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COVID-19 Crisis Management in Newspaper Articles: A Diachronic Analysis

Olga Denti



The present study focuses on how the COVID-19 crisis was dealt with and represented in newspaper articles in the period January 2020-February 2022. To this end, a corpus of articles was compiled from the Times using Sketch Engine (https://www.sketchengine.eu/), in order to manage and investigate the corpus quantitatively; discourse and genre analyses were applied for the qualitative approach. After providing a definition of the coronavirus timespan and the term crisis, the paper explores how the language used changed over successive periods of crisis management and communication (Coombs 2010). It also shows how the unpredictable development of the pandemic had an effect on communication flows, which in turn affected how the crisis unfolded. Different types of information were conveyed through the media that played a crucial role in selecting what to convey (and what not to convey) to the readers and how to represent it. This significantly contributed (and continues to contribute) to the development of the readers’ opinions and sentiments, fuelling their worries and feelings of uncertainty, weakness and risk (Denti 2021; Wodak 2021). Future research will focus on metadiscursive features and the changes in rhetorical persuasion (Hyland 2005), and on the politicisation of the crisis (Musolff et al. 2022; Thielemann and Weiss 2023).


communication phases; COVID-19; crisis management; DA; language development; news discourse; perceptions

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

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Call for papers Vol 11 (2024) No 1 - Discourses, Methods and Practices of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Towards a Global Shared Framework
Edited by Dr. Paola Catenaccio (Università degli Studi di Milano) and Dr. Fadia Nordtveit (Springfield College)

Authors have to read through the Information for Authors and the Author guidelines carefully before beginning the submission process. 
Deadline for papers submission: January 15th, 2024
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Final versione due by May 15th, 2024
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Call for papers Vol 11 (2024) No 2: “The Language of War: Lexicon, Metaphor, Discourse”
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Authors have to read through the Information for Authors and the Author guidelines carefully before beginning the submission process.
Deadline for papers submission: June 10th, 2024
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Lingue Culture Mediazioni - Languages Cultures Mediation
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (27/11/2013 n. 380)
Online ISSN 2421-0293 - Print ISSN 2284-1881

Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature, Culture e Mediazioni  
Università degli Studi di Milano

Editors-in-Chief: Paola Catenaccio (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Giuliana Garzone (IULM, Milano)
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International Scientific Committee: James Archibald (McGill University, Montreal) - Natalija G. Bragina (Institut Russkogo Jazyka im. A.S. Puškina; RSUH, Mosca) - Kristen Brustad (University of Texas at Austin) - Luciano Curreri (University of Liège) - Hugo de Burgh (University of Westminster) - Giuditta Caliendo (Université de Lille) - Giorgio Fabio Colombo (Nagoya University Graduate School of Law) - Daniel Dejica (Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara) - Anna De Fina (Georgetown University, USA) - Claudio Di Meola, (Sapienza Università di Roma) - Denis Ferraris (Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris) - Lawrence Grossberg (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) - Stephen Gundle (University of Warwick) - Décio de Alencar Guzmán (Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém,  Brasile) - Matthias Heinz (Universität Salzburg) - Rosina Márquez-Reiter (The Open University) - Samir Marzouki (Université de Manouba à Tunis) - (John McLeod, University of Leeds) - Estrella Montolío Durán (Universitat de Barcelona) - M'bare N'gom (Morgan State University, Baltimore) - Christiane Nord (Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences) - Daragh O'Connell (Cork University) - Roberto Perin (York University, Toronto) - Giovanni Rovere (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg) - Lara Ryazanova-Clarke (University of Edinburgh) - Françoise Sabban (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) - Kirk St.Amant (Louisiana Tech University, University of Limerick/University of Strasbourg) - Paul Sambre (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) - Srikant Sarangi (Aalborg University) - Junji Tsuchiya (Waseda University, Tokyo) - Xu Shi (Zhejiang University)
Section editors: Maria Matilde Benzoni, Università degli Studi di Milano (Modern history) - Paola Cotta Ramusino, Università degli Studi di Milano (Russian linguistics and translation) - Mario de Benedittis, Università degli Studi di Milano (Sociology) - Kim Grego Università degli Studi di Milano (English linguistics and translation) - Giovanna Mapelli, Università degli Studi di Milano (Spanish linguistics and translation) - Bettina Mottura, University of Milan (Chinese studies) - Mauro Giacomo Novelli, Università degli Studi di Milano (Contemporary Italian literature and culture) - Letizia Osti, Università degli Studi di Milano (Arab studies) - Maria Cristina Paganoni, Università degli Studi di Milano (English linguistics and translation) - Giuseppe Sergio, Università degli Studi di Milano (Italian linguistics) - Virginia Sica, Università degli Studi di Milano (Japanese studies)

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