- Discourse analysis of the news reports of Benazir Bhutto’s...
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.
'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
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.