Linguistic agency assignment in The Star Online headlines on COVID-19

Adlina Ariffin, and Fakhira Jafri, (2021) Linguistic agency assignment in The Star Online headlines on COVID-19. 3L; Language,Linguistics and Literature,The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies., 27 (4). pp. 29-41. ISSN 0128-5157


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The media coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic has caused emotional distress among people. This calls for a close scrutiny of health-related information on COVID-19 disseminated via news headlines. It is essential to determine which context – risk, prevention, or treatment – needs to be emphasised in covering news related to a pandemic and whether such reporting leads to public health scare or health consciousness. This paper discusses a study which investigated this issue by adopting Linguistic Agency Assignment as the framework in analysing COVID-19 related news headlines of a Malaysian mainstream news outlet, The Star Online. Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) was used to examine whether the writings induced fear or created awareness among the public. Findings of the thematic and textual analysis of a corpus of news headlines revealed that the Malaysian mainstream newspaper often disseminated prevention-themed messages related to COVID-19, used more human agency language, and induced fear in the audience, while at the same time, delivered a high level of COVID-19 awareness to readers.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Linguistic agency assignment; Linguistic strategies; Online news headlines; Extended Parallel Process Model; COVID-19
Journal:3L ; Journal of Language, Linguistics and Literature
ID Code:18426
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:12 Apr 2022 06:33
Last Modified:16 Apr 2022 07:01

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