Globalised or Glocalized? A comparison of the linguistic features and actor representation of global news headlines in The Sun and Oriental Daily

Kenneth C. C. Kong (1)
(1) Department of English Language and Literature Hong Kong Baptist University , Hong Kong


By analyzing a corpus of newspaper headlines collected from the global news in Britain (from The Sun) and Hong Kong (from Oriental Daily) during a two-month period in 2009, this paper aims to identify the relative influence of globalization on the discursive practices of news writing in the two countries/regions. English news headlines, usually configured in short phrases, tend to present events as humorous or dramatic adventures through the deployment of imagined quotations, informal words, and creative sound effects such as rhyme and alliteration, whereas Chinese news headlines make greater use of complete sentences and rarely feature quotations or sound effects. In addition to these different linguistic realizations of headlines, actor representation in British newspapers is also found to be more ‘globalized’ with less focus on ‘others,’ whereas Hong Kong’s Chinese-language newspapers appear to provide greater distance from globalization by positioning international actors as ‘others.’ It is argued here that the use of humorous and adventurous voices in English news and the more frequent representation of global actors as ‘others’ in Chinese news are simply different strategies aimed at achieving the same goal of distancing global actors from the local.

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Kenneth C. C. Kong (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Kenneth C. C. Kong, Department of English Language and Literature Hong Kong Baptist University

Kenneth C. C. Kong is teaching and researching discourse analysis, multimodal analysis and intercultural communication at the English Department of Hong Kong Baptist University. He has published extensively in those areas and is currently working on two book projects, one is on professional discourse and the other on history of professions in China and the West and their influence on our personal identities.

Kong, K. C. C. (2012). Globalised or Glocalized? A comparison of the linguistic features and actor representation of global news headlines in The Sun and Oriental Daily. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 12(3), 1–16.

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