Building the media picture of a city: the method of frame analysis
The article is written in the framework of cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis and frame theory. A frame is defined as a deep conceptual structure containing information about the world. The transmission of this information is achieved through language, such as words, sentences, texts. This process is known as frame activation. The relation between close notions of frame and concept is discussed. With the help of linguistic analysis of media texts there proposed a typology of six contextual macro frames constituting the media picture of a single city. The classification can be characterized as thematic. Our interest lies in the positioning of the city in the federal media which is the data for our study. It permits to outline a general city image among wide audience. In the course of our work, we compiled a special-purpose corpus of 9,500 selected news texts from the past twenty years, which helped us to obtain a fairly consistent media picture. The research clarifies that the positioning of a city in the media represents an accentuated ideological communication with a hidden and not strong speech influence where framing is realized as a means of constructing the reality. Framing of social issues is carried out through a wide range of linguistic tools: lexical units with positive or negative connotations, set expressions, metaphors, epithets, syntactical constructions, various expressive and stylistic means. A frame conveys characteristics of a problem, possible reasons, predominant assessment and possible solutions. Framing of the urban social problems results in constructing certain meaning systems and images which are described in this paper. Apart from relevance for linguistics, frame analysis of urban environment is viewed as promising studies to improve journalism as a social institution.