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Media framing of the Macedonia name change issue: The use of fear-inducing language strategies

Authors
  • Trajkova, Zorica1
  • 1 University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Macedonia , (Macedonia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Lodz Papers in Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Dec 16, 2020
Volume
16
Issue
2
Pages
265–284
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/lpp-2020-0012
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

It is considered a huge socio-political step for a country to change its name, especially under pressure imposed by another country. In January 2019, Macedonia officially became the Republic of North Macedonia after a three-decade long dispute with its neighbouring country Greece. Macedonian citizens have long suffered the consequences of this dispute and have often expressed their dissatisfaction on the social media. However, the media played a crucial role in shaping their opinions regarding this situation. This paper attempts to present how pro- and anti-government oriented media sources framed the issue and influenced the citizens’ perceptions of it. More precisely, it conducts a critical discourse analysis of 30 online newspaper articles, written during three specific periods on a timeline from January 2018 to February 2019, before, during and after the name change. The analysis sets out to identify lexical, pragmatic and discursive devices acting as potential fear triggers through which threat frames are being constructed. The results showed that both pro- and anti- government media sources appeal mostly to people’s emotions by generating fear related to a hypothetical future – in the case of the former it instigated fear of what might happen with the future of the country provided the name was not changed, while in the case of the latter, if the name was changed.

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