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Contrastive genre analysis of American and Philippine disaster newspaper reports: The case of Supertyphoon yolanda

Author: 
John Paul Castillo Vallente
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This contrastive genre study applies Martin and White’s Appraisal framework, specifically its Attitude subsystem in order to find out if there exist differences between stance patterns exhibited by American and Filipino disaster news writers, and if the manner by which US writers represent Philippines during post-catastrophic events and the way Filipino writers portray the country within similar context vary. Three U.S. daily newspapers and three Philippine broadsheets, which were selected based on readership online rankings, were the sources of data in the study. Data was examined employing critical discourse analysis and descriptive statistics, and qualitative interpretations were based on document investigation of existing relevant literatures and cross-cultural academic articles. Findings of the study revealed that there are differences of stance patterns employed by writers when presenting disaster discourse in print media. Philippine and U.S. newspapers put more emphasis on the categories of Judgment and Appreciation, basically rendering the items classified under Affect almost inconsequential. Moreover, both contexts frequently demonstrate negative attitudes toward the impact of super typhoon Yolanda on people and physical properties, and toward the overall recovery operations undertaken by the government to alleviate the crises experienced by the victims in post-disaster situations. On the other hand, the positive attitudes are associated with how the local community effectively participated in information dissemination and recovery operations—empowering the local government unit (LGU) in times of disaster and crises is certainly a strategic move towards attaining sustainable post-catastrophic interventions.

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