A rhetorical approach to news discourse: Media representations of a controversial study on 'reparative therapy'


In this paper, concepts from rhetorical theory and discourse analysis are combined to illustrate an approach to analyzing news discourse, particularly about controversial science. Specifically, it is shown how macro-news frames and micro-linguistic choices in news texts combine to accomplish the rhetorical goal of demarcating good science from bad science by creating presence for certain interpretations of the news story and by using specific lexical choices motivated by topoi derived from an idealized vision of science. This framework is applied to news discourse about a psychiatric study of Separative therapy' for homosexuality. © 2005 Western States Communication Association.

Publication Title

Western Journal of Communication