Idolatry versus authenticity: a lexical and systemic-functional analysis of the coverage of the World Youthe Day 2005 in the Flemish press
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Journal of Arab & Muslim media research. - Bristol
, p. 183-202
University of Antwerp
This article investigates the way (catholic) religion and youth are represented in different Flemish newspapers. The case of World Youth Day (WYD) 2005 offers a well-defined corpus, which is very suitable for an analysis of the discourse on religion, youth and media. Based on a linguistic analysis of the corpus, we have been able to describe the representation given to the WYD, of the presence of the pope and of the young participants. It turns out that, although the coverage is on the whole very precise, it shows remarkable patterns of inconsistency. On the one hand, most newspapers overemphasize the meaning of the presence of the pope at the WYD in relation to the overall meaning of the event. But this idolatry does not correspond with the view of the Flemish participants, who also get a lot of attention and who are represented in an authentic way. Furthermore, in a number of cases, the journalists revert to presuppositions and stereotypes in their representation of the event.