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Understanding News by John Hartley

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1  NEWS AS COMMUNICATION

But she only loves him because he’s got a Cortina

The Lambrettas

In the beginning

When we learn to speak, we learn much more than words. From the very beginning we use language not just to name things, but, more importantly, to work out how to behave towards other people and the world ‘out there’. For instance, together with the words ‘biscuit’ and ‘dog’ we may learn approval; similarly, together with the words ‘hot’ and ‘dirty’ we may learn not to touch the gas stove or that otherwise quite tempting object left behind by the cat. Even at this stage, we don’t only rely on our own sensations but also on what we’ve learnt in language as the way of organizing the world around us into some semblance of order. So when a close ...

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