1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Discourse and Disinformation

    464 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This handbook offers a comprehensive overview of research into discourses of disinformation, misinformation, post-truth, alternative facts, hate speech, conspiracy theories, and ‘fake news’.

    Divided into two sections, it provides a detailed look at the methodological challenges and approaches for studying disinformation, along with a wide range of case studies covering everything from climate change denial to Covid-19 conspiracies. The studies address how discourses of disinformation are constructed and developed, what rhetorical and persuasive strategies they employ, how disinformation can be discerned from real news, and what steps we might take in order to create a more trustworthy news environment. 

    Authored by leading experts from around the world, and showcasing the most up-to-date methodological approaches to the topic, the volume makes a significant contribution to current linguistic research on politics, and is an essential guide to the discourses of disinformation for advanced students and researchers of English language studies, linguistics, and media and communication studies.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors

    1. The Various Dimensions of Disinformation: An Introduction

    Stefania M. Maci, Massimiliano Demata, Phil Seargent, and Mark McGlashan

    Part I: Genres and methodologies

    2. The Expression of Bias in (Online) Newspaper Headlines

    Michele Sala

    3. Critical Discourse Analysis Approaches to Investigating Fake News and Disinformation

    Farah Sabbah

    4. Introducing Digital Source Criticism: A Method for Tackling Fake News and Disinformation

    Bente Kalsnes

    5. A Model for Understanding and Assessing Semi-Fake Scientific News Reporting

    Paola Catenaccio

    6. Misinformation detection in news text: Automatic methods and data limitations

    Fatemeh Torabi Asr, Mehrdad Mokhtari and Maite Taboada

    7. Fakespeak in 280 Characters: Using a Corpus-Based Approach to Study the Language of Disinformation on Twitter

    Sylvia Jaworska

    8. Debunking Fake News through the Multimodal Composition of Internet Memes

    Pietro Luigi Iaia

    9. "It’s never about #ProLife, it’s about punishment, hate, and religious repression." Polarising Discourses and Disinformation in the Abortion Debate on Twitter

    Stefania M. Maci and Simone Abbiati

    10. Investigating the Language of Fake News across Cultures

    Nele Põldvere, Elizaveta Kibisova and Silje Susanne Alvestad

    Part II: Case studies

    A. Politics

    11. Disinformation and Immigration Discourses

    Charlotte Taylor [extension]

    12. BREXIT and Disinformation

    Tamsin Parnell

    13. New dogs, Old Tricks. A Corpus-Assisted Study of the ‘Art’ of Delegitimisation in Modern Spoken Political Discourse

    Alan Partington and Alison Duguid

    14. The Military’s Approach to the Information Environment

    Michelangelo Conoscenti

    15. Attitudes about Propaganda and Disinformation: Identifying Discursive Personae in YouTube Comment Sections

    Michele Zappavigna and Olivia Inwood

    16. Citizens’ Perspectives on the News Media and Democracy: a Citizens’ Panel Case Study from Wales

    Philip Seargeant, Donna Smith and Dylan Moore

    B. Society

    17. (Dis)information and Ethical Guidelines: A Critical Discourse Analysis of News Reporting on Violence against Women

    Sergio Maruenda-Bataller

    18. Online Gendered and Sexualised Disinformation against Women in Politics

    Eleonora Esposito

    19. The Rainbow Conspiracy: A Corpus-Based Social Media Analysis of Anti-LGBTIQ+ Rhetoric in Digital Landscapes

    Giuseppe Balirano and Bronwen Hughes

    20. The Discourses of Climate Change Denialism across Conspiracy and Pseudoscience Websites

    Isobelle Clarke

    21. Reframing of Fake in Art Discourse

    Chiara Degano

    C. Medical discourses

    22. Exploring Health-related Misinformation, Disinformation and "Fake News"

    Roxanne Padley

    23. The COVID-19 Infodemic on Twitter: Dialogic Contraction within the Echo Chambers

    Marina Bondi and Leonardo Sanna

    24. COVID-19 Parody Fake Voice Messages on WhatsApp

    Dennis Chau and Carmen Lee

    25. The Impact of Covid-19 Reports on Multicultural Young People’s Social and Psychological Well-Being: Novel Experiential Metaphors in an ELF-Mediated Debate on Fake News

    Maria Grazia Guido

    26. Mapping Polylogical Discourse to Understand (Dis)Information Negotiation: The Case of the UK Events Research Programme

    Elena Musi, Kay L. O’Halloran, Elinor Carmi, Michael Humann, Minhao Jin, Simeon Yates and Gautam Pal



    Stefania M. Maci is Full Professor of English Language at the University of Bergamo, where she is the coordinator of the MA in Digital Humanities and Director of the Research centre on Specialised Language. Her research is focussed on the study of the English language in academic and professional contexts.

    Massimiliano Demata is Associate Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Turin. He has published monographs, papers and book chapters on British and US political discourse, nationalism and discourse, populism, computer-mediated communication and climate change refugees.

    Mark McGlashan is Senior Lecturer in English Language in the Birmingham Institute of Media and English, Birmingham City University. Mark’s research interests predominantly centre on the synthesis and application of methods from Corpus Linguistics and (Critical) Discourse Studies to study a wide range of social issues, and his recent work has focussed on relationships between language and abuse. Mark is co-editor (with Professor John Mercer) of Toxic Masculinity: men, meaning and digital media (Routledge, 2023).

    Philip Seargeant is Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the Open University, where he teaches and researches language and communication with a political focus on political discourse. His recent books include The Art of Political Storytelling, Political Activism in the Linguistic Landscape, and Crisis Leadership: Boris Johnson and Political Persuasion during the Covid Pandemic.