Constructions of Climate Change

by Antonia Brunet and Guillaume Horst

We analyzed the news coverage of the UN climate conference in Paris 2015 as it was conducted by the international news channels Al Jazeera English, CNN International, France24 and Telesur. The basis for our analysis were the channels’ main news shows but we also took into consideration other formats that treated the subject of climate change or the conference itself. We examined those programs within a fixed time period: November 30th until December 13th, the dates of the beginning and shortly after the end of the UN climate conference. Continue reading

How to legitimize our research project

by Natalie Berner and Sophia Krebs

„Language is a battlefield“ (Philo 2007, p. 178) – according to the assumptions of critical discourse analysts, language is not only structuring social life (Fairclough 2012, p. 454), it also „embodies systems of thought which structure what can be understood.“ (Philo 2007, p. 177). This means that language defines our view of the world. To put it pointedly: the ones who controle language, control social cognition, which is nothing less than our representation of reality. „More control over more properties of text and context, involving more people, is thus generelly associated with more influence, and hence with hegemony.“ (Van Dijk 1993, p. 257). Since the selected news channels broadcast global and are consumed particularly by decision-makers, it is relevant to analyze how they create world with language and context. Continue reading

What is a “discourse”? – Part 2

In addition to our colleagues Antonia Brunet and Alexandra Kößler we would like to complement their collection of definitions. To this, we will suggest a definition of „discourse“ which both summarizes the quintessences of critical discourse analysts and suits our study on global 24/7 news channels.

by Caroline Klausener and Fabian Lüders Continue reading

Michel Foucault’s discourse analysis

by Linda Schumacher

With his publication ‘Archeology of Knowledge‘ (1969) the french social theorist Michel Foucault provided the foundations for discourse analysis. He introduced four categories to describe the discursive formations: terms, objects, modalities of expression and strategies. These categories should be used in order to analyse discourses. Continue reading

Definition: What is a “discourse”

Drawing on the works of Foucault, Fairclough, van Dijk and Philo, this post, first, collects discourse definitions used in discourse analysis. On this basis then, second, we suggest a defintion that could be used in our study on global 24/7 TV news channels.

by Antonia Brunet and Alexandra Kößler 
Continue reading

Eight (more) arguments for CDA

Following Greg Philo (2007) and Teun A. van Dijk (1993) and, partly, as a supplement to our colleagues Antonia Paal and Tobias Fischer, we would like to name eight reasons why a critical discourse analysis is relevant for our study on global 24/7 TV news channels.

by Kathrina Marini and Nadine Wallnöfer Continue reading

Accuracy of news coverage of climate change in the US

by Tobias Fischer

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, cable news networks in the United States, including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, cover climate science in different ways. The research found out that there are not only huge differences in the accuracy of the coverage, what is more is the fact that the topic “climate change” was not presented equally (regarding the amount of news coverage) on the different networks. One shocking example is the network FOX. While MSNBC shows good numbers with 92 percent of “accurate coverage”, FOX is almost presenting the opposite with 28 percent being “misleading”. Continue reading

Discourse analysis of media accounts

Philo, G. (2007). Can discourse analysis successfully explain the content of media and journalistic practice? Journalism Studies, 8(2): 175-196.

Comparing the methods of the Glagow University Media Group with discourse analysis in the work of Norman Fairclough and Teun van Dijk, this paper argues that text-based studies need to include the study of key productions factors as well as the analysis of audience understanding. Continue reading

Mind management through discourse control

Van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of critical discourse analysis. Discourse & Society, 4(2): 249-283.

Van Dijk makes it clear: Managing the mind of others is essentially a function of text and talk. Therefore, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) needs to focus on the “discursive strategies that legitimate control, or otherwise ‚naturalize‘ the social order” – i.e. on strategic ways to change the mind of others in one’s own interests (p. 254). Continue reading

Just as innocent

by Natalie Berner

With his article „Just as innocent – comparing Beirut and Paris“ the Lebanese journalist Habib Battah accuses the unequal use of language of Western news reports when talking about victims of terror attacks. The article was published at Al Jazeeras web page two days after the Paris attacks. By analysing the wording of different headlines he wants to show that Western media coverage tend to „deluting the massacres“ in Beirut and were „using double standards“ generally. In context of the scholarly interest of this blog this article can be seen as part of an counter discourse which tries to strengthen an non-Western perspective by using tools similiar to those of Critical Discourse Analysis.

International terrorism, domestic coverage?

Jürgen Gerhards and Mike S. Schäfer (2014): International terrorism, domestic coverage? How terrorist attacks are presented in the news of CNN, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and ARD. In: International Communication Gazette Vol. 76(1): 3–26

by Nadine Wallnöfer

The article compares the coverage on four terrorist incidents (the London, Madrid, Sharm el Sheikh and Amman bombings) in the main news shows of the US edition of CNN, of Al Jazeera’s Arabic language service, of the British BBC, and of the German Tagesschau. Continue reading

3 reasons why to deal with international TV channels?

by Nadine Wallnöfer

International TV channels (as well as their contents) are of great importance for communication and media studies for three reasons:

1. Struggle for sovereignty of interpretation: Each channel claims to convey the one and only true worldview.

2. Influence on domestic media: Journalists, who follow international news channels too, also orientate themselves towards their news offers. At least, journalists have to take into account that there are competing perspectives. This obviously should affect domestic media content. In addition, the efforts of the competitors could improve domestic media contents and better tailor these programs to the needs of users (this is supposed to discourage the audience from preferring to consume other channels).

3. Influence on other international media: International channels interact with each other. For example, Al Jazeera has been accused of promoting an anti-American worldview in its reporting (Sherry Ricchiardi (March-April 2011). “The Al Jazeera Effect”. American Journalism Review).