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Discourse analysis of the news reports of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination by The Times

Introduction: The event
The year 2007 had a very sad end that it took away one the prominent voices of democracy in the contemporary scenario, and particularly the Asian nation of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, a diplomat and political leader with great charisma and intelligence. The news in fact send shock waves for politicians, peace lovers, heads of nations and the common people who love  democracy around the world. The tragic event was reported by media around the world with greater importance, because it carried a significant news value in the troubled times. The news is also sensitive because Pakistan has been in the lime light for quite a long time after media reports and Pentagon warning that the country has been used as a base camp for the terrorists belonging to both Taliban and Al-Queda. But the political equations are quite dubious; the United States still find a friend in Musharraf, the military dictator of Pakistan. Media reports and CIA briefings about Pakistan's alleged transfer of nukes to terrorist organisations have not undermined Musharraf's relationship with the President Bush. The assassination points to the 'tattered foreign policy of President Bush and those in race to succeed him.'  

The Times, London,has covered the entire news of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, in a pro-democracy standpoint, and has placed the news in an international context with more humanitarian than a political perspective. A discourse analysis of various news reports, the editorial, interviews and the headlines that appeared in The Times on December 28, 2007 point to the nature of the news discourse of the conservative newspaper. The Times had a perfect 'composition' to use Galtung and Ruge's term, in presenting the fact before its readers and to the world.

The editorial
'For the past few years, diplomats and other observers have refereed privately to the prospect of the killing of Pervez Musharraf as "nightmare scenario" for international order. In the subtle recognition of the way in which power had already evolved in Pakistan, even before a vote has been cast, the demise of Ms. Bhutto had become the possibility the outside world most dreaded…'

The vocabulary is not emotive, but a balanced way of speaking out a dreaded truth. It is subtle and at the same time powerful enough to convey a strong message. Indeed, Times has counted not only on its readers, but on the entire peace-loving people of the world. The discourse is rightly crafted, and appreciated. There are no recurring terms, metaphors or similes; Times had proved that its news-discourse emanates from plain text, that tell meanings without colour or bias.

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