nurses do at hospital.

    Exotic animals as great delicacies in China
    Although the cause of SARS was still unclear in the early period of this epidemic, reporters from Britain began to suspect the special eating habit in some parts of China: exotic animals as delicacies when having a dinner. The Guardian reported that ‘IN CHINA THIS CIVET CAT IS A DELICACY- AND MAY HAVE CAUSED SARS’ (May 24), in which the authors interviewed researchers from Hong Kong University to uncover that the small cat-like animal was a culinary delicacy in some regions of China and might cause SARS. On the same day, the Mirror presented a picture titled ‘WAS IT ALL CAUSED BY THIS CAT?’, and the story below exposed that several people had been infected by SARS virus after eating civet cats. The Daily Mail had two stories about the civet cat, which titled ‘IS THIS CREATURE TO BLAME FOR SARS?’ and ‘CAT THAT STARTED SARS BUG’ (both on May 24). There was also a story in The Express with the same title ‘CAT THAT STARTED SARS BUG’ (May 24) as in the Mail.

    Chinese being demonised
    In mid-April, before the cover-up of SARS in China was uncovered, the Guardian had a story with the title ‘SARS FORCES CHINESE OUT’. It reported that two Chinese runners had been barred to compete in the Rotterdam marathon, even though ‘there is no suggestion they are infected with the potentially fatal flu-like complaint’. It was the only coverage about healthy Chinese people being isolated from the world since SARS reporting began a month ago.
    On April 18, the Guardian had another reporting, which title was ‘CHINATOWN HIT BY SARS RUMOURS’. This story was about Chinese restaurants suffered a downturn since some customers suspected that the staff were infected with SARS virus.


    Cover-up of SARS by Chinese authorities

    The date of April 21, 2003 became the crucial turning point of SARS coverage in the British newspapers, because the Chinese authorities admitted on that day that the situation of SARS was far worse than they claimed before. The British newspapers made rapid reactions to this news. In the Daily Mail, the headline about this story was ‘HOW A COVER-UP IN CHINA HAS SPREAD THE MENACE OF SARS’ (April 21), which revealed that the Chinese government had ‘sacked its Health Minister and the Mayor of Beijing after they admitted lying over the number of victims.’ The definition of ‘menace’ in the Oxford online dictionary (Oxford English Dictionary: The definitive record of the English language) is: ‘A declaration or indication of hostile intention, or of a probable evil or catastrophe; a threat.’ It was the first time that the term ‘menace’ was used in headlines, and this ‘catastrophe’ was likely to be escalated from a ‘thread’ by the ‘cover-up’ of real SARS situation in China in the context. On the same day, the Express also make use of the term ‘cover-up’ in its headline: ‘COVER-UP CLAIMS AS SARS DEATH TOLL SOARS; PANIC AS KILLER FLU GRIPS BRITIAN’, revealing the fact that SARS infectors were 10 times more than the Chinese authorities admitted in the first place. The headline in the Mirror was more sensational than that in other newspapers, because it utilized the term ‘lies’ to condemn the Chinese authorities: ‘SARS LIES: COVER-UP CLAIM OVER SCALE OF KILLER VIRUS OUTBREAK’ (April 21).

    The most intensive coverage about the ‘cover-up’ of SARS was in the Guardian. On April 21, the Guardian had two reports on the news. One story titled ‘CHINA SAYS SARS OUTBREAK IS 10 TIMES WORSE THAN ADMITTED’, and the other one was with the headline ‘CHINA COVER-UP CREATES NEW SENSE OF INSECURITY IN FACE OF SARS EPIDEMIC: LEADER REVEAL “GRAVE” SITUATION AS PUBLIC’S FAITH IS SHATTERED’. In the next day, the term ‘cover-up’ turned up in the headline of a SARS story again: ‘100 MORE SARS CASES IN BEIJING: COVER-UP DENOUNCED AS CAPITAL’S TOTAL RISES TO 458’. In the Guardian’s headlines, the ‘cover-up’ by Chinese authorities led SARS to a ‘grave’ situation, which meant the SARS patients would reach the amount at least 10 times than before.


    Conclusion
    In the beginning of the SARS period, all of the four selected newspapers did not relate the headlines to the Chinese world, which meant, there was no term such as ‘China’, ‘Chinese’ or ‘Hong Kong’ in the headlines. However, when more infected cases were uncovered in Hong Kong and China mainland, the headlines began to portray the Chinese world, especially Hong Kong, as a horrible area where SARS virus were widely spreading, and people there were wearing masks constantly or eating exotic animals habitually. The headlines also blamed the cover-up of SARS for resulting in a more serious situation of this disease inside China and outside China. Especially in the Express, the editors used more strong words to describe the gravity of the virus and condemn the Chinese authorities. Such headlines could raise awareness of SARS in public and avoid more people getting infected; nonetheless, only few headlines, such as in the Guardian, mentioned that some healthy and ordinary Chinese had also became victims of this disease only because they are Chinese and were considered to be infectors.

  2. #2
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: TODAY is the deadline!! Could someboday have a quick check on my essay?

    The purpose of discourse analysis aims to illustrate how the Chinese world was presented in the headlines of the four newspapers.
    the purpose aims to....
    the purpose is to ...... (since purpose is similar to aim)

    how the Chinese world was presented
    how Chinese people was portrayed

    I'm not sure about the term Discourse Analysis. Analysis of a Discourse?
    I thought it is either and not both. It is 'discourse on..' and 'analysis of...'.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedtmc; 17-Jul-2008 at 17:54.

  3. #3
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    Re: TODAY is the deadline!! Could someboday have a quick check on my essay?

    In the beginning of the SARS period, all of the four selected newspapers did not relate the headlines to the Chinese world, which meant, there was no term such as ‘China’, ‘Chinese’ or ‘Hong Kong’ in the headlines. However, when more infected cases were uncovered in Hong Kong and China mainland, the headlines began to portray the Chinese world, especially Hong Kong, as a horrible area where SARS virus were widely spreading, and people there were wearing masks constantly or eating exotic animals habitually. The headlines also blamed the cover-up of SARS for resulting in a more serious situation of this disease inside China and outside China. Especially in the Express, the editors used more strong words to describe the gravity of the virus and condemn the Chinese authorities. Such headlines could raise awareness of SARS in public and avoid more people getting infected; nonetheless, only few headlines, such as in the Guardian, mentioned that some healthy and ordinary Chinese had also became victims of this disease only because they are Chinese and were considered to be infectors.

    This is not so much an analysis of the reporting, as a biased condemnation.

    The virus was first detected in China. Then further cases developed in China and Hong Kong, with the Chinese Government reporting 34 dead. Just how long does the virus take to kill anyone? The British public doesn't know. Maybe this is the start of an epidemic, with many many more infected, but still in the incubation period, and with death perhaps inevitable. Would it be wise to purposefully travel into such an area when we are faced with mounting deaths, and still uncertain of the nature and extent of this outbreak? After all, it is then revealed that the Chinese Government did not reveal the truth as to the extent of this outbreak - call it a 'lie', call it a 'cover up'. More fuel for uncertainty, and so more caution.

    The Guardian reported that ‘IN CHINA THIS CIVET CAT IS A DELICACY- AND MAY HAVE CAUSED SARS’
    How is this virus transfered to humans? Is it merely contact with some animal, or, as with CJD in Britain some years ago, by eating the animal?. Is it not true that the Chinese do eat some foods, considered delicacies, that we do not eat? Has the disease started in some animal that has been eaten in China which is not eaten elsewhere (in the West), and hence the outbreak starts in China? This is not the same as a condemnation of Chinese culinary choices.

    I have little time, and little faith in newspaper reporting. However, really, the thrust of your 'discourse' is outrage that these have said negative things about China!

  4. #4
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: TODAY is the deadline!! Could someboday have a quick check on my essay?

    Conclusion
    In the beginning of the SARS (period) outbreak, all (of) the four selected newspapers did not relate the headlines to the Chinese world, (which meant, there was no term such) as ‘China’, ‘Chinese’ or ‘Hong Kong’ were not mentioned in the headlines. However, when more (infected cases) cases of infections were uncovered in Hong Kong and China mainland mainland China, the headlines began to portray the Chinese world, especially Hong Kong, as a horrible area pathetic place,where SARS virus was widely spreading, and people (there) were wearing masks constantly or eating exotic animals habitually. The headlines also blamed the cover-up of SARS for resulting in a more serious situation of this disease exacerbating the disease inside (China) and outside China. Especially in the Express, the editors used more strong stronger words to describe the gravity of the virus problem/epidemic and condemned the Chinese authorities. Such headlines could raise awareness of SARS (in) among the public and (avoid) prevent more people from getting infected; nonetheless, only few headlines, such as in the Guardian, mentioned that some healthy and ordinary Chinese had also became become victims of this disease only because they are Chinese and were considered to be infectors.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedtmc; 17-Jul-2008 at 17:55.

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