Ageism Traits in the Media Image of Older Persons

https://doi.org/10.17721/2522-1272.2021.79.1

UDC 007:004.738.5:316.773.4-053.88

Nadiya Balandina,  Doctor of Philology, Professor, Department of Information Activity and Media Communications, Odesa Polytechnic State University
Corresponding author’s e-mail address: balandina.n.f@op.edu.ua
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6933-838X

Olena Pankevych, PhD (Pedagogical Sciences), Associate Professor, Department of Information Activity and Media Communications, Odesa Polytechnic State University
Corresponding author’s e-mail address: o.o.pankevych@op.edu.ua
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3157-3349

ABSTRACT

The article represents the ageism image of older persons, constructed by the Ukrainian media, establishes its components, which are ranked by frequency of use, and also discloses the intentions of mediator of news content. The empirical base of the study was a sample of 296 news messages marked with the sign of ageism and published by the Ukrainian online media during 2020. Ageism meanings were detected at the level of individual lexemes, phrasemes, and broad contexts – the texts or their fragments. The analysis of the sample showed that among 296 news ageism-related messages, the largest group consisted of those that constructed the image of a victim (in total, 75 such messages were found, which amounted 24.4%), then – the image of offender and criminal (44 messages were found that was 14, 3%), a sign of aggressiveness was presented in 40 articles – 13%; respectively, poverty – in 31 articles – 10.1%, unattractiveness – in 23 articles – 7.5%, inadequacy – in 18 materials – 5.9%, disorientation in space – in 15 materials – 4.9%, carelessness – in 15 articles – 4.9%, corruption – in 14 articles – 4.6%, selfishness – in 9 articles – 3.1%, weakness – in 8 articles – 2.7%, loneliness – in 7 articles – 2.3%, hypertrophied thrift – in 7 articles – 2.3% accordingly. The media image of older persons as victims, offenders, with signs of aggressiveness, poverty, unattractiveness, inadequacy, disorientation in space, carelessness, venality, etc. is a manifestation of an unjustified negative attitude towards elderly people, as well as a kind of reflection of communicative priorities of modern mediator and his/her interest in the generation aged 60 and older. Thus, it related to an artificially constructed media reality, the information about which comes from market imperatives, the need to evoke a strong emotional reaction, to take the audience out of an inert state, to excite, and ultimately to increase the number of views.

KEYWORDS: ageism; older persons; media image; the news; media.

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