Title: To distort or not to distort: Comparative analysis of British and Bulgarian media discourse representations of fire disasters


Vol. 9(1), 2021, pp. 83-111.

DOI: 10.46687/SILC.2021.v09i01.005


Author: Ivaylo Gorchev

About the author: Ivaylo Gorchev is a PhD candidate at the Department of English Studies at Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree, major “English Philology” in 2001 and in 2018, he received his MA degree, major “English Philology – English Studies and Mass Communications” from the same university. The topic of his PhD thesis is “Analysis of the Bulgarian and the British media discourse on catastrophic events (a Comparative Study)”. He is currently a teacher of English at Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov Foreign Language School, Shumen. His interests include media discourse research on media objectivity and conceptual metaphors. He is also interested in foreign language teaching and music production.




Citation (APA style): Gorchev, I. (2021). To distort or not to distort: Comparative analysis of British and Bulgarian media discourse representations of fire disasters. Studies in Linguistics, Culture, and FLT, 9(1), 83-111. doi: 10.46687/SILC.2021.v09i01.005.




Abstract: Using a comparative approach and utilising a slightly refined version of a framework for discourse representation analysis used by Norman Fairclough, the article aims to study the discourse representations of the public inquiry of the Grenfell Tower Fire and a press conference of the railway carrier Bulmarket concerning the Hitrino train derailment and subsequent fiery explosion by the British and the Bulgarian media respectively, with the intent of identifying the extent of deviation from the original sources in the reporting texts and the use of devices for controlling the reader’s perception of the reported discourses. The research shows that the Bulgarian newspapers have adopted to a higher degree the position of interpreters between their readers and the reported sources, since they are less committed to represent the exact form of secondary discourse, even when demarcated as a verbatim quotation and tend to shape its perception by contextualising it within stylistic devices, which allow them to predispose its interpretation by their readers. However, even the British media commitment is not absolute in this respect, as instances of distortions of the secondary discourse and transmissions of the authority of the quoted sources in their texts are also observed, even though to a lesser extent.

Key words: discourse representation, primary discourse, secondary discourse, objectivity, CDA  



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