A Pragmatic Approach to British and American Entertainment and Celebrity News Reports

Abstract

Entertainment news reports are composed of news stories of interest taken from the entertainment industry, about filming and television projects, interviews with actors, musicians and other entertainment personalities and entertainment newsmakers. This type of news aims at amusing the audience and entertaining them by incorporating human interest stories about celebrities’ lives in addition to their activities. Despite the pervasive interest in this type of genre, it has not been thoroughly investigated from a pragmatic standpoint. Consequently, this paper endeavors to pinpoint the pragmatic aspects of the language utilized in British and American entertainment and celebrity news reports. Precisely, this work sets itself the task of answering the following question: what are the pragmatic aspects of this kind of discourse? Accordingly, the study aims at identifying the most prevalent pragmatic aspects utilized in the manufacturing of entertainment and celebrity news reports and finding the interdifferences between British and American news reports of this kind. In accordance with these aims, it is hypothesized that entertainment and celebrity news reporters exploit certain pragmatic techniques such as presupposition, allusion, and conversational implicature to achieve their ultimate goal of attracting as many viewers as possible. In order to achieve the aims of this paper and test its hypothesis, a model is developed for the analysis of the data under scrutiny. Besides, a statistical method represented by the percentage equation is utilized for calculating the findings of analysis. The analysis is conducted on five British news reports retrieved from the BBC online Entertainment & Arts news (bbc.com), and five news reports retrieved from the American TV show Entertainment Tonight (etonline.com). The findings of the analysis verify the above hypothesis in that entertainment news reporters exploit presupposition, allusion, and conversational implicature to help them attract the attention of the audience and take the news report out of its usual frame of boredom into being more interesting, amusing, and entertaining.

Keywords: Cooperative Principle, Entertainment and celebrity news reports, Implicature, allusion, pragmatic aspects, presupposition


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 29-50 (Download PDF)

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