Brand Jane - Finch: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Print Media Discourse on a Toronto Low Income Community

Haide T Hall
<span title="2008-05-01">2008</span> <i title="Zenodo"> Zenodo </i> &nbsp;
The theoretical frameworks of critical discourse analysis (CDA), framing and branding are fused in this study to create a variant framework through which news discourse on Jane-Finch, a low-income community in Toronto, Canada is filtered. The approaches of CDA, framing and branding intersect around language and power and are therefore beneficial for combining in any analysis that seeks to identify the socio-cultural influences on the text, such as the reiteration of dominant discourses within
more &raquo; ... e text. This research examined news articles selected from The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, two mainstream Canadian newspapers with the highest circulation. The news articles show that Jane-Finch is portrayed in a negative and stereotypical way by both newspapers. These findings support the view that news discourse is as ideologically-bound as other forms of discourse, despite claims to its objectivity. As a consequence of being ideologically-bound, a fundamental attribution error is enacted in news coverage on Jane-Finch, as coverage repeatedly attributed the problems in Jane-Finch to race and immigrants (internal factors) and ignored the more substantive contributing factors of discrimination, structural constraints, poverty and joblessness (external structural factors). More generally, the analysis shows that news about Jane-Finch tends to be negative and therefore obscures any positive developments in the community. Sustained repetition of the same news stories brands the community with a negative reputation and promotes a false stereotype of its residents. Not only is news capable of agenda-setting (bringing certain issues to the forefront), but in repeatedly showcasing issues the same way all the time, a 'branding effect' (similar to the process in corporate branding) is enacted. A 'domino effect' results in that negative branding of Jane-Finch affects property values, prevents educational and job opportunities for its residents and reduces economic development of the area. Ultimately, this can cause misrecog [...]
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