Ecological Rhetoric: Topics of Newspaper Headlines

Keywords: ecology, rhetoric, topics, media, headlines


The media perform not only the function of information but also of ecological education: it forms the ecological identity of its target audience. The media help to present the topics of ecology, climate change, and sustainable development for the public in a more understandable and persuasive language. Also, the discourse of ecology in the media is bidirectional: it is created not only by the representatives of science and social actors but also by the media themselves, which form the concept of ecology in their desired direction. Rhetorical analysis of ecological discourse allows us to identify the components of this ecological worldview and to elucidate their mechanisms of persuasion and proof. The present research was focused on the logical and rhetorical topoi in the headlines of articles on ecology. The aim of this research was to identify and analyse ecological topics in headlines. The research material was analysed using the method of rhetorical discourse analysis, which allowed us to distinguish and define the categories of the research object. The method of rhetorical analysis was combined with critical discourse analysis that investigates real cases of social interaction in authentic media-broadcast persuasive discourse and their mechanisms of persuasion. The analysis of the headlines helped to identify the dominant logical topics, the recurring themes: sustainable development and consumption, climate change, environmental protection. The logical topics in the headlines is verbalised by a role model, example, cause and consequence, and novelty topoi.