Types of Attitudes
The appraisal helps to determine positive and negative assessments, which are known to as attitudes. Attitude is also classified into three ‘regions of feelings’: (1) affect (emotions) (2) judgment (ethics) and (3) appreciation (aesthetics). According to Martin & White (2005, p. 55) effect is an attitude “concerned with registering positive and negative feelings” (for instance, happiness, sadness, anxiety, interest or boredom). More specifically, (1) affect is defined by Martin & White (2005, p. 55) as “dealing with resources for construing emotional reactions, feeling shocked because of a traumatizing event. For example, the David says “members of a new Gilded Age are again in control of many of the country’s most venerable media outlets.” This incident creates tension and anxiety
Furthermore, Martin & White (2005, p. 59) subdivide this attitude into three different categories: (a) affect as ‘quality’ (e.g., David feels concerned), (b) affect as ‘process’ and (c) affect as ‘comment’ (David decides to address the issue). (2) The judgment also defined by Martin and White (2005, p. 55) as an element that “deals with the attitude towards behavior, which we admire or criticize, praise or condemn.” Subsequently, it is concerned with “resources for assessing behavior according to various normative principles, for example, criticism of the Billionaires Can Seem like Saviours to Media Companies, but They Come with Risks. Martin & White subdivide judgment into two groups (2005, p. 65): (a) those dealing with ‘social esteem’ and (b) those regarding ‘social sanction.’ Judgments of esteem (criticism or admiration) have to do with ‘normality’ (how unusual someone is), ‘capacity’ (how capable they are) and ‘tenacity’ (how resolute they are); whereas judgments of social sanctions deal with ‘veracity’ (how truthful someone is) and ‘propriety’ (how ethical someone is). The third region of feeling is (3) appreciation. This attitude “involves evaluations of semiotic and natural phenomena.”
In other words, this attitude investigates how the author or speaker, for example, the perception of billionaires as taking advantage of the media outlets, evaluates certain events. Martin & White (2005, p.69) distinguish three categories within this attitude: (a) “our ‘reactions’ to things (do they catch our attention; do they please us? (b) Their ‘composition’ (balance and complexity), and (c) their ‘value’ (how innovative and authentic, timely.).”
One way to think about the latter two, judgment and appreciation, is to see them as “institutionalized feelings, which take us out of our everyday common sense world into the uncommon sense worlds of shared community values” (Martin & White 2005, p. 45). In further detail, this means that judgment stipulates the “ethics and morality of behavior” (how we should behave), while appreciation focuses on how we value things. The following illustration will clarify this image of judgment and appreciation as institutionalized affect.
One should also bear in mind that all types of attitudes can be expressed in both positive and negative ways. These distinctions can be made as follows: very sad, ver
Journalistic voices in media coverage
Distinguishing journalistic voices in written press coverage is relevant to this study in particular because these illustrate the degree to which authorial subjectivity or objectivity is present in the provided article. Martin & White (2005) stipulate that the nature of the text determine the respective presence or absence of evaluative and subjective elements. As such, the author will respectively resort to or refrain from lexical elements that reflect his or her personal opinion and beliefs. Martin & White (2005, p. 173) indicate that two main types of voices can be differentiated: reporter voice and writer’s voice. Reporter’s voice is synonymous to a factual and objective writing style, whereas the latter is more subjective and thus holds elements that are more emotive from the author. Writer’s voice is subsequently re-divided into correspondent voice and commentator voice.
A correspondent voice – in writing – is intended to ensure that an audience draws a vivid picture of a text as illustrated using various authorship styles and techniques. This voice is practically relevant when writing about a situation which requires real-time fine details of an event such as a political gathering or social movement. Martin & White (2005, p. 173) note that modern authors integrate graphic images to accompany textual facts obtained from a verified source. In this case, it is prudent to acknowledge that a correspondent voice is adequately interpreted as the images enable a fast understanding of the content being communicated to an audience.
A commentator voice in a piece of writing is reflected by content which assumes a direction similar to that of a spectator. In simpler terms, this type of voice provide information of an event or activity in which the author assumes a spectator role. Martin & White (2005, p. 173) indicate that commentator voice is characterized with highly descriptive words that illustrate the actual context of a scenario. For instance, commentator voice is common in news articles that report on sports news. In such a writing environment, this voice gives a clear analysis which evaluates and discusses the causes, effects and outcomes of an event or activity.
Martin, J.R. & White, P.R. (2005). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan