Discourse Analysis Of Corruption Reportage In Nigerian Dailies
1.0 Background to the Study
Corruption is a natural phenomenon; hence it has become a household name in modern society. In fact, the existence of ‘corruption’ dates back to the fourth century BC (Bardhan, npn). Noonan (235) says …corruption, it seems, is everywhere a “world of evil and disease”. In his own opinion, Klitgaar (21) posits that corruption not only distorts social, political and economic systems,but also illuminates crucial problems around organizations and their managements. It is a concept that has dominated discussions in social science disciplines especially political science and sociology, (e.g. Heidenheimer and Johnston, 2001; Nye, 1967; Warren, 2004; Kaufmann, 1997; Tanzi, 1998; Jain, 2001; Khondker, 2006; Bassey et al, 2013; Rose-Ackerman, 1999; Nuijten and Anders, 2007). There is widespread agreement that corruption represents one of the most pressing issues facing business and society today (Riyan, in Breit1).
Broadly speaking, some scholars view ‘corruption’ as a dysfunctional trait of individuals, organizations and societies. By illuminating key struggles, conflicts and contradictions embedded in different understandings of corruption, they advocate a view of corruption as a socially constructed phenomenon. (e.g. Chibnall and Sounders 89; Grannovetter, npn). More specifically, the discussions accentuate an acute aspect largely ignored by corruption scholars; namely: the role of language and discourse in efforts to make sense of and give sense to corruption. They enable explorations into the discursive processes through which specific notions of corruption are articulated, reproduced and transformed (Breit 1-2).
This dissertation however, is hinged on the analysis of the media reportage of corruption proceedings between 2015 and 2016 in Nigeria. The issue of corruption is not a myth to a
country like Nigeria, especially now that it has been rated among the most corrupt countries in the World. Nigeria is the number 136th least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International, 2016). The fight against corruption and media reportage span through successive administrations in Nigeria. It started with the first military coup in 1966 and since then, it has been part of the successive administrations including the present Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Based on this, the role the media play in their reportage of court proceedings especially between the period of 2015-2016 cannot be undermined; hence, the need for assessment. This, therefore, motivates this study. In addition, the role of the media is to serve as ‘watchdogs’ of the society and thus is expected to uncover and report problematic events especially in the recent time where Nigerians hear more of high profiled cases like the corrupt cases involving the Senate president, the former National Security Adviser, former Governors etcetera. The study will achieve this using Critical Discourse Analysis approach.
Critical Discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA) is a discourse methodology that studies language in relation to social issues and practices. Discourses are prevailing ways of knowing, valuing and experiencing the world. Discourses are extensively used in everyday contexts for building power and knowledge, for regulation and normalization, for the progression of new knowledge and power relations and for hegemony.
One may suppose that “discourse” is a more extensive term than “text.” According to Fairclough, “I shall use the term discourse to refer to the whole process of social interaction of which a text is just a part.” (24) Given the power of written and spoken texts (from either print or electronic media), Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is instrumental for describing, interpreting and critiquing social life reflected in texts .Van Dijk (19) adds that CDA is related to studying and analyzing written texts and spoken words to disclose the discursive sources of power, dominance, inequality and bias and how these sources are initiated, maintained, reproduced, and transformed within specific social, economic, political and historical contexts . This, therefore, serves as the framework upon which this study is built for ease of understanding the papers Ideological Discursive Formation (IDF).
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Various researches on media reportage have been conducted by linguists especially in the field of stylistics or literary linguistics, only a few have investigated Critical Discourse Analysis as a tool at the time of this research.This study will, therefore, examine the Nigerian media reportage on corruption related proceedings using ‘Ideology,’ ‘power,’ and ‘context’ which are integral parts of CDA to unravel the underline ‘Ideological Discursive Formation’ in their texts.
1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Study
This study aims at establishing the underlined ideology (IDF) and power play in the reportage of corruption related proceedings by the Nigerian Media. This aim will be further established in the following objectives:
- That each Nigerian media has its own IDF which drives its thought and shapes its reportage.
- Whether or not corruption related proceedings have been appropriately reported in spite of different political affiliations of the news editors or even the proprietor of the news establishment.
- That the reporters have some linguistic devices or vocabularies that dominate their text for peculiar reason or reasons.
- That every news on corruption reportage carries along with it issues of power play between social actors in the discourse.
1.3 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be over emphasized. It is an advancement of the existing studies on corruption reports in Nigeria especially from a discourse analysis point of view. The study will unearth the underlined ideological formations that guide media reportage on corruption. It will also expose the power exhibited through the use of language, as well as reportage of the media on corruption cases. At the end of the study, therefore, students of language and researchers would find it resourceful in their future endeavours.
1.4 Research Questions
At the end of the study, the following questions would have been answered:
- What is Critical Discourse Analysis?
- What IDF controls the thought and shapes the text of Nigerian media reportage?
- Has reportage of corruption related proceedings been affected as a result of the political affiliation of either the editors or proprietors of the media establishment?
- What power has been exhibited through the media reportage?
- What identity is being exposed in the media report on corruption?
- What linguistic devices or vocabularies dominate the text and for what reason(s)?
This research work is content analysis based on secondary data. The data for analysis are collected newspapers and television reportages, while a review of literature was done from source materials which include text books, hand books, articles from journals etcetera that are relevant to this research. The methodology adopted for this study will be further elaborated in chapter three under the research design.
1.6 Scope and Limitation
This study is a Critical Discourse Analysis of media reportage on corruption related issues. It covers five media outfits; that is two (2) print media (newspaper) and three (3) broadcast media (television). The reports are randomly selected between 2015 and 2018. In this work, the researcher has adopted ‘Ideology’ and ‘Power’ which are integral parts of Critical Discourse Analysis to establish the Ideological Discursive Formation (IDF) of each of the selected media outfits and how such has been projected in their reportage. The selected print media are: ‘The Nation’ newspaper and ‘The Sun’ newspaper. The Broadcast media include: Channels Television, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Africa Independent Television (AIT). The choice of these media establishments is purposive for their wide coverage in Nigeria and beyond especially the Broadcast media so selected.
The limitation to this study is solely the researcher’s inability to explore all the available print and broadcast media in their respective languages of information dissemination and even the social media, which today has more coverage, for want of time and need for specificity. Also, the work is limited to Critical Discourse Analysis with emphasis on Ideological Discursive Formation (IDF). The limitation is because this study cannot handle all the areas of study in Discourse Analysis.
Summary and Conclusion
This chapter summarises and concludes the study taking into consideration the summary and findings arrived at during the analyses of the data.
5.1 Summary of the Study
The main thrust of this study is to interrogate, ascertain and unveil the underlined ideologies, power display and Ideological Discursive Formations in the corruption reportage by Nigeria Media. The media establishments used are African Independent Television (AIT) owned by Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Channels Television Owned by Dr. John Momoh, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) owned by the Federal Government, The Nation News Paper owned by Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu and The Sun News Paper owned by Chief Urji Uzor Kalu. The study has done this using Critical Discourse Analysis as a linguistic tool. Moreover, the study is Content Analysis based on social actor and social cognitive and textually oriented discourse theoretical framework because of their significance to the study. Since the study is interested in unveiling the ideologies in the corruption reportage by the respective selected media outfits, the research opines that the social actor approach which combines the speakers thought with his or her social affiliations, engagements and environments; second, social cognitive approach, based on the psychological disposition of the analyst and finally the textually oriented discourse which is concerned with the embedded meanings in the text are more relevant and, therefore, the study is grounded in them.
In addition, the work is presented in five chapters: chapter one introduced the background to the study, statement of the problem, significance of the study, aim and objectives, methodology and scope and limitation of the study. The second chapter discusses and adopts some relevant concepts such as Institution, Power, Ideology, Trends in the Media Discourse, Nigeria Media and their Ideological Formations, Language in Use, Identity and Context etcetera.
The conceptual framework is followed by theoretical framework. Socio cognitive, social actor and socio oriented discourse theories served as the framework for the study. Chapter three centres on the research design where the methodology, sources of data, data gathering, and data analysis technique were discussed. Chapter four centres on the analysis of ideologies (IDF) and power relations in the selected news reports. Lastly in chapter five, summary of work, summary of findings, and conclusion are discussed.
The major contribution of the current study to knowledge is that, it advances some scholarly positions in this field by employing the CDA Ideological principle and Ideological Discursive Formation principle (Faircluogh) to unveil the ideologies and manipulation of people’s psyche to achieve intended meaning by users of language. This is as a result of the study’s observation that every media outfit in the country has a proprietor and this proprietor has a stake in one political party or the other. It is therefore their stake that serves as power and ideology which influences the language used by their reporters as the saying goes in the Nigerian colloquial that, he who pays the piper dictates the tunes.
5.2 Summary of the Findings
From the analyses and discussion so far, the researcher summarises the findings from the study below:
- In as much as the media organizations have the social responsibility to provide investigated fair and balanced information to the people; they do this with considerations of the social statuses
of their proprietors.
- The underlined ideologies, in the choice of words by all the selected media outfits in this study, are political propaganda, manifested through democratic gimmicks.
- The reporters’ language use is driven by the political platform their proprietors belong.
- Even though the aim of the media is to report fair and balanced news; the main difference between the various media outfits is in their Ideological Discursive Formations (IDF).
- There is an underlined power play in the corruption reportage of the news media.
- Every news reportage on corruption is situated within a particular context or contexts.
- The various media outfits manipulate language through conscious choice of words to drive home their various ideologies of either criticising or appraising a particular government or political party in the actions of an individual(s).
- The IDF of the Nation newspaper similar to NTA and Channels Television is to manipulate the Nigerian masses’ psyches by demonizing the PDP for plunging Nigeria into economic and social stagnation for sixteen years especially the last five years of President Jonathan’s administration.
- The IDF of AIT and The Sun newspaper, because of their political affiliations to the major opposition party (PDP) is to incite Nigerians against the ruling party (APC) as trying to silence the oppositions especially PDP.
This study has examined corruption reportage by the Nigerian media between 2015 and 2018by the Buhari/ APC led government. The study posits from the beginning that corruption as a social vice is not limited to Nigeria but cuts across the entire universe. Some scholars such as Chibnall and Sounders (89), Grannovetter, (npn) and so on have viewed it as a dysfunctional trait of individuals, organizations and societies. By illuminating key struggles, conflicts and contradictions embedded in different understandings of corruption, they advocated a view of corruption as a socially constructed phenomenon. Breit (1-2) therefore observed that the discussions accentuate an acute aspect largely ignored by corruption scholars; namely: the role of language and discourse in efforts to make sense of and give sense to corruption. They enable explorations into the discursive processes through which specific notions of corruption are articulated, reproduced and transformed. This study sets an aim to interrogate and ascertain the underlined meanings (IDF) in the reportage of corruption related proceedings by the Nigerian Media and this was expected to be achieved through three main objectives. That is; one, that each Nigerian media has its own IDF which drives its thought and shapes its reportage. Two, Whether or not corruption related proceedings have been appropriately reported inspite of the different political affiliations of the news editors or even the proprietors of the news establishments. Lastly, that the reporters have some linguistic devices or lexical items that dominate their text for peculiar reason or reasons.
The study has, however, analysed the data and ascertained the lexical items used by the reporter to communicate beyond the surface level of the language. In the analysis, it has been ascertained that the political affiliations of the various proprietors of the media outfits have been a major drive that form the ideologies embedded in the lexical items used and to a more extent, the IDF of the entire reports examined. Also, inspite of the political affiliations of these proprietors, the reporters in some instances have also tried to uphold the major tenets and principles of their profession by balancing their reports which seemed to be less bias and diplomatic. To this end, the study may conclude that the language use for corruption reportage in the Nigeria media is driven by the power behind the ideologies and the IDF of the respective media establishments.
The Complete Material Will Be Sent to You in Just 2 Steps
Quick & Simple…
Make Payment (Through Transfer) of ₦3,000 to Any of the Account Below
|Acc No: 0811003731|
|Acc No: 1225513212|
|Acc No: 8143831497|
Or CLICK HERE To Pay With Debit Card
|FOR STUDENTS OUTSIDE NIGERIA|
|CLICK HERE To Purchase Material ($15)|
|FOR GHANIAN STUDENTS|
|Make Payment of 80 GHS to 0553978005 | Douglas Osabutey | MTN MoMo|
Send the Following Details on WhatsApp ( 08143831497) After Payment
- Payment Details
- TOPIC: Discourse Analysis Of Corruption Reportage In Nigerian Dailies
The Complete Material Will Be Sent To You On WhatsApp After Receiving Your Details
T & C Apply