“Together, we fight the virus”
An exploratory study of the use of metadiscourse in Hong Kong’s Chinese newspapers
Keywords:metadiscourse, persuasion, newspaper genres, freedom of press, self-censorship
This exploratory qualitative study was conducted in the summer of 2020 when Hong Kong people probably needed a substantial boost in their confidence in themselves, the government, and the future. Through the lens of metadiscourse, we investigated the way the city’s Chinese newspapers attempted the confidence boost in editorials and opinion columns – the two newspaper genres that are probably the most persuasive because of the inclusion and expression of the journalists’ and newspapers’ stance and ideologies. Drawing upon metadiscourse as the analytical framework, the article analyses the rhetoric of the discourse of 31 editorials and opinion columns extracted from five key Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong. The patterns of use of metadiscourse in the two genres have been identified. The roles played by Chinese newspapers that circulated in Hong Kong while the city was undergoing one of the hardest periods in its history are discussed.
Ädel, A. (2006). Metadiscourse in L1 and L2 English. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.24
Berns, N. (2004). Framing the victim: Domestic violence, media and social problem. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
Chan, J., & Li, F. (2007). Media and politics in post-handover Hong Kong: An introduction. Asian Journal of Communication 17(2), 127–133. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292980701306456
Chen, X. (2016). A comparative study of metadiscourse in Chinese and English news reports. Journal of Chongqing Jiatong University (Social Sciences Edition) 16(4), 115–123.
Cheng, W., & Lam, P. (2010). Media discourses in Hong Kong: Change in representation of human rights. Text & Talk 30(5), 507–527. https://doi.org/10.1515/text.2010.025
Cheng, W., & Lam, P. (2013). Western perceptions of Hong Kong ten years on: A corpus-driven critical discourse study. Applied Linguistics 34(2), 173–190. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/ams038
Crismore, A., & Farnsworth, R. (1989). Mr. Darwin and his readers: Exploring interpersonal metadiscourse as a dimension of ethos. Rhetoric Review 8(1), 91–112. https://doi.org/10.1080/07350198909388880
Dafouz-Milne, E. (2008). The pragmatic role of textual and interpersonal metadiscourse markers in the construction and attainment of persuasion: A cross-linguistic study of newspaper discourse. Journal of Pragmatics 40(1), 95–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2007.10.003
Ettema, J., & Glasser, T. (1998). Custodians of conscience. New York: Columbia University Press.
Flowerdew, J., & Leong, S. (2007). Metaphors in the discursive construction of patriotism: The case of Hong Kong’s constitutional reform debate. Discourse & Society 18(3), 273–294. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926507075476
Flowerdew, J., Li, D., & Tran, S. (2002). Discriminatory news discourse: Some Hong Kong data. Discourse & Society 13(3), 319–345. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926502013003052
Fu, X. (2012). The use of interactional metadiscourse in job postings. Discourse Studies 14(4), 399–417. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445612450373
Fu, X., & Hyland, K. (2014). Interaction in two journalistic genres: A study of interactional metadiscourse. English Text Construction, 7(1), 122–144. https://doi.org/10.1075/etc.7.1.05fu
Fung, A. (2007). Political economy of Hong Kong media: Producing a hegemonic voice. Asian Journal of Communication 17(2), 159–171. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292980701306530
Hackett, R., & Zhao, Y. (1994). Challenging a master narrative: Peace protest and opinion/editorial discourse in the US press during the Gulf War. Discourse & Society 5(4), 509–541. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926594005004005
Ho, V. (2018a). Exploring the effectiveness of hotel management’s responses to negative online comments. Lingua 216, 47–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2018.10.004
Ho, V. (2018b). Using metadiscourse in making persuasive attempts through workplace request emails. Journal of Pragmatics 134, 70–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.06.015
Ho, V. (2020). Do hotels enhance and challenge rapport with customers with the same degree of commitment? Journal of Pragmatics 166, 70–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2020.06.002
Hu, G., & Cao, F. (2015). Disciplinary and paradigmatic influences on interactional metadiscourse in research articles. English for Specific Purposes 39, 12–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2015.03.002
Huang, Q., & Xiong, Y. (2012). A comparative analysis of the use of metadiscourse in English and Chinese news commentaries. Foreign Language Research 1, 99–103.
Hyland, K. (1998). Exploring corporate rhetoric: Metadiscourse in the CEO’s letter. International Journal of Business Communication, 35(2), 224–244. https://doi.org/10.1177/002194369803500203
Hyland, K. (2000). Disciplinary discourses: Social interactions in academic writing. New York: Longman.
Hyland, K. (2001). Humble servants of the discipline? Self-mention in research articles? English for Specific Purposes 20(3), 207–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(00)00012-0
Hyland, K. (2005). Metadiscourse: Exploring interaction in writing. London, New York: Continuum.
Hyland, K., & Tse, P. (2004). Metadiscourse in academic writing: A reappraisal. Applied Linguistics 25(2), 156–177. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/25.2.156
Jensen, A. (2009). Discourse strategies in professional e-mail negotiation: A case study. English for Specific Purposes 28(1), 4–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2008.10.002
Ku, A. (2007). Constructing and contesting the ‘order’ imagery in media discourse: Implications for civil society in Hong Kong. Asian Journal of Communication 17(2), 186–200. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292980701306613
Le, E. (2004) Active participation within written argumentation: Metadiscourse and editorialist’s authority. Journal of Pragmatics 36(4), 687–714. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(03)00032-8
Lee, F., Chan, J., & So, C. (2004) Politics of objective journalism in China’s Hong Kong. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, USA, 27–31 May 2004.
Leung. L. (2019). Deconstructing the myths about intimate partner violence: A critical discourse analysis of news reporting in Hong Kong. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 34(11), 2227–2245. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260516660298
Li, F., & Lin, A. (2006). Newspaper editorial discourse and the politics of self-censorship in Hong Kong. Discourse & Society 17(3), 331–358. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926506062371
Li, T., & Wharton, S. (2012). Metadiscourse repertoire of L1 Mandarin undergraduates writing in English: A cross-textual, cross-disciplinary study. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 11(4), 345–356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2012.07.004
Martin, J., & White, P. (2005). The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230511910
Mu, C. (2010). A contrastive analysis of metadiscourse in Chinese and English editorials. Foreign Language Learning Teaching and Practice 4, 35–42.
So, C., & Chan, J. (2007). Professionalism, politics and market force: Survey studies of Hong Kong journalists 1996–2006. Asian Journal of Communication 17(2), 148–158. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292980701306506
Spencer-Oatey, H. (Ed.) (2008). Culturally speaking: Culture, communication and politeness theory. London, New York: Continuum.
Vande Kopple, W. (1985). Some exploratory discourse on metadiscourse. College Composition and Communication 36(1), 82–93. https://doi.org/10.2307/357609
Wozniak, J., & McCloskey, K. (2010). Fact or fiction? Gender issues related to newspaper reports of intimate partner homicide. Violence Against Women 16(8), 934–952. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210375977
Zhang, M., & Mihelj, S. (2012). Hong Kong identity and the press–politics dynamics: A corpus-assisted discourse study. Asian Journal of Communication 22(5), 506–527. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292986.2012.701315
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.