ANALYSIS OF SUPER NOTICIA POPULAR NEWSPAPER THROUGH A CRITICAL AND MULTIMODAL PERSPECTIVE.
We deal with multimodal texts daily when we read newspapers, watch television, read a book, etc., and thus our semiotic framework of analysis should enable us to understand more about the contribution of the different modes in our ever-changing semiotic practices. Multimodality is being increasingly incorporated into the school curriculum and needs to be addressed in educational work. In addition to practical knowledge, it is necessary to have access to analytical tools that make such potentialities and the limits of those modalities more apparent and more susceptible to challenges and their redesign, if necessary. Literacy programs need to facilitate students' metaanalytic work. Through the critical analysis of the different media products, from different perspectives, we are contributing to the constitution of more reflexive and active human beings in the different layers of society.
The aim of this article is to analyze, through the perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis and Multimodality, two front-pages of the Brazilian popular newspaper Super Noticia to identify linguistic and image choices, including the ideologies and power relations that underlie these elements. The analysis begins with a linguistic analysis based on the Systemic-Functional Grammar proposed by Halliday (1994) and Halliday and Matthiessen (2004, 2013), on Appraisal theory (MARTIN, 2000), passes through the analysis of images based on Multimodality (KRESS; VAN LEEUWEN, 2006) to reach the analysis of the ideologies, persuasion and hegemonies contained in the front-pages analyzed, based on Norman Fairclough's Critical Discourse Analysis (ACD) (1994, 2016).
The critical analysis is based on the three-dimensional conception proposed by Fairclough (1994), which states that a truly critical analysis starts with the micro linguistic elements, considers the distribution of texts and their consumption and encompasses the social practices, which include the ideological and hegemonic aspects of the texts. Ideology, according to Fairclough (1994), represents constructs of reality present in various layers, dimensions and forms in discursive practices.
All theories used in the writing of this article are interconnected because it was from a recontextualization of the Systemic-Functional Grammar (SFG) that Norman Fairclough began his studies on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), which is also based on the socio semiotic view of language proposed by Halliday (1994), which in turn establishes a link between linguistic and social analysis.
On the other hand, Kress and van Leeuwen (1996, 2006) state that multimodality represents an expansion of the SGF and the metafunctions proposed by Halliday, which, according to the authors, can be applied not only to the study of verbal language, but also to the analysis of different types of images used to complete the texts.
The Systemic-Functional Grammar (SFG)
The SFG is based on Firth's socio semiotic conception of "systems", which states that a systemic theory is a theory of choices, in which each choice is evaluated over those that have not been made.
According to Halliday (1994) and Halliday and Matthiessen (2004, 2013), language serves to simultaneously construct three meanings or metafunctions: Ideational or Experiential, Interpersonal, and Textual.
The Ideational Metafunction represents the events in sentences in terms of doing, feeling or being, through the Transitivity system, which involves: (a) Participants; (B) Processes and (c) Circumstances. If we consider the different Processes (six in number), their Participants will also be different, which can be summarized in Table 1.
In the Interpersonal Metafunction, as stated by Halliday, the sentences are organized as interactive events, involving speaker (or writer) and the audience. The fundamental functions of the speech are: (i) give information and (ii) ask for information. The speaker is either giving, or asking something from the listener. Therefore, an "act" of speech is something that might more properly be called an "interaction": it is an exchange, in which giving implies receiving; and asking implies giving in response.
The Textual Metafunction organizes the ideational and interpersonal meanings of a sentence. Halliday and Matthiessen (2004, 2013) argue that languages have different ways of marking that some part in a sentence is prominent. This position is called Theme, and its function is to be the starting point for the message. The thematic position embraces up to the first ideational element of the sentence. The rest is called Rheme. Because the Theme is always the ground from which the sentence takes off, it also functions as the background to understand the Rheme. Example: He was a retirante. "He" represents the Theme of the sentence; and "was a retirante" represents the Rheme, something that is being stated about the Theme.
These metafunctions occur together: each choice we make accomplishes the three metafunctions. Therefore, everything we express linguistically contains, simultaneously, a piece of information (Ideational), given to someone (Interpersonal), in some way (Textual).
The text, according to the SFG, is understood as a social phenomenon and, as such, is conditioned by other social systems. Language is a semiotic system, made up of "choice" systems, which allows speakers to make lexicogrammatical "choices" according to social circumstances. These formal choices are always significant (HALLIDAY, 1994), since in making a choice in the linguistic system, what is stated acquires meaning against the choices that could have been made.
The SFG has received criticism and contributions over time. I will discuss the notion of Appraisal, proposed by Martin (2000), since, according to him, the Interpersonal Metafunction is not restricted to giving and receiving information or goods and services, but also includes the evaluation that the speaker / writer makes about the content of the message as well as his interlocutor.
Martin (2000) states that the Interpersonal Metafunction has been grammatically based, functioning only at the sentence level, in which Mood and modality serve as starting points for the development of models of speech function, exchange structures, and so on (HALLIDAY, 1994). The grammar-based-tradition has focused on dialogue as an exchange of goods and services or information. What was often omitted by SFG, states Martin, is the semantics of evaluation--how the interlocutors are feeling, the judgments they make, and the appreciation of various phenomena--and along with grammar-based models, it is necessary to construct lexically-oriented systems that also deal with these elements.
Martin examines the evaluative lexicon which are used to express the speaker's (or writer's) opinion considering the good / bad parameters. He paired his analysis with the SFG tradition, and the system of choices used to describe this area of potential significance is called Appraisal.
Appraisal involves the subsystems of (a) Engagement; (B) Attitude and (c) Graduation. Attitude includes: (i) Affect, which deals with the expression of emotions (happiness, fear, etc.); (ii) Judgment, which deals with moral evaluation (honesty, generosity, etc.); And (iii) Appreciation, which deals with aesthetic evaluation (subtlety, beauty, etc.). See Table 2:
On the other hand, when the evaluation is explicitly carried out, according to Martin, it is easy to analyze the Attitude as positive or negative in relation to some event: (1) Fortunately / Unfortunately, Brazil challenged the US in the FTAA. But in some cases, the evaluation is not explicitly inscribed, as in: (2) Brazil challenged the US in the FTAA. This fact led Martin to postulate an important distinction, as shown in Table 3.
Martin (2000) also suggests matching the ideational meaning with the interpersonal in some linguistic evaluations. Thus, a complex issue arises:the fact that evaluation may depend on the context. Hence, ideational meanings that do not use explicit evaluative lexicon can be used to express appreciation, affect, and judgment.
The SFG and its extensions served as the basis for Fairlcough's (1994, 2016) studies that gave rise to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The CDA will be discussed next in this article.
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is interested in questioning the relationships between signs, meaning and the socio-historical contexts that rule the semiotic structure of discourse by using linguistic analysis. The CDA seeks, by studying details of the linguistic structure in the light of the social and historical situation of a text, to bring to the level of consciousness the patterns, beliefs and values encoded in the language --which are invisible to those who accept discourse as something "natural".
The goal of a critical linguistic analysis of a text is to reveal the hidden meanings in its lexical, semantic, and syntactic structures as they gradually interfere with the general meaning. It also tries to understand how these structures are able to construct ideological content in such a way that the content cannot only be understood but also "conquered". This kind of reading is related to Fairclough's (1989, p.1 apud KITIS; MILAPIDES, 1996) statement which emphasizes that consciousness can represent the first step towards emancipation.
Fairclough's (1994, 2016) view of discourse and the power relations established through it is of a more linguistic nature, and he uses the word "discourse" more narrowly than social scientists generally do, limiting the term to the spoken or written use of language. However, he regards language use as a social practice, rather than a purely individual activity. This has two main implications: firstly, discourse is seen as a form of action on the world; and secondly, this implies a dialectical relationship between discourse and social structures. On the one hand, discourse is shaped and constrained by social structure in the broadest sense and at all levels, through classification systems, norms and conventions of a discursive and non-discursive nature. On the other hand, discourse is an important constituent of all dimensions of the social structure that, directly or indirectly, shapes and constrains it.
Fairclough (1994) analyzes discourses in relation to the changes that have taken place in the globalized consumer market and, consequently, in the different areas of social life. These changes affect the social relations and people's identity, and part of them consists of changes in the discursive practices, that is, in the use of the language and how it has assumed great importance as a means of production and social control.
Fairclough (1995) identifies in the discourses what he calls "synthetic personification," a simulation of the private, through mass public discourse (newspapers, magazines, radio and television). This tendency, which is linked to migration of the private discourse to institutional domains, is established through struggles and has limited stability due to the heterogeneity of its own contradictory elements that lead to more struggles and changes. Fairclough (1995) points out three important tendencies in the contemporary discourse of the media: Democratization, Technologization, and Commercialization.
Democratization has been a parameter for discursive changes in recent decades. Fairclough (1995) points out the main areas in which democratization has been most visible: relations between languages and dialects, access to more prestigious forms of discourse, elimination of markers of power in certain institutional discourses (greater informality in the use of language) and language changes related to gender practices.
Considering the technologization, Fairclough (1995) states that in interviews and advertisements, for instance, a variety of tools are being employed in different ways, and such tools or technologies are being used by social agents in specific institutions. They hold power, and the discursive technologies are used to produce certain effects on specific types of audience (consumers) which may be not aware of them.
Commercialization is related to the growing construction of the audience as clients and the pressure on producers to entertain can be seen as part of a normalization and naturalization of consumer behavior and culture, involving ads and representations of people in various types of media messages. Media also influences some private domain discursive practices, providing models of interaction and establishing a complex dialectical relationship between media discourse and day by day interaction.
In addition to the linguistic resources, a critical analysis is concerned with the images that compose the texts. Therefore, multimodality is also relevant for this article.
Image analysis and the Multimodality
Regarding images, their representations and the relations they establish with the real world, Jacques Aumont (2004) states that the production of an image is never free, since it is produced for certain individual or collective uses. He believes that the symbolic value of an image is defined "pragmatically by the social acceptability of the symbols represented" (AUMONT, 2004, p.79).
The author warns that, nowadays, it is not possible to imagine an image viewer without considering his/her prior knowledge, since the image is produced to contain certain ideologies and beliefs. The relationship between the viewer and the image occurs through a set of social determinations, which include the means and techniques used in the production, their modes of circulation, the places where they will be accessible and the supports for their diffusion.
Martine Joly (2009) states that the image is something heterogeneous, and, for analytical purposes, the following division can be made: iconic signs (images themselves), plastic signs (colors, shapes, internal composition, texture) and linguistic signs (verbal language). These signs, together, construct an explicit (global) meaning and an implicit meaning. The author also believes that the analysis of visual language is more complex because of its degree of continuity. Joly corroborates Aumont's view that, in order to better understand a visual message, the viewers/consumers must know for whom it was produced and that this communicative function will determine its significance. For Joly, one way to start analyzing the images would be to move from the verbal to the visual signs, since an image project is firstly verbalized.
My analysis of the popular newspaper front-pages is based on Joly's (2009) proposal, which states that a discursive analysis must start from the linguistic structure, passing through the images to reach the ideologies and representations. Another useful theory for the analysis of the images presented on the front-pages of the newspaper is Multimodality.
Macken-Horarik (2004) affirms that the multimodal text phenomenon poses a challenge for many discourse analysts, particularly those working with linguistic tools shaped for verbal texts. She analyzes the complementary contribution between images and words in the meaning-making process, relying primarily on the principles of Appraisal. For the analysis, she states that the Systemic-Functional Grammar (HALLIDAY, 1978) is suitable for multimodal discourse analysis for the following reasons:
(a) The SFG attempts relate the linguistic structures to the social context in which they are produced;
(b) The SFG enables to map not only words, but arrangements of words--phrases ("wordings", for Halliday), and enables their analysis in functional terms. According to Kress at al. (1997, p. 260), however, image analysis has focused on items of content or "lexis," rather than on the internal structure of images, or "syntax." This is an important task for the development of "grammars" which enable us to relate linguistic to non-linguistic structures.
(c) SFG is a grammar oriented to choices, not to rules. Linguistic choices are modeled in terms system networks--a series of options related to different meanings which are realized by particular lexico-grammatical outputs (types of clauses and phrases).
(d) The SFG incorporates three types of meanings, the "metafunctions", in the analysis of human communication. This metafunctional principle has provided semioticians with abstract and general categories for the analysis of different semiotic systems.
Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) affirm that different textual genres, whether classified by media type (comic strip, cartoons, films, TV, painting) or content (western, science fiction, novel, news), establish specific sets of modality markers, having a general value of modality that acts as basis for the genre. Such a basis may be different for different types of readers and for different texts, but these differences only acquire meaning from their relations with the central value of modality in that specific genre.
The "composition" is related to the representational and interactive meanings of the image and it presents three interrelated systems:
(a) Information value: placement of elements (left, right, top, bottom).
(b) Salience: the elements are made to attract the viewer's attention to different degrees (background, foreground, size, color contrasts, etc.).
(c) Framing: connection of elements of the image, signifying that they belong or do not belong together in some sense.
Related to the position of the elements in the images, Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) emphasize that those elements which are placed to the left of the image can be understood as "the Given", that is, elements that the viewer already knows. On the other hand, the elements placed to the right of the image represent "the New", that is, elements that are being presented to the viewer/consumer.
The same authors state that, in a visual composition, there are elements placed at the top and others placed at the bottom of the image. The elements placed at the top represent the "Ideal", while the elements placed at the bottom represent the "Real".
The "Real" presents detailed information and practices close to reality. If the visual composition makes significant use of the center, placing a certain element in the center and the others around it or on the margins, what is in the center most often represents the core of the information. Regardless of where the element is placed, the salience creates a hierarchy of importance, selecting some elements as more important than others.
Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) argue that in everyday interaction social relations determine the distance that will be maintained in relation to the others. For them, these differences can also be identified in the field of images. At intimate distance, the viewer can see the whole face or the head. At close personal distance, one can see the head and the shoulders. At far personal distance, one sees the other person from the waist up. At close social distance, one sees the whole figure and, at far social distance one sees the entire figure, including its surroundings. At public distance, one can see the torso of at least four or five people.
The high angles make the represented participants (people and object in the images) appear small and insignificant; and, the interactive participant (reader) has power over the represented participant. At the low angles, there is an impression of superiority and triumph of the represented participants over the interactive ones.
For Hodge and Kress (1988) style, accent and grammatical structure refer to the same social phenomenon, the metasigns, which have the function to sustain difference from other groups and promote cohesion, stating the ideology of a specific group. The metasigns are sets of social markers of loyalty or group membership (solidarity, group identity, and ideology) that integrate most texts. These markers refer to the relations in the semiotic plane (meaning production), and may even seem arbitrary or meaningless, although they carry consistent ideological meanings.
All elements found in the media discourse, such as newspapers and magazines, including grammatical, vocabulary or pronunciation errors, numerals, bold, italics, etc. are used to represent stereotypes, reproduce an accent or a speech style, transmit ideological meanings and validate common marks in certain social groups or contexts.
Colloquial language, for instance, means direct contact with the target audience. On the other hand, acts of image, such as turning back or looking away, may represent a lack of solidarity. The metasigns are of great importance for the analysis of the language presented in popular newspapers.
The language of advertising: the slogan
For Iasbeck (2000), the language of advertising is already an integral part of several discourses. It has originated in newspapers, magazines, posters, computers, television and movies and spread to everyday life conversations. The study of slogans--brief, compact, appealing and meaningful sentences able to disturb not only the production of meaning and ways of thinking and saying, but also the perception of reality--provides tools to understand this kind of language interference in the different kinds of discourses.
Iasbeck's analysis of the slogans revealed that:
(a) The most effective slogans present merely referential character able to connect them to the objects they represent and to take advantage of symbolic connotations.
(b) Advertising slogans create, provoke and / or reaffirm functional relations with other modes of thinking and acting that are present cultural systems.
(c) Slogans need peripheral elements of non-culture (1) to avoid becoming redundant and obsolete.
For Iasbeck (2000), the slogans have a very short validity period, becoming obsolete after a few months of use. Only in some specific situations they remain active for a longer period of time.
Slogans appear in contexts related to advertising and marketing. The idea of marketing is closely linked to the capitalist mode of production. The term has American origins and refers to the act of selling and buying all kinds of products, including genres or specialties (2). Marketing activities constitute a set of actions aimed at making a particular service or product consumed. For this reason, marketing studies indicate that it is imperative to know consumers and their needs, not only to provide them with the products that they need, but also to create expectations that will be satisfied with new products, thus feeding the productive system.
The slogan becomes more easily recognizable by some peculiarities of its structure: it is concise, striking, often incisive, appealing, easily perceived and memorized able to proclaim the qualities and superiority of a product, service or idea.
Proverbs, maxims, refrains, jargons, cliches, mottos, etc. are called "effect phrases" because they are phrases that, although characterized by distinct peculiarities, have some points in common, such as brevity, condensation, authority, prestige, anonymity, ambiguity, humor, impact, cadence, and immediate communication. The three types of effect phrases able to produce more lasting effects on the consumers include proverbs, maxims, and slogans.
The slogans supported by images suggested by the written text may provide multiple readings, but they always focus, directly or indirectly, on the semantic field of an idea or object advertised. This is possible through rhetorical and poetic resources, and syntactic, semantic, rhythmic or acoustic parallels--metaphors, metonymies, among others--able to provoke unusual associations, create new meanings for stereotyped images and provide associations with what consumers wishes to find in advertisement.
Since the slogans are aimed at heterogeneous and geographically dispersed consumers, their structure can, with text economy, avoid reflective thinking about what is anonymously stated. The mottos are created by exhaustive repetition in different contexts and manage to engage one thought after another without leading the consumers to more analytical and reflective processes.
Interrupted or incomplete phrases, according to Iasbeck (2000), are also known as "telegraphic phrases" and they open up reticent spaces that will be filled by the reader. In advertising, such constructions have the merit of making consumers to complete their meaning. On the other hand, syntactic inaccuracy brings significant advantages to brevity, compacting ideas and allowing the reader to participate in this task.
Advertising texts--more specifically, slogans--use metaphors, metonymy and ellipse, thus taking the repertoire of the target audience and identifying the needs of that segment in a process which creates communication through empathy. Through metaphorical organization, it is possible to understand how a given culture organizes thoughts, the way of conceptualizing something through relations with other realities. Common experience may be the basis of these texts. All the characteristics identified in the slogans by Iasbeck are useful in the analysis of the newspaper headlines.
The popular newspapers and the Super Noticia
The popular newspaper market has grown a lot in recent years. According to Finatto et al. (2011), it is a commercial segment that aims to reach a layer of the Brazilian population with low purchasing power and schooling, which presents little reading habit. The popular newspapers offer low prices, use short and direct texts, image resources, simplified language and didacticism. The themes are linked to everyday life, including health, labor market, transportation and education, but most of the subjects are also aimed at sports, celebrities and police stories, denoting a preservation of aspects linked to traditional tabloid publications.
The Super Noticia newspaper presents many characteristics pointed out by Finatto et al. (2011) and its first publication took place on May 1, 2002. It belongs to Editora Semper, responsible for other major newspapers in Minas Gerais, such as O Tempo. The Super Noticia was created, according to information provided by its editors, to supply the lack of tabloids destined to consumers which belong to poorer social classes in the whole state of Minas Gerais, mainly in the capital and surrounding cities. Nowadays, it is read by all social classes that seek more direct, cheap and accessible information, but its wider range of readers is still in the classes to which it was originally intended. The daily publication is about 250 thousand copies, being sold in about 400 cities in all regions of Minas Gerais.
The front-pages of the newspaper follow the relevance criterion and it means that the most important news will be part of them, but news related to sports, services, crimes and tragedies is almost always present on the front-pages. The editors say that, since 2009, the making of the front-pages has followed some color patterns and that there was an increase in the number of stories on the front-pages, in addition to the main headline.
The newspaper also has an internet version, intended only for subscribers, who can access the same content of the printed newspaper, but with a more immediate update of the information. The edition published during the week costs 0.25 cents and, on Sundays, the product is sold at 0.50 cents. According to research done by the Brazilian National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) and made available on its website, in 2014, the Super Noticia was the best-selling printed newspaper, overcoming even traditional and well-known newspapers, such as Folha de S. Paulo.
The front-pages of Super Noticia newspaper were analyzed from two different perspectives: micro and macro. Following this perspective, the analysis begins with the linguistic and the visual elements, and multimodal aspects until it reaches the macro elements which encompass the ideologies, hegemonies and persuasion strategies. The newspaper is a daily publication and this indicates numerous editions, that is why the focus was given only on two front-pages. It is intended to find out if there has been any significant change in the standards of the front-pages of the newspaper published on October 27 and November 2, both in 2015.
In the main headline, an ellipses of the actor/subject/theme (man) is detected and this can be a way to include the readers in the universe described by the newspaper, since they will have to imagine the subject who suffered the action described in the sentence: "Tied up to utility pole after killing Ex-wife". The use of the passive voice denotes an action attributed to third parties and two types of implicit evaluation determined by social conventions can be found in the same sentence: positive social appreciation for the fact that the murdered woman was avenged by the witnesses of the crime (Tied up to Utility Pole after...); and negative social appreciation for the heinous crime (... Killing Ex-wife.).
The second headline "Searching for the bi" refers to the sports world and it presents a high degree of informality. The "bi" represents the goal to be achieved by the Sada Cruzeiro volleyball team. The use of informality to talk about themes related to the sports world is related to the discursive tendencies of the current media pointed out by Fairclough (1995). Various discursive tools are used to reach the target audience, among which the simulation of the day-to-day discourse in the search for greater interaction with the reader. These tools also have the function to persuade the consumers to buy the product. In addition, the use of informality and abbreviated forms are related to the metasigns pointed out by Hodge and Kress (1988) and detected in most media texts.
Headline number 3 introduces a police story in which the Actor / Subject / Theme plays an active role whose social evaluation is negative: "Man Kills the Ex-Wife's Boyfriend by Stabbing". The female figure is one of the targets of the male action and appears as one of the victims of the action, which had the boyfriend killed by the ex-husband.
In headline 4, the Verbal Process (denounces) is detected and it presents positive social implicit appreciation, because the threatened journalist is not silent due to the threats. The act may represent a kind of censorship to the press. The analyzed newspaper, as a representative of this segment, positively approves, albeit implicitly, the attitude of the journalist. The topic occupies the space called "Subject of the day", and this indicates its degree of importance in the publication. The newspaper interviewed the Union of Professional Journalists of Minas Gerais, the Military Police of Aracuai, the city where the incident took place, the businessman accused of threatening the journalist, and the journalist himself. The tone of the interviews and the description of the facts show that, although the complaint is an act approved by the media in general, there is a certain tone of caution used by the newspaper: "A newspaper reporter from Aracuai claims to have been attacked by businessman after publication of a story; the man accused denies the fact". In discursive terms, it can be stated that the responsibility for the facts was transferred to those involved in the case.
The headline 5 deals with a problem detected during the application of the National High School Examination--ENEM--in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, which would give the candidates the right to do new tests. There is a positive social appreciation but, at the same time, the use of the modal verb "may" denotes lack of certainty whether or not the action will be carried out, since the application of new tests will depend on the investigation of the Federal Police and the endorsement of the National Institute of Studies and Educational Research--INEP.
The headline 6 presents the hegemonic social discourse (FAIRCLOUGH, 1994) of healthy eating, but the modal verb "can" also indicates lack of total certainty with regard to the harms caused by processed meats and products for health.
Considering all the characteristics analyzed in this front-page, it is possible to state that the discursive tendencies pointed out by Fairclough (1995) on the discourse of the current media are found: democratization due to the degree of informality of texts; technologization due to the research and discursive strategies used to reach and interact with the target audience, the discourses are shaped by the reality experienced by the buyers of the product; and commercialization, since the sum of all the elements analyzed points to the sale of a media product. Discourses of the private life become public, being the focus of a type of media that seeks to legitimize some practices through its informal presentation to the reader, and this leads us to Fairclough (1994) who states that "synthetic personification", a kind of face-to-face discourse simulation, presented through mass public discourse (newspapers, magazines, radio and television) is a current media trend.
By focusing on the multimodal elements, we come across the prominent image (Salience) of the singer Belo and his wife Gracyanne. Horsley (2005) states that the use of celebrities in newspapers and magazine covers is related to the way that media legitimizes the political and economic models of capitalism through the promotion of some ideologies. For him, a popular image acts as a reminder of the capitalist system, directed to the fans, and serves to reinterpret values and give meanings to many social configurations. This way, celebrities would function as flags able to group around them many cultural meanings and consumption patterns. They also represent the materialization of desires and serve to encourage consumers to consider themselves as subjects able to arouse feelings, desires, and approval of others, just as celebrities interact with their fans.
The woman's body serves to attract the readers' attention to the front-page immediately and the information about the image receives less attention: "The Globo Network's Production Did Not Allow the Singer's Wife to Participate in the Fatima Bernardes 'TVprogram." This indicates that the image has higher value than the written information, requiring that the reader moves from the image to the written text, which will serve to anchor the flow of information about the images offered to the audience (JOLY, 2009). The couple is placed in the field of "Ideal" because they represent the readers' desire to become like the celebrities shown on TV or from the world of music. The couple does not look straight to the readers and it represents, according to Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), an "act of offer", but instead the represented participants offer their bodies as models of beauty and desire. The couple is shown from a far social distance and from a low angle, providing greater power over the reader. It can be stated that the image expresses, in terms of Martin (2000), positive social appreciation of the lifestyle presented by the front-page couple, offering this possibility to readers.
The news about the punishment imposed on the man who murdered his exwife occupies the center of the page and the elements that occupy the center of the composition, according to Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), represent the nucleus of the information/composition.
It is also worth mentioning elements such as the name of the newspaper, the price of the publication and the sports world information. The price of the product (0.25 during the week and 0.50 on Sundays) reinforces its popular appeal and it appears close to the name of the newspaper, representing the "Ideal", on the upper right margin. The sport news also stands out and, this time, volleyball, rather than soccer, is highlighted. The volleyball team presented is called Cruzeiro and this also indicates a direct association with soccer because Cruzeiro is also one of the most popular soccer teams in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais.
The colors of the this front-page also indicate important multimodal elements to be analyzed, since the use of colors in the images can simultaneously fill the three metafunctions proposed by Halliday (1994): Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual. In the ideational perspective, colors represent certain cultures and social contexts; in the interpersonal field, they seek interaction with different types of readers; and in the textual perspective, they give coherence to the text. In the front-page analyzed, colors, such as red, draw the reader's attention to important information; blue is associated with the ideology of the soccer team (Cruzeiro) and serves to interact with the fans. The other colors are used to make the page more coherent.
All of the headlines analyzed have the characteristics pointed out by Iasbeck (2000), and among them are the concise, striking, incisive, appealing, easily perceived and memorized phrases. Incomplete phrases, which require the readers to insert their prior knowledge for completeness, are also identified "Must be in the mood". This type of phrase invites the reader to complement the meaning of the headline by using world's experience and prior knowledge. The systemic-functional analysis reveals that, in slogans related to police stories, sports or linked to the female image, the use of Material Processes (falls, remains, kills) indicates the newspaper's intention to reach a specific target audience: the male audience. Falconnet (1975) suggests that male images are always shown as synonymous of adventure, war, hunting, fire, wild animals, horses, strong sensations, vast spaces, deserts, oceans, forests and mountains. Such images are often connected to verbs as to confront, to conquer, to ride, to dominate, to train, to tame, to undertake, to subjugate, to act, to submit, to face and to conquer. In headline 3, the Actor-Subject-Theme is represented by an ellipsis and this requires the reader to fill this gap, which will promote, at the interactional level, greater access to the universe offered by the popular newspaper.
The effect of the social implicit evaluation in the headlines analyzed is also relevant. The main headline of the front-page " Galo falls in Horto Stadium and Championship Title Remains a Dream" refers to the defeat of one of the most popular winning soccer teams of Minas Gerais: Clube Atletico Mineiro, popularly known as Galo. Although humor is detected in the headline in question, there is an implicit negative social evaluation due to the defeat suffered by the team in its own stadium where many victories have been achieved. The Material Process "falls" represents the defeat of the team but, at the same time, symbolizes a team which is used to victories, what can be understood as the fall of a giant in its own territory.
Headline 2 presents negative social evaluation for an extremely negative and criminal social act: "... Kills his Wife with a Gunshot'. On the other hand, headline 3 presents implicit positive social evaluation and the female image is being offered to the male readers. Men, according to the prevailing social ideology, must take an active part in society.
The headlines analyzed in the second front-page also present the tendencies of the current media discourse pointed out by Fairclough (1995): democratization is linked to the high degree of informality used by the newspaper to interact with the readers; technologization is represented by the images and discursive resources used to reach a particular audience and this indicates that a market survey was conducted so that the newspaper could "speak the same language" of the idealized readers; and commercialization is responsible for the connection of all the elements already mentioned that contribute to the acceptance of the product by the readers. The number of ads that occupy the lower part of the composition reveals more multimodal elements. The products are placed in the field of the "Real" and this may indicate that price and products announced are within the purchasing power of the target audience.
The multimodal analysis of the elements that constitute the page reveals a strong emphasis given to the female image, the price and name of the newspaper, and the ads that help to compose the front-page to form a whole. The female image does not establish visual contact with the readers and this, as stated by Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), indicates an "act of offer", reinforcing the idea expressed by the headline "Must be in the mood". The female model occupies the upper right corner of the page, a position considered by Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) as the "New", denoting its prominence and importance in the whole context. The colors also contribute to give it prominence, making it a salient element and causing the eyes of the reader to be directed to the image of the woman without the other elements of the page being analyzed. The image is shown through a far social distance and low angle and this makes it more powerful to the readers.
Another important element in the multimodal analysis is the main headline "Galo falls in Horto Stadium and Championship Title Remains a Dream". It refers to the defeat of the Atletico Mineiro team for another important soccer Brazilian team, Corinthians, losing the leadership of the Brazilian championship and getting further away from the title of 2015. In the same page, there is still some information about Cruzeiro, the other popular team in Minas Gerais and Atletico's rival. This may represent a way to make the fans of the opposing team also identify themselves with the edition and, as a result, buy the newspaper. The headline about Cruzeiro says: "Allano recovers from injury, and Mano wants to have him as forward for the next Cruzeiro match." From a multimodal perspective, the information that occupies the center of the composition has a prominent value and centralizing it has the purpose to call the readers' attention to its high importance in specific contexts.
The newspaper name occupies the upper right corner and the price of the product (0.25 cents) is also emphasized, reinforcing the idea of popular product. The police story occupies the upper left corner and, according to Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), the information placed in this field indicates the "Given", that is, information already known by the reader. At the bottom of the page, some regional ads appear.
All elements of this front-page are linked by vectors, which have the function of presenting them more homogeneously, forming a coherent composition.
The aim of this article was to compare two front-pages of a popular newspaper called Super Noticia in order to identify how the linguistic elements and the images are connected and how they are used for the persuasion of the reader and transmission of prevailing ideologies in society.
The results of the analyses made on the two front-pages indicated that the newspaper combines more general tendencies of the current media with regional, cultural and specific aspects of the social classes to which the product is idealized. Among the tendencies, the democratization and the discursive technologization are used in the promotion of the commercialization of the product. The linguistic and multimodal elements were carefully chosen and combined to achieve the commercial aims.
The headlines are direct and require the reader to complete them with their prior knowledge, a way to provide more interaction between readers and the information or products announced on the front-pages of the popular newspaper.
On the other hand, the analysis of the images and colors chosen to compose the two front-pages reveals the maintenance of certain popular practices and ideologies related to gender issues, preservation of hegemonies and maintenance of dominant ideologies and stereotypes.
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Received in March 2017
Approved in August 2017
Leonardo Antonio SOARES *
* Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys (UFVJM), Faculty of Humanities. Diamantina--MG--Brazil. Professor. firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Term used in some Slavic theses of Semiotics of Culture, it is written by the Semioticists of the Tartu and Moscow schools. It refers to all events, ideas and objects which are not part of a given culture. Thus, everything that is not part of this culture corresponds to non-culture.
(2) "Natural products (rice, beans, ore etc.) are genres. Industrial products are specialties." (SANT'ANNA, 1982, p.28).
Leyenda: Figure 1--Front-page headline reads: "Tied Up to Utility Pole After Killing Ex-Wife" October 27
Leyenda: Figure 2--Front-page
Leyenda: Figure 3--Front-page 2--headline reads--"Galo Falls in Horto Stadium and Championship Title Remains a Dream". November, 02
Leyenda: Figure 4--Elements of front-page
Table 1--Processes/Participants Processes Participants Circumstances Material Joao sold his farm to his neighbor due to drought. Actor Goal Beneficary He walked through the wilderness. Actor Extension Behavioral The sertanejo moaned of agony while leaving. Behaver Behavior Mental He no longer believed in miracles. Senser Phenomenon Existential Drousht was real. in the northeast Existent of the country. Relational He was a retirante *. (a) Attributive: Carrier Attribute The retirante was a determined person. (b) Identifying: identified/token value * people that try to escape from the drought and death in the northeast of Brazil. They often move to more prosperous areas. Verbal He man told us horrible things about the drought. Sayer Receiver Verbiage Source: Adapted from Halliday (1994). Table 2--Appraisal Subsystems ENGAGEMENT (a) monogloss (no recognition of dialogistic alternatives) (b) heterogloss (recognition of dialogistic alternatives) ATTITUDE (a) Affect (un)happiness (in)security (dis)satisfaction (b) Judgment Social Normality [frequent/rare] Esteem Capacity Tenacity Social Veracity (truth) Sanction Propriety [ethics] (c) Appreciation Reaction (impact): [Does it captivate me?] Reaction (quality): [Do I like it ?] Composition (balance): [Did it hang together?] Composition (complexity): [Is it hard to understand?] Valuation [Was it worthwhile?] GRADUATION (a) Force Increases [completely devastated] Decreases [slightly upset] (b) Focus Up-scaled [a real police officer] Down-scaled [about four people] Source: Adapted from Martin (2000, p.56). Table 3--Means of activating appraisal Inscribed (explicit) The children were talking loudly. Evoked (implicit) The children talked while he was teaching. (Tokens) Implied provoked The teacher was already in the classroom, (some kind of evaluative but he children kept talking. language) Source: Adapted from Martin (2000, p.56). Table 4--Categories of analysis Linguistic Systemic-Functional Appraisal Slogans Images Multimodality Discoursive Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA): ideology, hegemony e trends in contemporary media discourse Source: Author's elaboration. Table 5--Main headline METAFUNCTION (Ellipse) Tied up to utility pole Ideational Actor Process: Circumstance: Material place Interpessoal Subject Finite+ Complement predicator Appraisal Positive Appreciation Textual Theme Rheme METAFUNCTION (Ellipse) after ex-wife killing Ideational Actor Process Goal Material Interpessoal Subject Finite + Complement predicator Appraisal Negative Appreciation Textual Theme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 6--Headline 2 METAFUNCTION Searching for bi (championship) Ideational Process: Material Goal Interpessoal Finite + predicator Complement Appraisal Positive appreciation Textual Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 7--Headline 3 METAFUNCTION Man kills ex-wife's by stabbing. boyfriend Ideational Actor Process: Goal Circumstance: Material manner Interpessoal Suject Finite + Complement predicator Appraisal Negative appreciation Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 8--Headline 4 METAFUNCTION Journalist denounces death threat Ideational Sayer Process: Verbal Verbiage Interpessoal Suject Finite + predicator Complement Appraisal Positive appreciation Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 9--Headline 5 METAFUNCTION Impaired may do new tests. candidates Ideational Actor Modal: Process: Goal probability Material Interpessoal Suject Finite + predicator Complement Appraisal Positive appreciation Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 10--Headline 6 METAFUNCTION Bacon, ham can cause cancer. and saussage Ideational Actor Modal: Process: Goal probability Material Interpessoal Suject Finite + predicator Complement Appraisal Negative appreciation Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 11--Main headline METAFUNCTION Galo falls in Horto Stadium Ideational Actor Process: Circumstance: Material place Interpessoal Suject Finite + Complement predicator Appraisal Negative Appreciation Textual Theme Rheme METAFUNCTION and reamins a dream championship tittle Ideational Actor Process: Circumstance: Material place Interpessoal subject Finite + Complement predicator Appraisal Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 12--Headline 2 METAFUNCTION 89 year- kills his wife with a gunshot old man Ideational Actor Process: goal Circumstance: Material manner Interpessoal Suject Finite + Complement predicator Appraisal Negative appreciation Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration. Table 13--Headline 3 METAFUNCTION Ellipsis (you) Must be in the mood. Ideational Actor Process: Material Goal Interpessoal Suject Finite + predicator Complement Appraisal Positive appreciation Textual Theme Rheme Source: Author's elaboration.
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|Title Annotation:||articulo en ingles|
|Author:||Soares, Leonardo Antonio|
|Publication:||Alfa: Revista de Linguistica|
|Article Type:||Ensayo critico|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2017|
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