Explain how linguistic choices affect the representation of people and events. Does representation influence perception?.
"Representation-, to represent people and events, (Collins Dictionary). I shall look at how linguistic choices affect the representation of people and events. The way a story is headlined, the words the writer chooses to use to make the representation would directly influence the reader's perception of a particular person or event, as a reader, I know it influences me whether I realise it or not. We use the media for many different purposes; ultimately it is a way of gathering information be it for educational or entertainment purposes. To a large extent the media decide the significance of what happens in the world and the language they use to represent particular groups or describe newsworthy events usually provide the dominant ways available for the rest of us to talk about those groups and events' (Thomas 50). .
We rely upon the media, which includes, radio, TV, and newspapers, to inform us, to tell us the truth about any given situation or event taking place. They have the power to influence us in any given situation. If one of these happens to be your only source of knowing what is happening in the world you will assume that what you see, hear or read is going to be reliable. Back in 1938 CBS, in the U.S. did a radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds-, in the slot where they would normally have a play. Many listeners who turned in after the broadcast had begun were panicked and distressed. It appears that in 1940, Hadley Cantril and his colleagues noted that 1m out of the 6m listeners were severely frightened', they believed that the U.S. was to be invaded by Martians.
Although this was merely a piece of fiction read by the actor, Orson Welles, it was delivered in the format of an actual news programme and many of the audience came to accept the reality of a large number of events'.