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    #1

    Question The Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians.

    Hi there,

    My question deals with "agenda-setting theory".
    I have some questions regarding "foregrounding" and "agenda-setting theory":


    1. Can we say that this theory is related to foregrounding something in media? I wonder if they are related to each other.
    2. Can "foregrounding" be used to distort the reality in news media?
    3. Is the following example ONLY an statement of fact or is it distortion of reality which has been made by "foregrounding"?

    "The Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians".

    4. Is it possible that different writers change the order of the above mentioned sentence depending on what they intend to highlight?
    For example, I wonder if the witers would write about the same happening in the following different sentences if they had intended to foreground something different:

    I'm assuming that "the Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians" is JUST statement of fact (what has just happened.)
    But, after foregrounding some parts of the sentence the writers can emphasize the parts that they intended to and hence distort the reality (in order to affect their readers' emotions):

    A. The palestinians were killed by the Israeli soldiers.
    B. It was the Israeli soldiers that killed the Palestinians.
    C. It was the Palestinians that the Israeli soldiers killed.


    5. Can witers distort the reality by simply foregrounding some parts of the sentence?

    6. Finally, would you please let me know the specific intention and motivation that the writers of EACH of the above mentioned sentences could have?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians.

    This has got to be homework, isn't it? You know we don't do that here.

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    #3

    Re: The Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This has got to be homework, isn't it? You know we don't do that here.
    No, it is not homework at all. I wrote it all by myself based on the background that I have on this issue. I read some stuff about foregrounding and also agenda-setting theory because of my interest in issues related to Discourse Analysis and specifically Critical Discourse Analysis. Then, I was just wondering if they can be explained through the examples that I provided. They are ONLY some questions that I have!
    Last edited by Venus.jam; 17-Oct-2016 at 15:26.

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    #4

    Re: The Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians.

    Academics still have "homework" if they are studying for a higher degree. You'd have to admit that what you posted looks very much like an assessment or a paper of some sort.

    I don't know anything about agenda-setting theory apart from what I could read here if I were motivated enough:
    "Agenda-setting theory describes the "ability [of the news media] to influence the salience of topics on the public agenda."[1] That is, if a news item is covered frequently and prominently, the audience will regard the issue as more important."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda-setting_theory

    That seems to be an obvious given. I don't understand the use of 'theory' with it. Yes, I would say that the media can certainly set agendas by foregrounding items.
    2. Of course.
    3. It's factual if it happened. It could also be called foreground if they don't report on casualties in the other direction; or put this this sentence on page 1 and the Israeli casualties on page 31, and other such factors
    4. You could write "The unarmed Palestinians were brutally killed by the Israeli soldiers." That would be rhetorical, but I don't know enough about the use of "foregrounding" to call it that.
    5. Definitely
    6. No, sorry, you'd have to ask them. It all depends on contextual matters. They all look equally factual to me.

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    #5

    Re: The Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians.

    Your A, B, and C examples are not significantly different. Three examples that report the same fact three different ways would be more like:

    A. Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians... (blames the Israelis)

    B. Palestinians were killed in fighting with Israeli soldiers... (no one is blamed- people die in war)

    C. Palestinians died... (we don't know how or why they died- perhaps they stepped on their own land mines, or in some other way the Israeli soldiers did not directly cause their deaths)

    I like to use the following scenario with my students: I hosted a party, and Tom broke a glass. We could say:

    A. Tom broke a glass. (It was Tom's fault)

    B. A glass got broken. (No one is blamed)

    C. A glass broke. (Now we are blaming the glass!)

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