The Hidden Power of Media Discourse and the Capacity of the Capitalist Class to Exercise this Power

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ASSIGNMENT 5 “The hidden power of media discourse and the capacity of the capitalist class and other power-holders to exercise this power depend on systematic tendencies in news reporting and other media activities” (Page 25). Explain and exemplify. Zulfiqar Ahmad ID # 4025 Submitted to: Dr. M. Umer Farooq 1. Introduction Hidden power, according to Fairclough (1995a), is the “power behind discourse” and entails how and to what extent the holders of powers exercise their influence. Discourse being a social practice (Fairclough 2001) and an element of a communicative event (van Dijk 1997) becomes a strong determinant that impacts culture and distributes power in society. This approach to discourse makes media a…show more content…
It not only signals the topic of the report but also serves cognitive and ideological functions (van Dijk 1988a, 1988b, 1991 quoted by Kuo and Nakamura 2005). Van Dijk (1991) has found the theme as biased by the reporter or editor’s subjectivity. They attempt to naturalize the opinion by manipulating the contents of the report. 2.1.2. Lexical options Lexical options refer to the selection and use of words that give clues to the reader that might be used in the interpretation of the events. Lexical items are most of the time evaluative words or expressions, slangs, labeling phrases, and words with strong connotations and collocations. 2.1.3. The use of quotation Quotations are context and source bound and their frequency varies from one culture to another. Quotations appear in different patterns such eyewitness reports, specialist knowledge, statements of police, lawyers or judges, etc. preference is given to political, legal, and bureaucratic account of events to the discourse of powerless such as the victims or delinquents. 2.1.4. Transitivity Transitivity is the base of representation with the potential to interpret the event from different foci (Fowler 1991). The choice of voice or use of nominalization hints at the perceptions of the producers and the interpreters. 3. Media Discourse: News Reports and News Production All forms of printed text, especially those of the mass media are most

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