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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The linguistics of blame in media discourse: language, ideology and point of view in media reports on the 1998 Lesotho conflict
Author:Thetela, PulengISNI
Year:1999
Periodical:Lesotho Social Sciences Review (ISSN 1028-0790)
Volume:5
Issue:1
Period:June
Pages:111-132
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Lesotho
Southern Africa
Subjects:press
political conflicts
language
media
Political crisis
linguistics
Intervention (International law)
Abstract:The 1998 political conflict in Lesotho followed in the wake of the May 23 general elections, whose results gave the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) a total of 79 out of the overall 80 constituencies. The dissatisfactions which had been simmering long before the elections erupted into open conflict after, and this was followed in September by military intervention by SADC countries. This article examines the role of the English language press, in Lesotho and South Africa, in this conflict in the period from May 1998 to February 1999. It is concerned with the ways in which news reporters manipulate the resources of language to put across specific ideological perspectives and viewpoints in reporting events. It focuses on variations in the degrees of neutrality or bias, which are inscribed in the linguistic choices which news reporters make. In this context, a distinction is made between two main ideological groupings or alliances of news reports: the category which appeared to oppose the election results and the intervention, and the category that accepted the results and the intervention. Through an analysis of lexical, metaphorical and rhetorical choices used by the two categories of newspapers to report the same events, the paper concludes that news reports can ideologically encode varying degrees of access to the truth of things. Bibliogr., sum.
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