Presentación en Braga: The Rethorics of opinion articles in Spanish newspapers in 2011

La siguiente presentación ha sido aprobada para su exposición en el congreso “Rhetoric. Between the Theory and Practice of Politics”, que tendrá lugar en Braga (Portugal) el próximio mes de junio. El trabajo va firmado por Arantxa Capdevila y Elena Ferran, participantes en el proyecto.

The Rethorics of opinion articles in Spanish newspapers in 2011: a debate between recentralising and decentralising competences in Spain

Arantxa Capdevila y Elena Ferran, Universitat Rovira i Virgili

By reason of the two strong statements made by the two Spanish political leaders, Aznar and Zapatero, as to the cost of the autonomic state in 1011 (later tempered down by their respective political parties, PP and PSOE), the most important newspapers reacted to create a debate between two views: re-centralising and decentralising, that is, returning autonomic competences to the State versus increasing autonomic competences. Our goal has been to compare the stand taken by the press when dealing with both statements and more generally with the Spanish territorial model. The newspapers chosen are at the extreme poles: either centralist or autonomist. The period covered goes from the 15 and 22nd of January, that is, the days after Aznar’s declarations, where the debate started and also the days after Zapatero’s statements (27th January to 2nd of February). Thus the sample consists of 35 opinion articles: 17 on the first episode and 18 on the second. We have analysed the argumentation and also the different rhetoric strategies that make the opinions contained in the press articles persuasive and appealing to the public. However, the starting point has been the study of the images created, be them positive or negative, over the issue of debate, that is, the possible worlds (autonomic models) generated through the text (Capdevila: 2004). Then, the analysis of the political text has been carried out according to the levels of classical rhetoric, which consider that the text, in this case the opinion article, is organized at different levels which are organized and set to achieve persuasion. Therefore, the opinion article is taken as a structure organized to put forward the ideas (that create images), the arguments which ground them, the words and rhetorical figures that express them and finally the point of view of the issuer to reach effective communication. Finally, at the level of the word, we focus on the semantic fields chosen in two opinion articles as an indication of the three functions described by Martin &White (2005): appreciation, judgement and taste as dealt with in Ferran (2011). And that, as a mere example of how the choice of language through semantic fields bears on the overall ideological macrostructure, which ultimately relies on possible worlds.



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