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Get a Jab or Grab a Glass (of Wine): A Sentiment and Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of Reader Comments on News Story in the Daily Mail

Francesco Nacchia



The first lockdown had a positive impact on alcohol consumption, with wine becoming the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage. Although the belief that the immune system and viral resistance are boosted by alcohol was labelled as ‘myth’ by the World Health Organization, a later study gave evidence that red wine drinking provided protection from COVID-19 1. Based on these premises, this paper embraces a multi-disciplinary approach combining sentiment and corpus-assisted discourse analysis to explore news readers’ reactions to the news story as divulgated by the Daily Mail in a corpus of 454 online comments. Findings indicate that sarcasm and distrust are the most frequent feelings, along with a mainly negative sentiment associated with discourses concerning politics, the effectiveness of various substances in combating the virus and wine-making traditions. Also, insights into the role of readers’ role in affecting editorial policies are drawn.


corpus-assisted discourse analysis; COVID-19; reader comments; sentiment analysis; wine

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2023-002-nacf

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