Exploring the metadiscursive realisation of incivility in TV news discourse

Jamie McKeown, Hans J. Ladegaard

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper examines the use of metadiscourse in the realisation of incivility in TV news discourse. We take empirical data from a UK Channel 4 News interview between TV journalist and author Cathy Newman and clinical psychologist and author Professor Jordan Peterson. Adopting a discourse analytic approach, five aspects of incivility are presented: intolerant response; ideological entrenchment; low oppositional literacy; the need to win; and, change of opinion condemnation. We show how metadiscourse is used to manifest incivility in a number of ways including to prioritise the current speaker's foci over those of the interlocutor; to express metalingual commentary which negatively characterises the interlocutor's discourse; and, to express discourse norms which undermine the open exchange of ideas. We conclude by suggesting recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100367
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalDiscourse, Context and Media
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Civil discourse
  • Incivility
  • Metadiscourse
  • Metadiscursive targets
  • TV news

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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