The columnist-character as a rhetoric strategy of the personal or literary columns

Fernando López-Pan

Abstract

The power of persuasion of the newspaper column is based on the personality and character of the columnist (López Pan, 1996), which in terms of classical rhetoric corresponds to the ethics proof or ethos. Among the means available to build the columnist´s ethos, there is one very frequent in the personal o literary columns: when the columnist appears as character in the text. This article shows how this rhetoric mechanism operates. When the character qualities of the columnist are mentioned explicitly —a direct description—, it is constructed what Dascal, a discourse analyst, has called thematic ethos. When those qualities are not explicitly affirmed, but derive from the way the character acts, Dascal talks of nontematic ethos, the most effective and the one that is explained in this academic article.

Keywords

Journalism writing; newspaper column; ethos; opinion writing

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