75941 - Semiotic Analysis of Journalistic Texts (1)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Anna Maria Lorusso

  • Credits 6

  • SSD M-FIL/05

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Communication Sciences (cod. 8885)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student, at the end of the course, will have a general knowledge of rhetorical-discursive strategies of the information world, in its different fields: tv, newpapers, web.. A special attention will be paid to strategies of manipulation, agenda setting, spectacularization that are at the base of newsmaking and to the dialogue between press, TV and web.

Course contents

The course aims to provide methodological tools adequate to a critical analysis, semiotically oriented, of the informative media discourses. In particular we will consider: the newspapers for the traditional press; TV news and infotainment programs for the television discourses; the websites of the newspapers with regard to online information.

The course will proceed in different phases:

1. Methodological introduction and crucial issues in the contemporary informative scape

2. Focus on the problem of "post-truth"  

3. Analysis of the press and of websites

4. Analysis of the tv news

5. Analysis of tv infotainment


As I've already told, the methodology of analysis that will be adopted will be semiotic, so the course is reccomended only to those who already have consolidated bases in  semiotics and to those Erasmus students who are able to UNDERSTAND Italian readings (not only bibliographical materials, but also cases analysis).  I emphasize "understand" because the discussion could be done in English (or French or Spanish), but the reading material is in Italian.


From a thematic point of view, special attention will be paid to the problem of the relationship between representation-reality-truth.

We will go through the semiotic theme of veridiction, we will question the special nature and characteristics of a "mediatic case", we will deepen the concepts of manipulation and "truth effect". Crucial will be the use of semiotics of the passions (because of the emotionality of much of the contemporary informative discourses) and the category of model reader/viewer model .

In this frame, we will focus on the contemporary problem of the so called "post-truth".


•A.M..Lorusso-P.Violi, Semiotica del testo giornalistico, Roma-Bari, alterza, 2005

•P.Peverini, I media: strumenti di analisi semiotica, Roma, Carocci, 2012 (cap 3 e 4)

U.Eco, Sette anni di desiderio, Milano, Bompiani, 1983, parte IV "Il desiderio di trasparenza"

•A.M. Lorusso, Postverità, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2018


There are no differences in bibligoraphy for students which don't follow classes

Teaching methods

The course will alternate to traditional lectures  some more seminar lessons, dedicated to the analysis of case analysis.
Therefore it is strongly recommended to attend the course.

Assessment methods

 The exam is written and consists of a semiotic analysis of a text chosen by the teacher (newspaper article, television segment, site ..) on which there will be three questions.
The exam will last 2 h and will be on line.

ERASMUS STUDENTS could write the exam in English, or French or Spanisg (but the text to analyze will be in Italian, because it is the same for all the students).

Office hours

See the website of Anna Maria Lorusso