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Title: Redefining trial by media : towards a critical-forensic linguistic interface
Author: Statham, Simon James
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 2872
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis applies critical linguistic perspectives and methodologies to reassess the participation of media discourses in the operation of criminal trails by jury in Great Britain and the United States. Trial by media has been traditionally perceived as an infrequent and high profile phenomenon which is regulated by statutes and conventions operational in these legal arenas. This research utilizes a critical-forensic interface, applying critical discourse analysis to media representations of crime alongside forensic discourse analysis of the linguistic renderings of the courtroom trial, to redefine trial by media as a systematic and routine process. The critical-forensic interface developed in this thesis reconceives the role of the media in the courtroom on a Spectrum of Trial by Media. Trial by media is reshaped as three simultaneous processes by this restructuring. Direct Trial by Media analyses the theoretical function of courtroom jurors coveted for the 'community values' they bring to the trial process in light of critical awareness of the ideological operation of discourse in constructing and maintaining crimes for readers, who are also potential jurors. Enhanced Trial by Media combines a thorough forensic linguistic examination of the discursive vulnerability of jurors in court with critical discourse analysis of the media-made crimes which fill the resultant comprehension gap. Reinforced Trial by Media examines the language strategies of courtroom advocates in constructing crimes for jurors already reliant on these media- made pre-trial conceptualisations. This thesis establishes that media constructions of crime are present at varying levels of the trial process, demonstrating that the trial by jury system itself, as well as the specific linguistic and discursive renderings of the trial in court, and the participants herein, accommodate, enhance and reinforce the systematic process of trial by media.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available