THE SOUTH WALES ARGUS AND CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS OF GWENT.

David Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper arose and was further developed from post-graduate research (PhD 2006). The overall aim of the research was to critically engage and assess how the South Wales Argus, a local/regional newspaper in Newport, Gwent, South Wales reproduces the ‘idea’ of Gwent through the cultural production of representations in local news discourse. The research was mainly conducted by two separate methods of analysis. The significance of the research is that it argues that cultural representations presented as news within the South Wales Argus are effectively ‘survival strategies’ that are produced to maintain a monopolistic market position in Gwent and that cultural representations are also the ideological product of the paper’s perceptions of a Gwent community. The paper explains how cultural representations are market strategies and that cultural representation is also a product of myth in the sense that Roland Barthes forwarded. It outlines the history of Gwent – changing its name to Monmouthshire in the 16th century and back to Gwent in 1974 – and outlines how the Argus plays upon cultural memory in a Welsh-historical context by actively pursuing and producing an ‘imagined geography’ as detailed in Edward Said’s 1998 work in Orientalism. This is based on the paper’s perception of the ‘Gwent’ community in spite of the fact that ‘Gwent’ as an actual geographical area today does not exist in any real form, and is equally an attempt to persuade the audience of a Gwent reality via cultural production. News Discourse Analysis of data and application of theoretical frameworks found that the language used and the way news was framed by the Argus was evidence of a manufactured construct based on myth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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