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Kommunikationsspeciale: Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal in the Media
Biased Representation of Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal in the Media

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Akos Csernak
Marketingassistent

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Biased Representation of Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal in the Media: Evaluative Language on Fox News and New York Magazine.
This thesis deals with linguistic resources that shape stories, tweak narratives, and construct public image. In specific, my work explores opinionated language use in the news media’s presentation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. I analyzed 28 “emailgate” news articles, as published by Fox News and New York Magazine, seeking potentially evaluative words, phrases, and sentence structures. In order to trace explicitly and implicitly biased representation, I used Martin and White’s Appraisal framework, an analytical tool aimed to identify stances in language.
 
I found vast differences in word choice on Fox News and New York Magazine. Fox News, in opposition of a Clinton presidency, uses language that overplays emailgate, describes Clinton’s email conduct in a dismissive tone, and questions her credibility. New York Magazine, in support of a Clinton presidency, uses language that underplays emailgate, describes Clinton’s email use in an acquitting tone, and presents her in a relatable, human context. These differences in language use lead to the slanted coverage of the scandal and the evaluative construction of Clinton as a public figure.
 
The words, phrases, and sentence structures traced in my work are instances of language that can potentially make or break scandals and defend or attack public figures when caught up in controversies. This underscores the relevance of conscious language use in the fields of public reputation and crisis communication, where careful word choice to create a desired impact is key.
 
Specialet er skrevet af Akos Csernak, som er uddannet MA in International Business Communication and Communication Design på Syddansk Universitet. Specialet er vurderet til karakteren 12. 
 

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