Newspaper Is A Medium English Language Essay

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Newspaper is a medium which is used to give the information to other people. A newspaper is printed and distributed usually daily or weekly. It contains news, features, and also advertisement. Moreover, most of newspapers around the world have launched the online editions. It has function to speed up the run of information to the people everywhere. There are some parts of newspaper that can be classified such as; brief news items, press reports, articles, and advertisements. The main function of newspaper, whether it is printed edition or online, is to communicate the issue to the masses through language.

Using a language, media bring ideas or messages to the masses. These ideas or messages can be called as a discourse. Discourse is a mode of organizing knowledge, ideas, or experience rooted in language. As it is explained by Strydom on his work,

Discourse includes the widest variety of kinds of knowledge, from the informal, everyday knowledge of ordinary people, through the more formal, systematised knowledge of professionals, to public knowledge such as frameworks of meaning and cultural models that reach people through public communication, controversies and the media. At the centre of interest is precisely how discourse makes possible and facilitates the interrelation or interconnection of all these different kinds of knowledge in the course of the constitution of social reality (2000:1).

From the quotation above, it can be simplified that discourse is a system of knowledge belonging to people as their experiences. Sometimes, mass media have shared their opinion or assumption which they manipulate as the information or knowledge for the society.

Mass media try to tell the issues as fast as they can. Sometimes, they persuade the public opinion or a common sense. Habermas notes that, "public opinion had the form of common sense. It was dispersed through a people in the form of prejudices, but even in this turbidity, it reflected 'the genuine needs and correct tendencies of common life...'it attained consciousness of itself..." (Habermas, 1989:120). By this condition, the information within the news report brings a discourse which people take as their knowledge. Sometimes, people just take for granted the issue as the actual information. It means that they do not want to gain more information about the issue.

This research chooses two articles which report U.S' order to squeeze the Iran's assets published by Foxnews.com as the objects of study. The articles report that U.S has imposed their new sanctions on Iran. These conditions make the tension between U.S and Iran becomes worse and worse. US new sanctions on Iran are imposed by US government as the effect of Iran's nuclear program. As it is noted down in Jafri's article;

While Iran has repeatedly insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, the United States claims that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons that pose a threat to global security. Tensions between the United States and Iran reached new levels recently when Iranian President Mahmhoud Ahmadinejad launched production of enriched uranium fuel rods in Tehran. He also announced the setting up of four more nuclear reactors, showing the West that it has advanced its nuclear technology (Jafri. Without Year).

The quotation above shows that Iran's nuclear program is a peaceful program. On the other hand, tensions also escalate recently when Israel's officials blame Iran for bomb attacks. Iranian officials have denied any contribution and accused Israel's conspiration. Israel also wants the United States to attack Iran, destroy its nuclear establishments and weaken its military power. These all conditions are clearly reported on those two Fox News' articles.

Yet, Fox News' reports indicate they aligned with the U.S government. Fox News, which is known as the most popular mass media in USA, has been accused by media watch dog groups such as FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) (Ackerman, 2001). They have argued that Fox News reporting contains a common editing within news stories. Fox News took its popularity after they had surpassed CNN in January 2002 (Singh, Without Year). They had been accused of conservative bias by researchers in USA. The pooling said that Fox News had a conservative bias rather than liberal (Ackerman, 2001).  FAIR also stated that in a study of a 19 week period from January 2001 to May 2001 the ratio of conservative guests to liberals on Special Report with Brit Hume was 50:6, and obtained similar data from other Fox shows (Rendall, 2001).

On the other condition, similar accusations have been imposed against Fox News by Republican Representative Ron Paul and California Representative Duncan Hunter from the January 5, 2008 (nhgop.org, 2008). The other accusation on Fox News also comes from Bashir, in The Right Perspective.org. He states that "Fox News was also biased in its coverage, only to the right and not as severe" (Bashir, 2012). Yet, Fox have rejected those accusations. They argue that the reporters in the newsroom provide neutral reporting (Foxnews.com, 2009).

By these all presupposition, this research tries to explore how the language is used as the instrument of media to construct public opinion. In analyzing the reports, this research uses a critical discourse analysis developed by Norman Fairclough. Critical Discourse Analysis itself is a study that is focused to explore how the relationship between discourse, events and texts (Fairclough, 1995a:97). In Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language, he proposed a three-dimensional framework for studying a critical discourse analysis. They are analysis of language (spoken or written) texts, analysis of discourse practice (processes of text production, distribution and consumption) and analysis of discursive events as instances of socio-cultural practice (1995a:97).

By those three-dimensional frameworks, this research focuses on the second dimension. It is the analysis of discourse practice. In this dimension, Fairclough provides a tool to analyze media text which is called as an intertextual analysis of text. Fairclough (1995b: 61) defines intertextual analysis as the analytical act of "looking at the traces of the discursive practice in the text". Furthermore, on the next chapter, this research will explain about intertextual analysis as a proposed theory provided by Fairclough for analyzing media text reports.

Problem Statements

As it is noted by Sheyholislami (2001:8), Fairclough defines intertextuality as "basically the property of texts have of being full of snatches of other texts, which may be explicitly demarcated or merged in, and which the text may assimilate, contradict, ironically echo, and so forth." The main hypothesis for this research is to show how texts describe upon orders of discourse (Fairclough, 1995a:188). The orders of discourse, here, are the structure of or form of discourse in text that influences the meaning of text, such as genres, voices, discourses, etc.

Research Questions

Based on the background of study and problem statements above, this research makes three questions which are mentioned below.

What issue is used to construct public opinion about USA and Iran?

What is the real goal of the articles' comments on USA sanctions to squeeze Iran's assets?

How should people (as the reader) take and assimilate the information in media as a discourse?

Those all questions above are used to know how the language can construct people's opinions.

Goals of Study

The research is designed and written to achieve goals. According to the problems stated before, the main goal of this research is to apply the theories that have been gathered in the English Department. Meanwhile, the specific goals of this research are noted as follow:

To show how genre is realized in the text level and the clause level.

To show that there is the authority or power that controls the spread of information through the media of communication including internet.

To prove that language analysis by involving social context will give more valid result.

The Scope of Study

It is possible to assume that unlimited problems in discussion cannot make a clear conclusion. Because, for making good result of research, this research must be considered the capability, time available and other aspects which is affecting the process of conducting the research itself. This research focuses on the changing articulation of genre, the use of voices, and the way of reporting of events to redefine the context. The texts, which are used as the data of analysis, are taken from Fox News text reports. They are US Imposes Additional Sanctions on Iran and New US Sanction Aim to Head Off Israel. Both are published on 6 and 7 February 2012 in Fox News webpage.

The Organization of The Study

This thesis is organized into five chapters. They are introduction, theoretical framework, research methodology, result and discussion, and conclusion. The first chapter deals with the necessary information for the readers to understand what is to follow in the thesis. The first chapter is divided into five subchapters. There are the background of the study, the problem to discuss, the scope of the study, the goals of the study, and the organization of the thesis.

The second chapter is theoretical review. Theoretical review is the chapter where the necessary theories and reference are gathered to support and to overcome the problems in the discussion. The next chapter is research methodology. This chapter talks about how the research is conducted. The description of the type of research, the type of data, the data collection, and the data analysis will be presented here. The following chapter is the discussion. The last chapter is conclusion. This chapter draws the conclusion of the discussion.

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