A Critical Discourse Analysis on the news coverage of the 2006 Military Conflict

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to examine the Ethiopian Herald’s and the Daily Monitor‘s discourses towards the 2006-07 military operation of the Ethiopian defense forces against the United Islamic Courts (UIC).The study has been situated within the broader critical research paradigm. The polarized-pluralist media system model of Daniel.C Hallin and Paolo Mancini and CDA inform the study. In order to address the research questions a qualitative methodological approach was employed. Critical discourse analysis (CDA), specifically Fairclough’s Socio–cultural practices model is used. The data for the study is obtained virtually from the media texts (newspapers).The selection of the sample newspapers is based on the private –government divide. The study uses samples from December, 2006 to January, 2007. The study revealed that the public newspaper The Ethiopian Herald showed a tendency towards using official sources. To the opposite, the private newspaper was leaning more towards using non government sources. The same newspaper adheres reporting negative news in contrast to the Ethiopian Herald, which dedicated every piece of news to the reproduction of the government discourse. The Daily Monitor at its disposal tried to expose matters ignored by the Ethiopian Herald. The Ethiopian Herald taking the side of the government casts a positive light on the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and demonizes the UIC and forces around it. The Daily Monitor contrarily sees the TFG as weak and divided inside. In general the findings revealed that the newspapers have their own distinct perspectives on most matters on the subject under study. This distinctiveness basically motivated by the country’s sharply divided political environment.



Military Conflict