Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pragmatics in Political News

Pragmatics in Political News Introduction Media is one of the most powerful political tool that has been used by various political groupings to pass distorted information to the unsuspecting audience. According to Locher and Graham (2010), media has the role of educating, informing, and entertaining the public. This scholar notes that media has done well on its role of entertaining and educating the public. However, its role to educate the public has been abused by selfish interests of a few aristocrats in the society.Advertising We will write a custom research paper sample on Pragmatics in Political News specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Most of the news agencies across the world are for profit organization that depend on the earnings from advertisements in order to remain operational. This is the main reason as to why these agencies have failed to live up to their expectations as authoritative and independent reporters of what is taking place in the society. It has allowed those with capacity to buy their airtime take control of what they present to the public. News presented by these agencies are always coined in a manner that would convince the public to believe in a given issue irrespective of the truth it holds. This explains why two or three different news agencies would report on a given issue from two different perspectives. This critical discourse analysis would be focused on the Egyptian revolution, and how Aljazeera, Al-Arabiya, and CNN reported on various incidents during this revolution. Critical Discourse Analysis According to Lilleker (2006), reporters have strong influence on the perception that the audience would have during, and after listening to news. Diction plays an important role during the process of editing given news report before it is released to the public. Besides the intention to inform the public about different events in the society, the editors are always focused on influencing public idea through their rep orting. As Stanyer (2001) notes, reporters and their editors have been keen on their linguistic levels such as syntax, lexis, pragmatics, and semantics when presenting a given piece of information. A given incident can be described from different perspectives in order to arouse different reactions from the readers or listeners. Stanyer (2001) says that the function of critical discourse analysis, â€Å"Is to seek to reveal how texts are constructed so that particular (and potentially indoctrinating) perspectives can be expressed delicately and covertly.† In this analysis, it would be interesting to understand the role that was played by different media stations during the Arab Uprising in Egypt. According to Lilleker (2006), the Egyptian revolution was largely influenced by the media. In fact this scholar says that this was a media revolution. People used both the social and mass media to enlighten one another and to motivate everyone to participate in the revolution in diffe rent ways. It would be necessary to understand that when the uprising began, it was seen as a unified fight of the Egyptians against the dictatorial rule of Hosni Mubarak. When Mohammed Morsi took power, another uprising emerged, and he was forced out of power.Advertising Looking for research paper on communications media? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More This time round, there were conflicting reactions from the members of the public during the revolution. This could only mean that this society had been subjected to conflicting ideologies from different corridors of power. Media has played a major role in this. At this stage, it would be important to analyze how the three media stations reported on an incident that took place during the revolution, and what they intended to achieve through their reports. The research will analyze the reports made by Aljazeera, Al-Arabiya, and CNN when Morsi was ousted by the militar y. Al-Arabiya It would be necessary to understand the background information about this firm in order to be able to appreciate their motivation in taking a particular approach of reporting. Al Arabiya is a television news broadcaster owned by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has been considered to be having special interest in this country’s leadership. The country has therefore been keen on monitoring the trend taken by the revolution. This television broadcaster has considered Al Jazeera as its main rival in this industry. In fact Stanyer (2001) notes that it was started to counter the effect of Al Jazeera in this region. Below was its heading and a few lines of the story they aired following the ouster of Morsi by the military. Why Egypt’s revolution continues â€Å"It has been more than two years since Egyptians went to Tahrir Square – and almost a year since they elected their first post-Mubarak president. The revolution, yet, that they call ed for is unfulfilled† (Hellyer, 2013). It would be important to analyze this heading, the lead, and the structure of the short paragraph identified above. The headline Why Egypt’s revolution continues: the heading in this news clearly shows that the revolution in Egypt is still in progress. The choice of words in this heading leaves no doubt as to the position of the reporter and the editor on the Egyptian revolution. The statement emphasizes to the audience the fact that the revolution is still on. As per this heading, it is a common knowledge to the audience that the revolution is still on, therefore, it is only seeking to provide reasons why this revolution is one. This heading shows that the reporter and the editor believes that this revolution is justifiable enough, and this is confirmed in the first few lead sentences in this story.Advertising We will write a custom research paper sample on Pragmatics in Political News specifically for you for only $16. 05 $11/page Learn More The lead The first few sentences in this report shows that the reporter is dissatisfied with what has been achieved by the regime that took power after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Two years is a very short time to have a complete change of socio-political and economic environment of a country that had been under dictatorial rule for over half a century. However, this sentence shows that two years was enough for this regime to make necessary changes. Pragmatically speaking, this news is meant to convince the audience that the government of Morsi has been given opportunity to transform this country but it failed. He points out that this is a justifiable reason to make the Egyptians continue with the revolution. The second sentence makes it clear that the Egyptians have not fulfilled the spirit of the revolution they started. Story structure The communication content in this news is so clear in making the audience believe that no gains have been made in restoring democratic rule in this country. The high agitation tone that this news carries is an indication that the society should press on with their revolution because it is justifiable to go on with the fight. A viewer who listens to this news and takes its literal meaning as presented would be critical of the regime that was headed by Morsi. As Stanyer (2001) notes, the problem that makes news agencies very powerful is that people rarely takes time to analyze the information presented to them, especially if it comes from large ‘trusted’ news agencies. This means that the critical approach taken by this news agency will be taken in its literal meaning by the audience. However, a critical look at the content and the manner in which this story was presented shows a lot of bias, and a clear indication that the message carried to the audience must have been the view of the owners of the company which has been very critical of Morsi’s leadership. They had a n opportunity, through this news agency, to urge Egyptian to reject Morsi’s leadership by painting him as a failure who was given a chance to change the society but failed. In order to understand the bias in this newscast, it would be necessary to analyze how a different newsroom presented the same information. Al Jazeera Al Jazeera is a Qatari based television channel with its headquarters in Doha, Qatar (Mey, 2009). Al Jazeera was started in 1996 as an independent voice of the Arabs, after BBC Arabic language was closed. The main focus was to be the mirror that reflects the true image of the Arab World in order to fight the terrorism tag that the West had labeled against the people of Middle East.Advertising Looking for research paper on communications media? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More This role has been changing with the changes taking place in the society. It has become a worldwide news agency that reports on various issues other than narrowing its focus on the activities of the Arab World. A section of the society has criticized it, saying that it has been infiltrated by the West despite the loyalty it received from the Arabs. Egypts revolution: Dead or alive? â€Å"As polarized crowds dominate political discourse in Egypt on one end, those who support the military, and on the other, backers of deposed president Mohamed Morsi a middle ground is mourning the loss of a dream.† (Parvaz, 2013). The headline The Al Jazeera headline is very different from the headline given by Al Arabiya over the same incident. Al Jazeera paints a grim picture of the relevance of this war to the people of this society. From a literal view, one would say that the reporter is doubtful on whether the revolution is dead or alive. However, Mey (2009) says that news agencies are r arely doubtful of what they present. At times they may use words that show doubt, but a keen analysis of their message will show their stance in such confusing environment. The syntax, lexis, pragmatics, and semantics in this headline and the introductory part of their news shows that they have a position over the issue of whether the revolution is alive or dead. It would be important to note that the headline says, ‘Dead or alive’ and not ‘Alive or dead.’ The two will portray two different position. The former shows more emphasis on death, while the latter emphasizes on life. To this reporter, the revolution is dead, but he leaves a little room for doubt. The lead The first few lines that have been used in this newscast strongly supports the argument that the revolution is dead. The news starts by describing two polarized groups dominating the political discourse in this country, with one section supporting the military, and the other backing the deposed p resident. It would be necessary to compare how the two newsrooms are talking about one person in the name of Mohamed Morsi. While Al Arabiya calls him Morsi, Al Jazeera refers to him as the disposed president Mohamed Morsi (Parvaz, 2013). Al Jazeera appreciates that he is the president. The next sentence notes that the middle group- which as presented as the genuine heroes of this country in the fight for liberation- are moaning for the lost dream. The dream is lost because President Morsi has been disposed out of his throne. Story structure The story structure clearly indicates that the reporter, and this news agency in general, is in support of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi. It considers the current revolution a failure by the members of the Egyptian society to recognize a true sign of freedom in this country. Cable Network News (CNN) CNN is an American news broadcaster with its headquarters in Atlanta, New York, in the United States. The station has always been regarded to c arry the views of the Americans. In the past, it has been very critical of the dictatorial rule in the Arab World. Egypt and the death of liberalism In Egypt prominent liberals are now supporting a military-backed government overseeing a resurgence of post-Mubarak authoritarianism (Kotb, 2013). The headline The headline made by CNN is very different from that of Al Arabiya, but closely resembles that of Al Jazeera, only that it is more authoritative. While Al Jazeera gave the audience the room to think whether the revolution was dead or alive, CNN makes it clear that liberalism in this country is dead. The news headline gives the impression that the fight for liberation that has persisted for years in this country has gone down the drain. Although protesters are still in the streets, liberalism is dead in Egypt. The lead The lead statement suggests very strongly that those who were seen to fight for liberalism in this country are now supporting the authoritarian rule of the military . It would be necessary to once again understand the syntax used in this introductory part. The report is very careful with his choice of words. He describes the military rule as ‘authoritarian’, something that the society was determined to fight. Story structure The structure of this story leaves no doubt that this television channel is critical of the military leadership that ousted President Morsi. Just as it has been in the past, CNN remains critical of the authoritarian rule by the military, and strongly suggest that liberalism has died in this country because its supporters are now backing the military rule. Conclusion Media has remained a powerful tool that is used to influence the society towards specific issues. Members of the society depend on media to educate, inform, and entertain them. Those who are in power have taken advantage of this to press their personal interest using the media. The different approach in which the revolution in Egypt was reported is a clear indication of this. The three television networks analyzed reported on the same issue from different perspectives, giving out different opinions based on their financiers’ view on the issue. Reference Hellyer, A. (2013). Why Egypt’s revolution continues. Al Arabiya. Web. Kotb, A. (2013). Egypt and the Death of Liberalism. CNN. Web. Lilleker, D. G. (2006). Key concepts in political communication. London: Sage. Locher, A., Graham, S. L. (2010). Interpersonal pragmatics. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. Mey, J. (2009). Concise encyclopedia of pragmatics. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Parvaz, D. (2013). Egypts revolution: Dead or alive? Stuck in a power struggle between the military and Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptians work to keep dream of revolution alive. Al Jazeera. Web. Stanyer, J. (2001). The creation of political news: Television and British party political conferences. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.

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