Role of the Media in the Quebec Language Portfolio

Type of resource
Role of the Media in the Quebec Language Portfolio
The author states that the journalistic reporting of language legislation of successive Quebec governments and the public reaction is known as the "language portfolio". The author identifies important differences in the treatment of the language portfolio between two prominent Montreal newspapers: the French language Le Devoir and the English language The Gazette. To explore the differences, the same three stories were chosen from each paper. Each article was subjected to a content analysis to quantify the portion of fact and opinion. Then the articles were analyzed to determine how ideas were treated. This was accomplished by considering the journalistic approach in both French and English. At the same time, common rhetorical features shared in the discourse of the two languages were categorized and their contents contrasted for the intended impact on the reader. The author points out that among these rhetorical features were openings and closures, quotations, vocabulary, and dramatic devices, including hyperbole and irony. While front page stories in both newspapers were essentially factual, there were varying amounts of opinion in The Gazette editorials (40-60%) and Le Devoir editorials (50-60%). Analyzing the journalistic approach and rhetorical features of the two languages revealed important differences in impact. Whereas The Gazette generally conveyed a message of "holding our own," the French paper conveyed a message of frustration that the majority view could not be respected.
Studies in Culture
Vol. 16
July 2000
Kirkwold, Lorne O. “Role of the Media in the Quebec Language Portfolio.” Studies in Culture Vol. 16 (July 2000): 1–27.
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