LINGUIST List 20.2242|
Fri Jun 19 2009
Diss: Discourse Analysis: Parameswaran: 'Language of Mass Media:...'
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Language of Mass Media: A study based on Malayalam Radio Broadcasts
Message 1: Language of Mass Media: A study based on Malayalam Radio Broadcasts
From: Parameswaran Krishna <paramu_2000rediffmail.com>
Subject: Language of Mass Media: A study based on Malayalam Radio Broadcasts
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Institution: University of Kerala
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007
Author: Parameswaran Krishna
Dissertation Title: Language of Mass Media: A study based on Malayalam Radio Broadcasts
This thesis deals with the analysis of Malayalam Radio news and the
hypothesis is that the language of radio news forms a special kind of
discourse. It posits that a particular discourse exists in the mass media
and that the radio uses a discourse that is a genre of the discourse of
The theoretical background of the study is described in the first chapter.
Radio is a potent mass medium that caters to a very wide and varied
audience. Mass media itself is formulated out of and is governed by certain
particular characteristics. These characteristics form the justification
for positing the 'discourse of mass media'.
These characteristics are Janus-faced and have two orientations. One set of
characteristics are generated from the peculiar nature of the media itself.
The other set of characteristics owe their existence to the varied nature
and endless creativity of human languages.
Here, it is to be noted that language has been traditionally viewed from
either a prescriptive grammatical point of view or from a descriptive
linguistic point of view. Both these methodologies fall short of describing
and evaluating broadcast language because they bypass the real objective of
language use in mass media, which is communication. From this point of
view, the analysis of language proceeds on the theoretical basis that
language use is a form of discourse.
Against this background, this thesis tries to examine the principal
characteristics of the broadcast discourse and examine how they function in
the broadcast context. The characteristics of the process of mass
communication, the special features of radio as a broadcast medium and the
particular nature of one of the commodities conveyed by the medium, i.e.
news, all together act and interact with each other in the formation of a
media language and a broadcast news genre.
In the second chapter, the evolution of the radio as a powerful mass medium
is described, with emphasis on the history and development of All India
Radio. This emphasis is given mainly because the present study takes place
against Indian background, where the principal player in the broadcast
scenario is All India Radio. As a prelude to analyzing the discourse of
radio, it is necessary to understand the working of the medium. In this
chapter the focus is on the development of radio as a mass medium and a
description of some of the salient techniques of broadcasting.
The historical perspective will help understand how the medium makes use of
language as an effective medium to communicate as well as how the
communicative nature of the medium was shaped, to a considerably large
extent, by the language used for communication. The technological
perspective will help in understanding why radio programmes develop certain
characteristics and how the specialized discourse of the radio helps in
facilitating these programmes.
In the third chapter, the growth of All India Radio in Kerala and the
development of the News Services division are documented. The various
important developments up to 2005 are documented.
The fourth chapter theoretically posits the existence of 'the discourse of
radio news' and defines its central characteristics. It is to be noted here
that in this context, the conceptualization of 'the discourse of radio
news' also assumes relevance. Here, the language used is defined in terms
of usage. The usage, at the same time, is characterized by the medium, the
content and the language.
The fifth chapter validates this with examples from Malayalam radio news
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