8.2 Marasigan & Ballesteros-Lintao

| December 31, 2020

Michelle Anne A. Marasigan & Rachelle Ballesteros-Lintao. (2020). Presentation and Comprehensibility of Public Policies in Online News Articles. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 8(2), 35-56.

Abstract: Language is the primary vehicle in which public policies are expressed for “all concepts in law are linguistically constituted and expressed” (Silbey, 1989, p. 1) to the people. Public policies are acquired and consumed by the public through the media that today has taken on a new platform which is the internet. However, laws have a reputation of being incomprehensible due to the complexities of the legal language and become a problematic situation for the people who are directly affected by such difficulty. Hence, this research aimed at looking into how public policies are integrated and explained in online news articles. Furthermore, the study attempted to determine the text comprehensibility of these articles among the lay people in explaining the details of the laws embedded within these texts. Forty online news articles containing the Free Tuition Law and TRAIN Law were collected from two main news organizations in the Philippines. Pan and Kosicki’s (1993) Framing Analysis was used to determine how laws were incorporated in the news articles through syntactic structures. Focus group discussion was conducted to determine how lay readers comprehend the legal information in the news articles. In this study, it was revealed that public policies are used in the online news articles as an extension of the 5Ws and H of the story. This study also revealed that although public policy related news articles have similar dominant presentation styles, it can be noted that they also have differences.

Keywords: media discourse, text comprehensibility, forensic linguistics, language and media


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Category: Volume 8