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English Language   >   Language in the Media

What is ‘media’ and how does it relate to language?

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Language in the Media

In this course Dr Johann Unger (Lancaster University) explores language in the media, focusing in particular on the realm of politics. In the first lecture, we think about what we mean by the term ‘media’ (and ‘the media’) and its relation to language. After that, we think about how the media frames particular issues to prompt the reader/viewer to respond to them in certain way, before turning in the third lecture to consider how language in the media reflects – either explicitly or implicitly – a particular ideology or ideologies. In the fourth lecture, we go through some rhetorical devices that can be used to make media texts that are designed to persuade more persuasive, before turning in the fifth lecture to the analysis of multimodal texts. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about the use of language on social media, especially that related to politics.

What is ‘media’ and how does it relate to language?

In this lecture, we think about (the) media and its relation to language, focusing in particular on: (i) what we mean when we talk about ‘media’, including the difference between ‘media’ and ‘the media’; (ii) the work of Marshall McLuhan (1911-80) and Raymond Williams (1921-88), and the question of what is more important: the medium or the message; (iii) the intersection between (the) media and language; (iv) the linguistic changes in television news between the 1950s and the present day, including the accents of newsreaders, their clothing and gestures, their sex, and their level of formality; (v) the trend in the 1990s of ‘convergence’, i.e. the merging of previously separate phenomena such as information and entertainment, e.g. Newsbeat; (vi) the trend in the 2000s of technological convergence, i.e. the fact that we now use the same device (a smart phone or tablet) to access all our media; (vii) the trend in the 2010s and 2020s of using computer algorithms to customise the kind of media that individuals are presented with; (viii) the different levels of language at which we can analyse (the) media; and (ix) the importance of thinking about both traditional forms of media (e.g. newspapers, television) and new forms of media (e.g. social media).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Unger, J. (2022, October 21). Language in the Media - What is ‘media’ and how does it relate to language? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Unger, J. "Language in the Media – What is ‘media’ and how does it relate to language?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Oct 2022,


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Dr Johan Unger

Lancaster University