5. Commenting, Interacting, Reposting: A Systemic-Functional Analysis of Online Newspaper Comments
Mariavita Cambria [+]
University of Messina.
Newspapers have been deeply transformed in the process of going online. The transition from printed newspapers to online news sites has affected the entire process of producing, accessing, and perceiving news, accelerating hybridization of the genres involved and raising many issues as regards the activities of representing, construing and experiencing news (Bednarek and Caple 2012). A case in point is the possibility for readers to comment and express opinions on online articles in the comments-on–the-article sections of news sites or via links to social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.). These possibilities involve readers in news-making activities, empowering them in terms of opinion-making (Cambria 2011). But who are the Participants in those texts? What types of discourses are used in the comments? How do oral and written modes interact (Halliday 1978, 2002) in the comments? A combined systemic functional linguistics and multimodal corpus-assisted approach (Baldry and Thibault 2006) is used to analyse the lexicogrammatical features of texts used in article comments published in two quality newspaper sites (www.guardian.co.uk and www.irishtimes.com) in 2012 vis-à-vis the issue of immigration.