THE DICHOTOMY OF THE‘ MANIPULATIVE VERSUS COUNTER-MANIPULATIVE IMPACT’: DOES IT EXIST IN THE ENGLISH- WRITTEN MASS MEDIA TEXTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

2018;
: 161-170
1
Private Joint-Stock Company «“Higher Education Institution” Interregional Academy of Personnel Management»
2
Kramatorsk Institute, Private Joint-Stock Company «“Higher Education Institution” Interregional Academy of Personnel Management»

Problem .For all the undisputable good that mass media have afforded the society, they are as well known to be exploiting on a high scale the means of manipulation which results in the public being deceived or told half-truth, information distorted, an individual recipient misled. Elucidating the means and markers of manipulation in a media text constitutes a formidable problem of media linguistics. It cannot be otherwise because it is the nature of manipulation to hide the means of its impact. Once a particular text is said to be manipulative then there must exist its counterpart which is not manipulative and which primarily aims at exposing the manipulative techniques and devices of the text claimed to be intentionally biased and falsified. The twofold problem arises in this respect: how to track down a manipulative text and be sure that some other text is not manipulative, and how to expose, or bring to light, the manipulative techniques and devices in the text claimed to be manipulative. The purpose of this research is to suggest a principle of a pairwise text according to which two mutually opposed texts should be treated based on what is said and claimed in either of them, but not proceeding from the label attached to either of them in advance. The next purpose, which we find more important and more instrumental than the first one, is to work out the ways of applying the «seven common propaganda devices», compiled by the American «Institute for Propaganda Analysis» in the previous century, – and their extended modifications – to the process of specifying the forms and means of manipulation in the climate change texts. We made use of the following methods: data collection methods – observation, survey, textual and content analysis, classification; qualitative and quantitative analysis; theoretical construction method. Also applied were the following features of the discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis methods: interpretive repertoire, language as social practice, text and context, interdiscursivity / intertextuality,The results obtained show that the climate change texts written by climate deniers (an adopted term in the media and scholarly discourse) display a great amount and variety of manipulative means as compared with climate science texts, the latter group of texts not being entirely free of the manipulative devices used. We may assume that originality aspects of this paper are in (1) an approach to compare largely antagonistic articles on the scope and variety of the manipulative features employed, (2) proving an instrumental character of the seven-item list of «common propaganda devices» for detecting manipulation techniques, (3) suggesting a taxonomy of the media texts highlighting the climate change issues. Conclusions. In this paper it has been ascertained that the manipulative discourse is predominant in the climate denier texts whereas climate science media texts feature it on a much lesser scale. The controversy of views on and proposed solutions of climate change problems reflects itself in the dichotomy-broken media texts on the said problems. At the same time, there is a clear tendency of there appearing more and more texts which do not belong to either side of the dichotomous division but offer other ways of tackling the said problems, the problem of removing confrontation of the science and public included. We believe the science of media linguistics is still in need of developing further a set of instruments to undisguisethe means of manipulating in the sphere of climate change. Teun van Dijk’s method of triangulating a problem being manipulated into … is exemplary on the way of elaborating a procedure of telling a manipulative text from a non-manipulative one.

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