AsiaTEFL Logo        The Journal of AsiaTEFL
   
The Journal of AsiaTEFL
Articles By Subject
Current Issue
Past Issues
Special Issue
Information of the Journal
Editorial Board
Submission Guidelines
Ethical Guidelines
Manuscript Submission
Journal Order
User Information
Search
Today 987
Total 467,795
Current Issue
Go List

Volume 1 Number 1, Spring 2004, Pages 1-403   


PDF Download
   

News Discourse and Its Influence on Readers

    Kumiko Murata


This paper investigates the ways in which readers interpret a news editorial on the basis of cultural assumptions formulated partly under the influence of the media they are associated with. For this investigation, questionnaires (English and Japanese versions) on the discourse of whaling were administered to 30 Japanese postgraduate students and 30 British, European and North American academics, researchers and teachers. In addition, seven EFL students also participated in filling in the questionnaire. The result shows that in the case of the English version, the majority of the non-Japanese respondents were anti-whaling, while most of the Japanese version respondents (Japanese) were either neutral or pro-whaling. This is clearly reflected in their interpretation of the text. The English respondents overwhelmingly supported the editor's anti-whaling stance despite pointing out the excessive use of emotive language. By contrast, most of the Japanese respondents showed strong disagreement with the editor's attitude, pointing out the lack of evidence and information. Although the result does not necessarily show that this single editorial had a direct influence on the respondents, there are nonetheless some indications of the ways in which na?ve readers could be influenced by the media. Finally, the paper discusses implications of this study for language pedagogy.