Analysing Representations of Social Media in European News Media Discourse  book cover
1st Edition

Analysing Representations of Social Media in European News Media Discourse

ISBN 9781032023519
Published November 2, 2021 by Routledge
308 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores representations of social media in European media discourses across different socio-historical contexts, demonstrating how such analysis can illuminate the tension between global and local in media discourses in today’s globalised world.

The volume draws on data from a trilingual corpus from different editions of the free daily Metro from Finland, France, and Greece spanning a five-year period, with a focus on Facebook and Twitter. Adopting a French discourse analysis approach, which takes as its point of departure the notion of “discourse as the social practice of representing”, the book integrates qualitative and quantitative analyses to investigate the social and political role depictions of social media play in specific socio-historical contexts. This approach brings to the fore both commonalities and differences in the popularity of specific platforms and coverage of specific news topics and hot-button issues. In so doing, the volume elucidates the ways in which global practices become integrated and immersed into local contexts, offering avenues for future research on social media in news discourses.

This book will be of interest to scholars in applied linguistics, intercultural communication, discourse analysis, media studies, and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

General introduction

1. Origins of the project

2. The issue and the research question

3. Related studies

4. Study approach

5. Presentation of the International Team and Outline of the  Work

6. Outline of the work

Part 1: Theoretical framework and methodology

Chapter 1: Discourse analyses and key research concepts

1. Insights in two analytical perspectives of discourses

1.1. The French School of Discourse Analysis

1.2. Critical Discourse Analysis vs. French Discourse Analysis

2. Discursive construction of social reality

2.1. Discursive exposure and construction of reality

2.2. The communication scheme and transmission of information

2.3. The notion of social representations: definition and characteristics

2.4. The concept of Glocalisation

3. The media discourse and its particularities

3.1. Media discourse and interdiscursivity

3.2. Discursive strategies: The "effects of facts" and the "effects of the real"

3.3. The notion of didacticity

Chapter 2: Corpus and methodology

1. The choice of the free daily newspaper Metro

2. From the existent corpus to the reference corpus

3. The particularities of the reference corpus

4. The study corpus

5. From macro-views… for an ecological approach to the methodological device

6. To the micro-views… for the analysis of the data

6.1. The semiotic markers

6.2. Linguistic markers

Part 2: Contextualisation of and macro level analysis of the object of study

Chapter 3: The three editions of Metro and the editors’ perspective

1. Metro newspapers in a nutshell

1.1. Metro Helsinki

1.2. Metro Athens

1.3. Metro Paris

2. The perspective of Metro editors

2.1. Overall characteristics

2.2. Readership in the three countries

2.3. Metro in the local newspaper scene

2.4. News-making processes

2.5. Editors’ views on social media


Chapter 4: The emergence and evolution of a new discourse object (2007-2011)

1. Facebook and Twitter in Metro Helsinki

1.1. Corpus in figures: The big picture

1.2. Taking a closer look: Approaching the corpus through the headlines

1.2.1. From Facebook to fb

1.2.2. From tweets about news to tweets about celebrities

1.3. Emergence and evolution: Facebook and Twitter in the articles of Metro Helsinki

1.3.1. Year 2007: Introducing Facebook – from an Internet curiosity to an extensive online community

1.3.2. Year 2008: Facebook’s growing business and new ways of using social media

1.3.3. Year 2009 Ever growing popularity tinged with criticism towards Facebook, Inc. Twitter’s popularity abroad and unpopularity in Finland

1.3.4. Year 2010 Facebook: Columns, stars and threats Athletes join the celebrities on Twitter

1.3.5. Year 2011 Facebook misuse: From teenagers to politicians Twitter and the "evolution of social media"

1.4. Specificities of the Finnish corpus

1.4.1. Reader participation in the Finnish edition

1.4.2. Editor’s views on changing media habits and the future of the press


2. Facebook and Twitter in Metro Paris

2.1. Overview of quantitative data

2.2. From quantitative to qualitative, starting with the titles

2.2.1. From Failbook to Facebook’s success stroy

2.2.2. Politics in the Age of Twitter – Lauren Bacall Would Tweet Too

2.3. Facebook and Twitter in the body of the articles, year after year

2.3.1. Year 2007: a timid start marked by paradox

2.3.2. Year 2008: Facebook continues its quiet entry and Twitter appears

2.3.3. Year 2009 Facebook, a media for mass mobilisation Twitter enters politics beginning in June

2.3.4. Year 2010 Facebook: a medium for mass mobilisations that must be mastered Twitter, a medium for celebrities

2.3.5. Year 2011 Facebook, a medium for celebrities and politics Twitter: birth of a feature, ‘Twittoscope’ a new political barometer

2.4. Specificities of the French corpus

2.4.1. Didactic discourse

2.4.2. ‘Twittoscope’: a section unique to Metro Paris


3. Facebook and Twitter in Metro Athens

3.1. Focus on the quantitative data

3.2. From quantitative to qualitative: entry by titles‬‬

3.2.1. Facebook: A multifunctional anthropomorphic space

3.2.2. Twitter: Gossip, humor and addiction

3.3. The subjects of "Facebook" and "Twitter" discourse in the body of the articles

3.3.1. Year 2008: Facebook evidence 

3.3.2. Year 2009 Facebook: capable of good and evil Twitter: a dynamic entry into the lives of the stars

3.3.3. Year 2010 Facebook: interact, share, take part Twitter: on the brink of the omnipresence of [famous] people, political news

3.3.4. Year 2011 Facebook: towards admission to adulthood Twitter: gossiping, brawling, shouting, etc.

3.4. Specificities of the Greek corpus

3.4.1. Facebook TV

3.4.2. The absence of mediation


Part 3: Social media representations in three different discursive spaces

Chapter 5: Networking: Social media and representations of professional life

1. "Social media and working life" in the three editions of Metro: an overview

1.1. Three national corpora in figures

1.2. Different sub-themes

2. Job search advice for readers

2.1. Promoting advantages while acknowledging risks

2.2. Instructions, warnings and encouragements: A didactic approach

2.3. Who is advised? Who are the users?

3. Model users and usages

3.1. Police as user of social media – a legitimating discourse

3.2. Creating opportunities and enabling individuals

3.3. Dynamic male entrepreneurs as model users

4. Wanted: Social media etiquette

4.1. Confusion and confrontations

4.2. E-reputation and the inevitable digital identity


Chapter 6: Social media and mass mobilisations

1. Presentation of global corpus

1.1. Different types of movements

1.1.1. Social media and international mobilisations

1.1.2. Social media and national political movements

1.1.3. Social media and celebratory movements

1.2. Articles reflecting on the connection between social media and movements

2. Social medias’ openness to the world

2.1. Mass mobilisation via social networking sites: Ideas from abroad

2.1.1. In France: a broad geographical spectrum, from Colombia to Russia

2.1.2. For Greece, mobilisations come from Southern Europe

2.1.3. In Finland: Echoes of Spain and northern countries (Canada, Norway, Russia)

2.2. Mass mobilisation via social media: ideas that spread to other countries

3. Creating new forms of meeting in France and Finland

3.1. France, the aperitif phenomenon

3.2. In Finland: Many ideas, for the public good or for partying…

3.3. … Combined with more classic demonstrations against political figures

4. Excesses, regulation and recycling

4.1. France: Progressively increasing intervention by law enforcement

4.2. Finland: Encouraging citizen responsibility and regulation

4.3. Co-opting movements in France: From the aperitif phenomenon to the sausage/red wine aperitif of the extreme right


Chapter 7: Social media and the Arab Spring

1. Presentation of the corpus from three countries

1.1. Number and publication dates of articles

1.2. Newspaper sections, size and types

2. Delving into the corpus through…

2.1. … the titles

2.1.1. Digital and social media in the titles

2.1.2. Overview of the titles Finland: beyond revolution France: making a saga of the Arab Spring Greece: moving readers

2.2. … the illustrations

2.2.1. Finland: champions of the day after

2.2.2. France: from didactic to pathos

2.2.3. Greece: condemning intolerance

3. Towards a granular analysis: the text body

3.1. The Arab Spring as seen by…

3.1.1. … Finland

3.1.2. … France

3.1.3. … Greece

3.2. Social media and the Arab Spring: roles, images, impact

3.2.1. Finland: moderate mention made of social media

3.2.2. France: combat repression, fight for freedom (of expression)

3.2.3. Greece: post revolution takes pride of place

3.3. Opinion articles: a special case

3.3.1. Finland: emerging from its cocoon

3.3.2. France: demand and inform

3.3.3. Greece: anti-imperialism and singing the praises of youth


General conclusion

1. Research questions and the main findings of the study

2. Limitations of this study

3. Free newspapers and social media as the year 2020 approaches

4. Directions for future research


Appendix A Metro Editors – Interview Questions

Appendix B Titles with Keywords “Facebook” and “Twitter” in the Three National Corpora

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Christine Develotte is Emerita Professor of Applied Linguistics (Lyon, France) and member of the ICAR Laboratory.

Anthippi Potolia is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis.

Eija Suomela-Salmi is Emerita Professor of French at the University of Turku, Finland.