Meaning in the Media addresses the issue of how we should respond to competing claims about meaning put forward in confrontations between people or organisations in highly charged circumstances such as bitter public controversies and expensive legal disputes. Alan Durant draws attention to the pervasiveness and significance of such meaning-related disputes in the media, investigating how their 'meaning' dimension is best described and explained. Through his analysis of deception, distortion, bias, false advertising, offensiveness and other kinds of communicative behaviour that trigger interpretive disputes, Durant shows that we can understand both meaning and media better if we focus in new ways on moments in discourse when the apparently continuous flow of understanding and agreement breaks down. This lively and contemporary volume will be invaluable to students and teachers of linguistics, media studies, journalism and law.
Part I. Communication Failure and Interpretive Conflict: 1. From personal disagreement to meaning troublespot; 2. Signs of trouble; 3. Different kinds of meaning question;
Part II. Making Sense of 'Meaning': 4. Meaning and the appeal to semantics; 5. Interpretive variation; 6. Time-based meaning;
Part III. Verbal Disputes and Approaches to Resolving Them: 7. Meaning as a knockout competition; 8. Standards of interpretation;
Part IV. Analysing Disputes in Different Fields of Law and Regulation: 9. Defamation: 'reasonably capable of bearing the meaning attributed'; 10. Advertising: 'not only what is said, but what is reasonably implied'; 11. Offensiveness: 'if there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable';