Evidentiality in American Media's Coverage of China-related Epidemics from the Perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis

Main Article Content

Hanyue Zhang


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the major public health events of the 21st century and has attracted global attention from the press since its outbreak. This research focused on the analysis of news coverage on the China-related epidemic by American media, aiming at revealing the features of evidentiality in the discourse and elucidating the underlying ideologies. This study can help news readers develop an objective and comprehensive understanding of China.

Methodology: This study selected 40 China-related epidemic news reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post during the pandemic. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the selected news were conducted through AntConc4.2.2 in light of Fairclough's (1992) three-dimensional model.

Results: The results of this study indicated the pervasive use of evidentiality in the coverage of the China-related epidemic by U.S. media, wherein distinct evidential markers demonstrated varying frequencies and served different functions. In terms of news sources, American media predominantly relied on hearsay evidentials to attribute information, thereby bolstering the credibility of the reports while subtly conveying a skeptical stance toward China. In terms of reporting modes, the reporting mostly used indirect discourse and employed deduction and induction evidentials to express negative attitudes toward China. All the results were highly related to the social context.

Conclusion: Generally, the research underscores the widespread incorporation of evidentials in news discourse, employed to specify or obscure sources of information. Furthermore, evidentials embed certain ideologies and attitudes, which may mislead readers.

Article Details

How to Cite
Zhang, H. (2023). Evidentiality in American Media’s Coverage of China-related Epidemics from the Perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis . Journal of Contemporary Language Research, 2(4), 181–191. https://doi.org/10.58803/jclr.v2i4.83
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