Framing of vaccination in Hungarian (fake) news

30 May 2024
Room C1

Framing of vaccination in Hungarian (fake) news

The research on fake news, false information and disinformation has become a challenge in the era of digital media. One of the linguistic research directions attempts to provide automatic fake news detection devices while another line aims to reveal certain practices concerning misleading information and its societal issues (e.g. Németh et al. 2023). Both ways lean on a given usage of language use devices and linguistic elements which may increase the probability of falsity and deception.
The spread and the cogency of fake news may have serious impact on the interpretation and evaluation of political events, public health decisions, social phenomena, and issues such as vaccination. This paper aims to analyse and compare the display and expounding of vaccination in Hungarian news and fake news during the Covid-19 pandemic. For the qualitative research on the framing of vaccination, this paper applies discourse analytical methods with the elements of frame analysis and pragmalinguistics. The analysis of (fake) news is mainly founded on the frame analytic approach by Pan&Kosicki (1993) and the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff&Johnson, 1980; Kövecses, 2020). The data were gathered manually from the MedCollect corpora and the present paper investigates 30 fake news and 10 non-fake ones. This study examines the texts by their syntactical structures, script structures, thematic structures, reasoning, lexical choices, quoted sources, and the rhetorical structures with special attention to metaphors relating to vaccination. The results suggest that the main differences between fake news and non-fake ones are based on the script and thematic structures, reasoning, and the variety of lexical and rhetorical choices. However, the quoted sources and the syntactical structures are similar in fake news and non-fake ones. This paper highlights the contrasts between news and fake news, and it may also provide insights into the attitudes to vaccination in Hungary, as well as the attitudes projected by Hungarian fake news.


Kövecses, Z. (2020). Extended Conceptual Metaphor Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago, IL:University of Chicago Press.

Németh, Zs., Nagy C., K., & Németh T., E. (2023). What is hidden from you: Implicit pragmatic phenomena in Hungarian fake news headlines. Paper presented at the 18th International Pragmatics Conference (9-14 July 2023, Brussels, Belgium).

Pan, Z., & Kosicki, G.M. (1993). Framing analysis: An approach to news discourse. Political Communication, 10(1), 55-75.