Un estudio sobre la cobertura periodística del cese definitivo de la violencia de ETA

Contribución aceptada para su presentación en  CADAAD 2012

The end of violence. A linguistic analysis of media reactions to ETA’s definitive ceasefire

By Laura Filardo (Universidad de Valladolid) and Cristina Perales (Universitat de Vic)

ETA’s announcement of the end of violence on October 20, 2011 could be considered the closing stage of Spanish Transition to Democracy and the beginning of a new democratic era in the Spanish state. The importance of this announcement can be seen in the high number of responses by both Spanish and international media. On Monday October 17, an international summit was held in the Basque Country where politicians and mediators demanded the end of violence. Three days later, ETA announced the end of their armed campaign; something which was seen by some as an electoral movement because it was done a month before the general elections held on November 20. In this context, we consider that media are political actors (Borrat 1989) involved in interaction with other (political, social, or economic) actors. Given that they have a political role, the media try to influence and spread socio-political beliefs (Van Dijk 1997) and may also have an effect on how conflict evolves: polarization may increase or decrease depending on the social representations spread by them. This premise underlies the research project within which this paper is included, whose main objective is to uncover media representations of Spanish territorial and political conflict(s)[1]. In this paper we will focus on the analysis of the editorials published between October 17 and 22, and November 19 and 21, 2011 in two of the main Spanish – and ideologically-opposed – newspapers (El País and El Mundo) and the “abertzale”[2] one Gara, where ETA announced the end of violence. The analysis will stem from a combination of micro- and macro- approaches to the text. Cognitive Linguistics (Langacker 2008, Werth 1999) and Pragmatics lie at the core of the textual micro-analysis. The results obtained with it are used to interpret the macro-communicative function of texts and the political function of media. In this way, a bond is established between Communication Studies and Linguistics while vindicating in favour of the latter discipline in studies related to communication and conflict.


Borrat, H. (1989) El periódico, actor político. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.

Van Dijk, T.A. (1997) “What is Political Discourse Analysis”, Jan Blommaert & Chris Bulcaen (Eds.), Political linguistics. Amsterdam: Benjamins: 11-52.

Langacker, R. (2008) Cognitive Grammar. A Basic Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Verschueren, J. (1999) Understanding Pragmatics. London & New York: Arnold.

Werth, P. (1999) Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

[1] Research funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, under the National Programme of R+D+I, in the framework of the Project entitled “La construcción mediática de los conflictos políticos y territoriales en España: estudio de los discursos y de las narrativas” (Media construction of political and territorial conflicts in Spain: a discourse and narrative study) (CSO2010-20047).

[2] Basque nationalist in Euskera



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