The narrative of human suffering: using automated semantic tagging to analyse news articles and public attitudes towards the MH370 air tragedy

Theng Theng Ong*, Robert M. McKenzie, Maelle Amand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Narratives about death and loss require sensitivity and handling with care. However, the influence of the specific language employed within such narratives is not well understood. To help address this gap, this article details the findings of two complementary studies. Study 1 examined the ways in which the 2014 Malaysian Airline MH370 air tragedy is linguistically defined and constructed in a number of newspapers in Malaysia and the UK. Study 2 explored 50 Malaysian and 50 UK students’ attitudes towards the tragedy through the analysis of keyword responses. The findings of study 1 suggest an overall tendency within UK newspapers to construct simplistic binary classifications of ‘capable us’ and ‘incapable others’ whereas the Malaysian broadsheets frequently highlighted the Malaysian authorities’ expert management of the crisis. By contrast, both Malaysian and UK students’ attitudinal responses demonstrated a greater depth of emotional engagement with the tragedy through the use of affective language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Englishes
Early online date13 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jul 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The narrative of human suffering: using automated semantic tagging to analyse news articles and public attitudes towards the MH370 air tragedy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this