LUMINA Volume 23 No. 2


by Moses Alo and Ebenezer Oluseun Ogungbe

There has not been much research on unmasking the ideological bias embedded in the language of the seemingly objective representations of people, events, institutions, and policies in Nigerian newspapers. Thus, this study explores how lexical choices are used to simultaneously convey information and judgment on people, events, and policies in Nigerian newspaper news reports. The study applies critical discourse analysis to analyse selected news stories relating to politics, economy, security, sports, health, and religion, from four Nigerian national daily newspapers (The Guardian, The Nation, Nigerian Tribune, and Daily Trust). Findings of the study reveal that Nigerian newspaper reportersí choice of lexical patterns produces differential judgmental stances which have some control on the attitudes and actions of readers towards the people, events and policies represented. The findings also depict that Nigerian newspapers often represent people, events, and policies through sensational but very blatantly biased, inflammatory and pejorative lexical items, which undoubtedly reveal the reportersí desperation to propagandise, sensationalise, binarise, or impose certain meanings upon the webs of complexity in news discourse in Nigerian newspapers. Thus, the study recommends that Nigerian journalists, who are products of a nation-state that is confronted with many problems, should strive to be fair, balanced, and restrained in their deployment of representational resources.

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