Linguistic and Rhetorical Subjectivity in Media Discourse

Umar Bello


This research paper tries to use Critical Discourse Analysis especially Van Dijk’s (1988) Discourse Analytical Perspective and complementary insights from Fairclough (1988, 1995) and Van Leeuwen (2008) to analyze two news reports from a Nigerian newspaper. These reports from the Daily Sun show two distinct and parallel kinds of reportage even though they both have a particular overriding theme which is violence. This paper analyzes both the textual and contextual aspects of the reports. The result reveals that news reports are sometimes made from an a priori perspective based on frames recalled and rebuilt in fresher news and that actors and actions are constructed to suit the perspectives. In this analysis, we see how Muslims in the Jos attacks are built into frames where they can only be assailants not victims even in a case where they are grossly victimized. This paper enforces the notion of bias and subjective reportage of events in the media as espoused by CDA.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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