Научная статья на тему 'Cognitive strategies of impact in media discourse'

Cognitive strategies of impact in media discourse Текст научной статьи по специальности «СМИ (медиа) и массовые коммуникации»

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Ключевые слова
strategies of impact. / discourse / mass media / cognitive mechanisms

Аннотация научной статьи по СМИ (медиа) и массовым коммуникациям, автор научной работы — Issina Gaukhar Ilikeshevna, Kondratyeva Yuliya Taguirovna

The article investigates cognitive strategies of impact in contemporary press in order to identify the most effective mechanisms of influence on recipient in media discourse. The cognitive approach has received a great popularity in the realm of media discourse study: due to its mediator role mass media do not simply reflect or mirror the events of reality but rather create a new reality through interpretation processes. The research was carried out on the base of material taken from the news broadcasts on Eastern and Western channels.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Cognitive strategies of impact in media discourse»

Cognitive strategies of impact in media discourse

Obviously, one can observe hill-shaped tombs in areas where lived Turks and they were calling such kind of graves as “kurgan”. The meaning of kurgan is the grave of khan and these tombs were recognized as “Scythian kings’ tombs” and were scattered over Eurasian territories. Ancient Turks used to bury their kings or glorified heroes with their own jewellery, welfare things and even with their horses as well.

A tomb which was discovered in south-eastern Kazakhstan, the Issyk kurgan, belonging to the king namely “Golden dress” describes the culture of Sak-Turks.

In Europe people were making cremating procession and it was the same in Scandinavia. The first history of

Kurgan tradition starts with the funeral of the king Freyr which was mentioned in the book named “The Earth” contained of Nordic sagas. However funeral ceremonies are very conservative rites and not all Scandinavians were happy with this new method. After his death the king of the Danes was buried alongside with all his fight equipment, personal items and horse according to his will. This leads to the beginning of the age of Kurgans in Denmark.

Despite, Norwegians and Swedes continued to cremate corpses; the last funeral episode in “Beowulf” expresses the elements of both ceremonies in it. This echoes the mutual bond of two different cultures and their being in synthesis not in opposition.


1. The Book of Dede Korkut.//[Electronic resource]. - Available from: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Book_of_ Dede_Korkut.

2. Beowulf (dual-language ed.). - New York: Doubleday, 1977.

3. Sturluson Snorri. The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology, translated by Jean I. Young. - University of California Press, 1964.

4. Гуревич А. Я. История и сага. - М.,1972.

5. Мельникова Е. А. Англосаксонское общество в истории и эпосе. - М.,1987.

6. Хазанов А. М. Социальная история скифов. - М.,1975.

7. [Electronic resource]. - Available from: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/598/598-h/598-h.htm.

8. After the Flood by Bill Cooper.//[Electronic resource]. - Available from: http://www.ezekielwatch.com/por-tal/69/resources/aftertheflood.pdf.

Issina Gaukhar Ilikeshevna, Karaganda State University, Kazakhstan, Doctor of Philology, the Faculty of Foreign languages

E-mail: g.issina@mail.ru Kondratyeva Yuliya Taguirovna, Karaganda State University, postgraduate student, the Faculty of Foreign languages E-mail: juliavip4@yandex.ru

Cognitive strategies of impact in media discourse

Abstract: The article investigates cognitive strategies of impact in contemporary press in order to identify the most effective mechanisms of influence on recipient in media discourse. The cognitive approach has received a great popularity in the realm of media discourse study: due to its mediator role mass media do not simply reflect or mirror the events of reality but rather create a new reality through interpretation processes. The research was carried out on the base of material taken from the news broadcasts on Eastern and Western channels.

Keywords: discourse, mass media, cognitive mechanisms, strategies of impact.

An address to the field of media discourse is caused by its core position in the discursive space of public communication: it penetrates into all types of institutional and everyday discourse because of its thematic variety and genre originality.

The cognitive approach has received a great popularity in the realm of media discourse study: due to its mediator role mass media do not simply reflect or mirror the events of reality but rather create a new reality through interpretation processes (media channels,


Section 11. Philology

ideological perspectives, cultural specifics). The information-oriented society, linguistic world image, ideology, and culture have become the basic concepts at the cognitive level of media texts study.

Media discourse is considered as any kind of discourse, implemented in the field of mass communication produced by the media. So we can speak about political, religious, educational and other media discourse, implying that these types presuppose a relatively stable set of practices of production, transmission and interpretation of media.

The authors interpret media discourse as a thematically focused, socially conditioned speech-thinking activity in the mass media space. The principal difference of this type of discourse is that in addition to the production of certain knowledge, objects’ assessment and their images it creates understanding of the ways of knowledge transmission. In other words, the central subject of media discourse is not so much, for example, political processes, as the ways of describing and transmission of knowledge about them. In this sense, the media discourse is eminently intermediary activity.

The purpose of the article is to investigate the cognitive mechanisms of political information coverage and representation by Russian and Western mass media. The research was carried out on the base of material taken from the news broadcasts on Russian (Russia 24, First Channel) and Western (BBC, CNN) channels.

It is difficult to argue the assertion that media texts do not only passively reflect the reality but actively mold, create it. It is a collective effort of mass media to create and actively impose on us an imaginative representation of reality. Media provide us with the opportunity to perceive this world as an image through a multifaceted complex of directly or unintentionally induced emotions, feelings, impressions.

All methods of influence related to the interpretation of an event, an image or a situation can be reduced to two cognitive strategies — “intensification" and “downplaying” [1]. Their essence is to dose the quantity and quality of information on any object of reality. Intensification strategy implies “bulging” of others’ flaws and their merits; the strategy of downplaying’ is a muting of their shortcomings and merits of others, which is achieved due to defaults on some undesirable aspects. This view is supported by the performance of the US President Barack Obama, who said at the end of his speech after winning the presidential election in 2012, “God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth".

This message carries the ideological code of “American exceptionalism”. The Quotation “The greatest nation on Earth” caused a flurry of both positive and negative emotions, and has proven so popular among British and American journalists, thus effectively becoming a political (ideological) cliche.

As a result of the study, it was found that Russian and Anglo-American media have different interpretations of the events in Ukraine. The method of content analysis allowed to find out that Russian news channels and political talk shows often use the term “information war”, while the Anglo-American media use the term “proxy war”.

Online Oxford dictionary defines it as follows: proxy war is a war instigated by a major power which does not itselfbecome involved [2]. Proxy wars have also been fought alongside full-scale conflicts. It is almost impossible to have a pure proxy war, as the groups fighting for a certain nation usually have their own interests, which can diverge from those of their patron. Typically proxy wars function best during cold wars, as they become a necessity in conducting armed conflict between at least two belligerents while continuing cold warfare. Proxy wars were common in the Cold War, because the two nuclear-armed superpowers (the Soviet Union and the United States, and to some extent, China) did not wish to fight each other directly, since that would have run the risk of escalation to a nuclear war (see mutual assured destruction). Proxies were used in conflicts such as Afghanistan, Angola, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Russian media use, in the authors’ opinion, a more restrained expression (“information war”), so as not to disturb the audience and not to remind of the Cold War. In this case, “downplaying” strategy is applied. Anglo-American media, on the contrary, use the cognitive strategy of “intensification”. Operating with the terms “proxy war”, “pro-Russian militants”, “pro-Russian separatists”, “pro-Russian rebels”, they aim to unite the nation in the face of a common “enemy”.

The recent Western reports also feature such title as “The War of Words” which bears a strong resemblance to the title of a scientific fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells “The War of the Worlds”. In our humble opinion this play on words is used as an allusion to two superpowers’ current tension and serves well the intensification cognitive strategy.

While considering the recent demonstrations and turmoil in Ukraine in 2013-2014, the Euromaidan, they were widely broadcast by the majority of Western networks including overall government corruption, abuse


Cognitive strategies of impact in media discourse

of power, the violent dispersal of protesters, freedom of speech and human rights violation in Ukraine, etc. However, the amount of information has been reduced recently or the undesirable facts are withheld altogether,

i. e. indiscriminate attacks (shell-fire) on civilian areas of the South-Eastern Ukraine regions by government forces, consequent civilian casualties, humanitarian crisis, human rights abuses such as illegal detention, torture and ill-treatment, derogatory Garbage “lustration”, total breakdown of law and order by Right Sector, repeated ceasefire violations. The attention of western viewers was switched to other local or world scale problems, i. e. Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, an extremist, jihad-ist rebel group The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS), the Ferguson protests, Paris terror attacks. They were extensively broadcast.

Russian media and the militants themselves referred to the Ukrainian transitional government in Kiev as the “Bandera Junta”, referencing the Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera, and also as “fascist”, and “nationalist”. Andrew Higgins in his article “In Ukraine, Russia Plays a Weighted Word Game” published in The New York Times on 16 April, 2014, claims that: “The divide between Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking East and its Ukrainian-speaking West has bedeviled the country since its independence in 1991. The two sides have different churches, different cultures and different heroes, with nationalist fighters like Stepan Bandera hailed in the west as great patriots but reviled in the east as fascist monsters” [3].

In our opinion this divide has a longer prehistory. It all started after World War II when occupied Western territories switched sides and started to fight for Nazi Germany to gain Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian East with closer ties to the Soviet Union felt betrayed and could hardly ever forget.

In the Ukrainian media “Colorado beetle” (Ukrainian: kolorads’kyy zhuk) was used as a derogatory word for the pro-Russian demonstrators and militants, in reference to the Ribbon of St. George they wore. In Western media, there is a special interpretation of this expression. Daisy Sindler, for example, in her article “What’s Orange and Black and Bugging Ukraine?” connects this expression to the imperialist conspiracies and foreign invasions: «It’s not just the ribbons that have Ukrainian loyalists drawing parallels with Colorado beetles. For post-Soviet citizens, the unloved, destructive insects are also synonymous with imperialist plots and foreign invasions. The bugs — which reportedly originated in the U. S. state of Nevada, not Colorado — first appeared on Soviet territory in the wake of World War II, when they

were believed to have been unwittingly transported to Europe alongside American troops. The Warsaw Pact countries, fearing a food shortage, decried the voracious outsiders as a CIA plot to destroy Soviet agriculture. Officials launched a region-wide campaign to wipe out the beetle, villainizing them in propaganda posters and pulling schoolchildren from class to gather the bugs and drown them in buckets of benzene or spirit» [4]. Thus, it is evidently seen how the strategy of discrediting is successfully implemented. This is due to the fact that Western countries do not recognize the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum and call a voluntary integration of the Crimea to Russia as «Russian aggression and annexation of Crimea».

Russian media keep on covering the civil war casualties and hardships of the fraternal people of Ukraine. Hardly ever a single news broadcast is devoid of reports from the front, besides, as a rule this coverage makes a headline, which implies the importance and top priority of these data. Hence, this information has a certain meaning, a code, if you want: “We are not indifferent to your fate, we feel related”. And this is meant not only for the Russian viewers, but also for Ukrainian few who still carry on watching Russian channels via satellite television.

No wonder it is hard or even impossible to break one’s world image, to persuade someone in the opposite because we are raised in a certain community with a definite ideology and perception of the world. Collective consciousness has roots in our families, ancestors, i. e. family history, hence, it is deeply engraved in our minds.

The authors conclude that media representations differ because of the collective consciousness, world-image and national ideology of various counterparties. And that is where the problem of truth arises. We consider that there is no such thing as absolute truth, everyone has his/her own truth or perspective, i. e. what you believe in, and it is hard or even impossible to change one’s world view because we are raised in a certain community with a definite ideology and perception of the world. Collective consciousness is deeply engraved in our minds because of family history, upbringing, and propaganda. It is in vain to try to break one’s world image, and it is no use to persuade someone in the opposite.

In the surreptitious realm of world politics a common person is often puzzled or even at a loss what to make out of what is going on. That is when media conveniently come to help and interpret the events to mold public opinion. The mass media impose the dominant ideology on the rest of society, and the connotations of words and images are fragments of ideology that perform an


Section 11. Philology

unwitting service for the ruling elite. The antagonism of East and West is the objective reality, whereas mass media is a tool in hands of politicians to win the hearts and minds of the majority.

The phenomenon of discourse between various societies is not only an external function, but the basis for the existence and development of these societies themselves. The analysis of discourse of this kind is

particularly relevant today, when such concepts as history of the world, global economic and political processes, and human values have become reference points of human being. Mutual understanding is possible only under the condition of recognizing the rights of others (the man, ethnos) for being the subject of other values at the level of concrete representation and at the same time, the bearer of universal values and senses.


1. Larson Ch. U. Persuasion: reception and responsibility./Ch. U. Larson. Wadsnorth Publishing Company. -Belmont, Ca, 1995.

2. [Electronic resource]. - Available from: http://www.oxfordlanguagedictionaries.com.

3. Higgins A. In Ukraine, Russia Plays a Weighted Word Game./The New York Times. - 16 April 2014.

4. Sindelar D. What’s Orange And Black And Bugging Ukraine?/Voice ofAmerica. - 28 April 2014.

Karova Tanzilya Djamalovna, municipal educational institution «Gymnasium № 28»,

the city of Nalchik, the teacher E-mail: karova_1979@mail.ru

Classification of antonyms by the degree opposites in Karachay-Balkar language

Abstract: The article is devoted to the study and classification of antonyms, depending on the degree opposites of their values. It is noted that between the members of binary oppositions the opposition ofvalues can be expressed in different degrees, indicating full or partial contrast.

Keywords: antonyms, degree of oppositions, binary oppositions, a complete contrast, partial contrast.

Карова Танзиля Джамаловна, муниципальное казенное общеобразовательное учреждение «Прогимназия № 28», город Нальчик, преподаватель E-mail: karova_1979@mail.ru

Классификация антонимов по степени противоположности в карачаево-балкарском языке.

Аннотация: Статья посвящена изучению и классификации антонимов в зависимости от степени противоположности их значений. В ней отмечается, что между членами бинарных оппозиций противопоставленность значений может выражаться в разной степени, обозначая полный или частичный контраст.

Ключевые слова: антонимы, степень противоположности, бинарные оппозиции, полный контраст, частичный контраст.

При исследовании антонимов карачаево-балкарского языка, наряду с другими критериями, следует учитывать тот факт, что не все бинарные оппозиции имеют одинаковую степень противоположности. Актуальность статьи определяется значимостью изучения нетождественности противоположных отношений между компонентами антонимических

оппозиций в карачаево-балкарском языке. Признак, по которому противопоставлены пары антонимов, может проявляться в разной степени. «Одни слова в большей степени приспособлены в языке для выражения антонимических функций, другие — в меньшей, третьи — совсем не приспособлены для этого» [1, 103]. В зависимости от степени


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