Critical Discourse Analysis on Ethiopian Media Coverage of Anti-ISIS Demonstration Held in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


News reports are considered as the reflection of truth and reality. People all over the globe watch news reports to get information and to make valuable decisions that affect their lives. Language as a communication tool in news reports are naturally thought to be neutral, fair and independently textured. In line with this concept, in democracies, one cannot isolate the role and responsibility of media to make the society aware and well informed for what affects their lives. Media are expected to deliver this by upholding journalistic ethics of being unbiased, free, independent and neutral. Considering this notion, this study is mainly conducted to examine how the Ethiopian media covered the mass demonstration held against ISIS in Addis Ababa on the 22nd of April 2014. This is done by identifying the discourses of selected media organizations to mark their ideological tendency and how social actors were discursively represented in the news reports. The study is a qualitative research that mainly employed Fairclough‘s critical discourse analysis/ tripartite model as both theory and method. And, in order to strengthen the analysis as part of its theoretical frameworks, Halliday‘s Systemic Functional Grammar is also used as analytic tool. To this end, the study reveals that, languages in the news reports are never ideologically free. They are branded by the institutional values and their respective ideologies explicitly and implicitly in protagonist-antagonist settings. It seems that the state owned media do serve the state‘s ideological interest explicitly by being sided and articulating biased report of the event as revealed in their media composition. Whereas, privately owned media are attempting to insight their readers‘ the other side or two sides of the event which can be referred as being against the news values of state owned media (in case of Addis Admass) and by being critical (in case of Reporter) to the event that make the mass demonstration to be held in the first place, as well as what was cited as the problem (illegal immigration) behind the event that triggered the mass protest.



Ethiopian Media Coverage