DOI: 10.3390/journalmedia5010023 ISSN: 2673-5172

Linguistic Analysis of News Title Strategies in Media Frame—A Case Study of “The Mueller Investigation” in the News Titles of The New York Times and Fox News

Hairuo Wang
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription
  • Medical Terminology

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation had been investigating the relationship between Russian agents and members of Trump’s presidential campaign since July 2016 out of suspicions that the President-elect worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which became a major news event in American media. The headlines from news media outlets illustrate the strategic use of language to shape opinions and frames. Conducted with the tools of System Functional Linguistics, in particular, the appraisal and ideation resources, based on the framing theory of Journalism Studies, this research aims to answer the two research questions: (1) What frames did The New York Times and Fox News construct in their coverage of the Mueller investigation? (2) What linguistic strategies did The New York Times and Fox News use respectively to construct their frames? It was found that The New York Times uses fewer evaluative tools than Fox News, but the expression of attitudes draws on the context in which they are presented and evaluation is expressed in a more sophisticated and refined manner. Fox News is more straightforward without hiding its own opinion and biases. This research is important in further understanding of the American media and their linguistic strategies in forming manipulative frames.