I. Senkute, S. Petroniene, S. Juzeleniene

Kaunas University of Technology (LITHUANIA)
News discourse plays a significant role in public communication. Mass media texts are said to have a lot of power and be highly persuasive. Nonetheless, this power comes from nothing else but flexible and dominant consensus (Dijk, 2008). Journalists learn how to embody power and special beliefs of certain social classes in the texts and shape the cognition of masses. Today in EU there is a big turmoil concerning refugees, and new media discourse is to be blamed for this. Journalists in the majority of tabloid style articles use powerful language in order to frighten or indispose society towards refugees.Therefore, it is important to raise awareness of how people are being informed and to what extent.

Language and cognition are integral and the finest linguistic reflection of mentation is conceptual metaphor. Thus, the research focuses on the use of conceptual metaphors which can help to determine how journalists and societies in two different countries (Lithuania and UK) assimilate the problematic political issue of refugees in the world. Conceptual metaphors are understood as structures of cognition and their use can disclose current situation in new media discourse language, i.e. what are the tendencies and how journalists in three countries impart the same social-political issue.

The object of the research is conceptual metaphors identified in the articles retrieved from different Lithuanian and UK news websites. The aim of the research is to raise cultural awareness of language teachers / learners by presenting the analysis of conceptual metaphors used in new media articles on relevant and leading topic: refugees. The results of the research demonstrate that although conceptual metaphors are universal, the conceptualization of refugees is different in different languages as well as cultures.