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Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)

Zeitschrift Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée
Volume (Issue) 98
Seite(n) 39 - 59
Titel der Proceedings Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée


This article aims to explain how newspapers commented on the movie Good Night, and Good Luck before its release. The media coverage anticipated George Clooney’s film as a partisan attack launched against George W. Bush’s policy since 9/11. Clooney advocates another reading: the historic confrontation between journalist Edward Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarty permits to reflect on the crucial role that the media play for democracy. Such reflection tries to prevent the dividing of the public sphere into antagonistic camps opposing “friends” to “foes,” a division that undermines the possibility of a true pluralism. Our socio-semiotic analysis will focus on the critical work accomplished by the media, and on the way that work determines the collective meaning of a cultural object. Simultaneously, we will discuss the necessary conditions for pluralism in a public sphere.