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Discourse can be considered as an 'active relation to reality' Fairclough Fairclough 26 has delineated three characteristics of discourse which describe its operation within social life, as 'part of the action. Genres are significant because they provide a framework for an audience to comprehend discourse, though evidently due to this quality, 'genres' can be the locus of power, domination and resistance. Finally, 'styles' are the ways in which discourse is used to constitute a sense of being and identity, how identification is located through the application and manner of particular discourses.

Discourse is thereby a means of being and doing and the way this specific practice is understood and interpreted is demonstrative of a further three analytical elements of study; production, form and reception. The structure and relationship of these three and their interplay through political and cultural concerns develop the myriad of social effects of discourse Fairclough This social effect is dependent upon the audience accessing, comprehending, using and resisting this discourse. Discourse should not be considered in isolation; rather, discourses act upon and influence one another in an act of intertextuality.

This term concerns the way that specific discourses are understood only with reference to separate discourses. The Russian linguist Mikhail Bakhtin described this situation as 'dialogism', discourses referencing implicitly or explicitly other discourses as a further indication of the social life of discourse.

Bakhtin , stated that, 'the author has his own inalienable right to the word, but the listener also has his own rights, and those whose voices are heard in the word before the author comes upon it also have their rights. The subtle use of dialogism implied by Bakhtin is that discourses relate to other past forms of communication whilst foreseeing future modes of discourse.

Intertextuality or dialogism is a means by which discourse situates itself within a web of social, political and cultural concerns.

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The plethora of discourse however ensures that forms are always competing against one another for dominance, power and control after Foucault Within society certain discourses are more powerful than others. This is not to deny the power of agency within the reception of discourse, rather it reveals the subtle means by which agents make themselves into subjects through discursive features. In the US, Trump was made big, long before he became a presidential nominee.

Thanks to the media, there is no longer a big gulf between a silent majority and right-wing populist policies.

Discourse Politics: Media Bias and Public Debate

If attempting to integrate larger parts of the population and reach out to new markets, the media have not only eliminated the difference between information and rumor, but also serve as a tool for mass mobilization for right-wing populists. It is legitimate to argue that even without the media, right-wing populism would create its own public through the Internet, but this argument is overrated.

Statistically speaking right-wing populism and animosity toward refugees is strongest in older generations, which are not prime users of social media. Of course, the media alone are not responsible for right-wing populism; many political parties have contributed to its rise. However, the Politainment style of media carries substantial responsibility for the current challenges to liberal democracies in Europe and the United States. What are the potential remedies to this trap? I am afraid, simple appeals for more fairness and balance in news media will not suffice. Few journalists in Germany and in the rest of Europe are aware of these recommendations due to the weak influence of the EU on the policies of media outlets.

Regulations against hate speech will not help to solve the imbalances in media discourse because they tackle the wrong problems such as manifest ideological prejudices, and the loss of civility in public communication. These are problems prevalent on the Internet, but they are not the major developments in journalism.

EU recommendations can help if they are clearly phrased and if the initiatives are adopted by the self-regulating bodies of journalism. However, despite a workshop here and there, this type of work can hardly be seen in Western journalism. It is my personal conviction that simple appeals are no longer sufficient. Structural problems demand structural solutions. What is needed to defend liberalism is a real alliance of the political class with mainstream media and all big institutions encompassing academia, schools, and the economy.


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Dworkin We need substantial media critique, more academics as public intellectuals, and much more self-criticism on the side of the media. The co-responsibility of the media for right-wing populist trends in our societies is hardly debated. The media are often critical of those tendencies, but they have also magnified them by echoing nationalist drumbeats while ignoring the real important international debates. Postman The media should be held accountable for their share of the responsibility.

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The Media And The Public: "Them" And "Us" In Media Discourse by Stephen Coleman

Seib, P. Cambridge, U. Source: Wikimedia Commons, January 10, Those previous opinions may well have proven popular — perhaps especially if they were expressed in strident terms. Certain individuals thus build themselves up into brands: they become loved or loathed each is of equal value on Twitter based on the very predictability of what they are going to say. This can be lucrative. In the current example, if your brand has been built on your visceral dislike of Corbyn, then any sign of equivocation risks not only a charge of hypocrisy, but essentially a threat to your personal business model.

For the rest of us, it jeopardises self-esteem. And this is before we get on to the slew of icons and flags that so often accompany Twitter handles: what begins as an attempt to describe us can end up defining us.

The Media and The Public: ""Them"" and ""Us"" in Media Discourse

Most people are not on Twitter. Huge swathes of the population are blessedly detached from it. But politicians and journalists — who, despite everything, still wield great power — almost uniformly are, and so what happens there has a wildly disproportionate effect. It is tempting to place on Twitter much of the culpability for our polarised politics, and it would certainly be naive to view it as somehow neutral, like a parish noticeboard. Yet to blame the tech can be to abrogate our responsibility. We can lose sight of the fact that at the heart of all this are humans: weak, fragile, needy beings.

If we can see what social media is doing to us and how it is doing it, we can start to do things differently.