Space and legitimation: The multimodal representation of public space in news broadcast reports on Hooded Rioters.
This article analyses the multimodal representations of public space in Chilean broadcast news reports on the figure of the hooded rioter and its alleged connections with the student movement. We seek to identify how space is constructed as a (de)legitimation strategy in relation to the actors involved and the actions taking place across four different news broadcast pieces in the light of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. Results show that the multimodal representations of space are crucial to identify and functionalize hooded rioters as belonging to the student movement. Actions are dependent on the spaces in which actors operate, restricting the occupation of certain spaces to specific actors. Thus, transgressive protest actions are to be contained to educational spaces and represented as naturalized vandalism, ignoring the students’/demonstrators’ motivations to recuperate/vindicate the public space.