Power and Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Pro- Government and Independent Press in Pakistan
Keywords:critical discourse analysis, media discourse, framing, transitivity, referential strategies
The present study aims to explore how powerful groups in a society may control the policies and discourse of media. It critically evaluates the discourse of pro-government and independent press in Pakistan focusing on a popular news event of the restoration of the former Chief Justice (March 2009). It compares and analyzes the presentation of the event by two broadsheet Pakistani newspapers ‘Daily Times’ and ‘The News’ for the purpose. In addition, the texts from other national and international newspapers are also used to present a comprehensive analysis of the news item under investigation. The collected data was analyzed qualitatively in terms of textual and contextual analyses using the tools of framing, transitivity, referential strategies and highlighting the comparative-synchronic and historical-diachronic details of the news item. The findings reveal that the media discourse may not necessarily present public opinion and certain pro-government newspapers exploit news report to support the government perspective. It further shows that the referential strategies, framing, word choice and other linguistic tools used by such newspapers may be biased in the favour of government and its hidden agenda. Finally, the study provides an example of the influence of powerful groups on media discourse and suggests exposing such influences to avoid misleading public opinion.
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