«1 Contested science in the media: linguistic traces of news writers’ framing activity Trine Dahl, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of ...»
Appendix Lead element of the six news texts SA Dumping iron into the ocean stimulates blooms of diatoms that pull down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere--but only under the right conditions NYT After an eight-year analysis, an international team of scientists has announced a breakthrough in the understanding of how algae and iron interact to sequester atmospheric carbon WP As carbon emissions keep rising each year, with no end in sight, scientists have begun dreaming up all sorts of zany geoengineering schemes for slowing down the rate at which the planet’s heating up. Artificial volcanoes to cool the air! Giant mirrors in space to deflect sunlight!
Fertilizing the ocean with iron to mop up that carbon!
GUA Iron fertilisation creates algae blooms that later die off and sink, taking the absorbed carbon deep towards the ocean floor DM Iron stimulates plankton growth Plankton bind carbon dioxide and sink it to ocean floor Tests in Southern Ocean hailed a success BBC Fertilising the oceans with iron to combat climate change can lock carbon away for centuries, research suggests Notes See Oddo (2013) for an interesting discussion of the benefits of exploiting discourse analytical tools in rhetorical analysis.
Martin & White (2005: 165) suggest three, adding ‘analysis’.
Sources’ statements may in addition be used to make the story more unique (e.g., Cotter, 2010).
This is a function which may be relevant for the current case study material, as it consists of texts inspired by what was likely a widely distributed press release.
For a systematic introduction to the Appraisal framework and its implementation in text analysis, see http://www.grammatics.com/appraisal Even though the corpus consists of only six texts, a full qualitative analysis of the material would be quite time- and space-consuming. Even the analysis of headline, lead and sources’ statements presented here does not purport to be exhaustive, but focuses on what I consider to be particularly relevant for illustrating framing activity.
Text DM stands out in this respect, with a very high percentage of sentences which are identical to those found in the press release. This has led to the inclusion of information which seems far
too detailed for the intended audience, as illustrated by the following sentence:
The maximum biomass attained by the bloom was with a peak chlorophyll stock of 286 Milligram per square metre higher than that of blooms stimulated by the previous 12 iron fertilization experiments.
One can only speculate about the reason for this ‘copy-paste’ approach. Time constraints experienced in the media today seems an obvious candidate; the lack of science training among journalists may be another.
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Author biography Trine Dahl is professor of English linguistics at the Norwegian School of Economics. She takes a special interest in text linguistic research in the Anglo genre tradition. Her publications have long been related to academic texts (in the context of the KIAP project) and knowledge construction in the discipline of economics. She is currently involved in an interdisciplinary research project on climate change communication (LINGCLIM) and has published several papers on this together