Conceptualization of Fear in the News About the Coronavirus


UDC  070:004.77:616-036.21:159.942

Conceptualization of Fear in the News About the Coronavirus

Pavlo Miroshnychenko, PhD. (philol. sci), Associate Professor Zaporizhzhia National University


The main objective of the study is to identify and to characterize the main verbal methods of conceptualization of fear in the Ukrainian-language Internet news about the coronavirus. A method of analysis of relevant scientific information on the research topic was used, which contributed to the development of its concept. The method of interpretation of sociological research data was used, the Ukrainian-language Internet news about coronavirus was monitored.

The concept of fear in the Ukrainian language consciousness is a complex cognitive structure that has a large number of components of sensory-emotional nature: fear, anxiety, disquiet. Fear is fixed in the language as a psychophysical condition, a person’s symptomatic reaction to danger, uncertainty, indeterminacy, therefore, it has a negative assessment. The conceptual analysis of the emoseme «fear» in the Ukrainian linguistic and cultural picture of the world postulates its connection with psychological lack of freedom. Mass media as the active agents of social development with all its dynamics, stagnation, crises and challenges are a powerful sociocultural factor of generating fear in the individuals and the communities. The media misuses the technique of “magic of numbers”, namely the expressively colored words (“victim”, “died”, “infected”, etc.) in the news headlines, which are primarily and usually uncritically perceived by the media consumer, without proper immersion in the body of news, without checking the message for reliability and accuracy. As a consequence, a poorly prepared text (according to professional journalistic and ethical standards) on extremely relevant social issues, multiplied by low media literacy and media criticism of the vast majority of mass audience, can become an excellent tool for misinformation and manipulation as well as shaping erroneous public opinion and touching off panic.

KEYWORDS: concept; fear; news; coronavirus; media literacy


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