Plain Packaging of Cigarettes - Seminar

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The use of plain packaging on cigarettes is an issue covered extensively by the Australian media. Some are for it and some, against.

Good Afternoon. Today I am going to speak to you about how different media texts position us in regards to the use of plain packaging for cigarettes. Please feel free to jot down any questions you have and I will answer them to my best ability at the end of the seminar. There have been many media texts published in relation to this issue; today I will deconstruct three relevant ones to demonstrate how the media is positioning us. I will do this through discussing the invited readings, themes, representations, and techniques used such as use of linguistics, emotional appeal and attacks made to devalue someone’s ideas.

The first article I will be looking at is an ABC news internet article and is called Poll finds majority back plain cigarette packaging,. This article is about a survey which has found that the majority of Australians support plain packaging for cigarettes despite a campaign from the tobacco industry’s condemning the move. The dominant discourse presented in this article is political as the government is involved. The purpose of the article is to tell us who is for and who is against the scheme with for being the more popular. The readers are positioned to make a decision to either agree with the federal government or the tobacco industries, as the article does not favour either side of the argument. ‘Quit’ executive director Fiona Sharkie uses negative connotations in her choice of words. For example, she speaks of cigarettes as a ‘deadly product.’ This is an emotional appeal to the audience, some of whom could have lost family members or friends to smoking or are concerned for their own health. Former tobacco marketing executive Craig Seitam says that by using plain packaging, brands are going to lose all of their identity and it would also lead to a rise in illegal tobacco smoking. This article is very...
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