De la définition juridique à la définition journalistique : complexités interprétatives dans le domaine du biocontrôle

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Published Apr 29, 2022
Hélène Ledouble Peggy Cadel


This article explores the complex relation between science and the media, and how
scientific knowledge circulates outside the realm of specialists. It focuses on contextual definitions
related to biological control (biocontrôle in French) in press articles, and the reader capacity
to (re)build scientific information or knowledge based on media discourse. After introducing
the emergence of the term in reference dictionaries and legal sources, we proceed to a twofold
analysis of definitions of biocontrol in the corpus (focusing on the relations of hyperonymy and
instrument/method). We first present a lexico-syntactic analysis of definitional cues that enable
any non-expert reader to access definitions of the term. We then proceed to a semantic analysis
of definitions, focusing on two different discursive strategies used by the media. Journalists either
take reference terms (and synonyms) from official terminological sources or create ad hoc categories
to simplify definitions with more accessible referents to press readers. Our goal is to show that
the various categories involved in these definitions may hinder the understanding of the notion
by the lay citizen (on the local scale), and potentially constitute an obstacle to well-informed
decision-making about pressing issues such as environmental protection (on the global scale).

How to Cite

Ledouble, Hélène, and Peggy Cadel. 2022. “De La définition Juridique à La définition Journalistique : Complexités interprétatives Dans Le Domaine Du biocontrôle”. Fachsprache 44 (1-2):4-19.
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