Christian Karner presents paper at the Austrian Studies Conference in New Orleans

Christian Karner recently presented a paper at the Austrian Studies Conference in New Orleans. The paper, titled ‘Images, interpretations and invocations of war in the Kronen Zeitung: between cultural memory, headline news and ‘analogical reasoning’ examines media-representations of war through a focus on Austria’s most widely read newspaper.

The corpus of data underpinning Christian’s paper is a personally compiled archive of Kronen Zeitung coverage – including headline-news, commentaries, and readers’ letters – from 2003 until 2018. From this large body of data, this discussion distills three genres of how wars are represented – discursively and visually – in the Kronen Zeitung: first, journalistic types of geschichtliche Reportageserien (focused on Austrian dimensions of World Wars I/ II); second, the reporting of current political violence; third, interpretations of local events and the articulation of nationally-focused political positions through rhetorical cross-references to armed conflicts. The qualitative analysis of representative examples of data illuminates the nationally-focused argumentative work Kronen Zeitung coverage accomplishes by referencing past and present wars. The discussion draws on semiotics and discourse analysis and focuses, in particular, on the thematic connections (/ associative conflations) Krone coverage establishes by linking historical wars or armed conflicts elsewhere to the “here and now”. The analysis also utilizes historiographical criticisms of “analogical reasoning” (Müller 2002, Karner and Mertens 2013) and work on metaphors in media representations (Nerlich and Jaspal 2021).