Publisher: Lead City University

Critical Discourse Analysis of The Punch and The Guardian Newspaper Reports On The Foi Bill

Omojuyigbe, Dele
KEYWORDS: Newpapers, reports, FOI bill, discourse, analysis.


This study investigates the way news writers in selected Nigerian newspapers employed language to express their underlying interests in the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill which engaged Nigerians’ attention from 1999 to 2011 . For the bill’s social relevance, the media and other pressure groups demanded that it should be signed into an Act by the Federal Government but the Government refused because it perceived information as a means of power control. Nigerians canvassed for the bill’s approval in order to be empowered to ask questions about the way they were governed, while the Federal Government believed that the Act would make journalists have unhindered access to information which they might deploy indiscriminately in exposing perceived corrupt practices in the country. Data for the work were derived fromThePunch and The Guardian newspapers which widely published reports on the Bill between 2007 and 2008 and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was engaged as the theoretical framework because of its potential to reveal the news writers’ ideological positions on the bill. Analysis showed that framing, idioms, rhetoric, referencing and words and expressions of anger, doubt and rejection were among the linguistic strategies deployed in the news writers’ reports to help accelerate the bill’s approval.

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