Was it merely contentious or were there casualties?

Metaphorical Framing in Local and International News Reporting

  • Jill Hallett Northeastern Illinois University
  • Marta Degani University of Klagenfurt


This study investigates the role of metaphor in news reporting by focusing on one US event, the historic 2012 Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike and compares its coverage in local and international English-language news. We are particularly interested in finding out how a news story, like the CTU strike, with strong localised metaphorical discourses, can be presented to readers outside the local and national cultural speech communities. In this sense, the research also contributes to understanding how the media can affect the portrayal and reception of important social events by using metaphorical language in newspaper coverage. Employing a qualitative research approach of Discourse Analysis and drawing on Critical Metaphor Analysis (Charteris-Black 2004), a particular focus is put on salient metaphor use across contexts (Goatly 2002) and on the role of reporters and news wire services in the presentation of facts. The findings indicate that both local and international news chiefly rely on two types of metaphor, journey and conflict. Notable differences were found in how the conflict metaphors were expressed in the two contexts.

Language and Linguistics: Results