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Journalism Language - Analysis of a newspaper article about war crimes in Syria.

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Introduction

´╗┐Journalism is a medium used to give readers a better understanding of what is going on in the world around them and also creates a wider view on why the situations take place, what has led to the situations and possible solutions from the writer?s point of view. There are so many languages used in journalism. In order to get a better understanding of how languages are used in journalism, critical linguistics are are adopted as they give a lot of tools for analysing this. ?Critical is used?to show up connections which may be hidden from people ? such as the connections between language, power and ideology??(Fairclough, 1989: 5) We should be fully aware of the contents of a text before we start analysing it. This essay will help to give a better understanding of how languages in journalism are used by taking an example of a contemporary news story. The Telegraph on 5th of March 2012 released a story on its online edition, which said, ?Syrian forces ?carrying out mass arrests and executions? in Homs? (Sherlock and Blair, 05.03.12). The report was written by a Lebanese correspondent in Beirut called Ruth Sherlock and another reporter, David Blair and the report depicts a typical news story. The headline of the article was on the telegraph main page with other recent news stories from around the world and in the United Kingdom. The headline could then be clicked on which is a link to the full story. ...read more.

Middle

Their hands were tied behind their backs, and their faces pressed to the floor.? There is also the use of transitivity in the report where it says, ?In this blackout, rumours have swirled of ?massacres? committed by the Syrian regime?. (Sherlock and Blair,05.03.12) The Syrian regime is implicated in this situation as an agent of the massacres and massacres could be seen as a form of nominalization as it masks the full details of the situations exactly which have been committed by the Syrian regime. ??By acting in this way, it can hide the agents of decisions because events appear to be spontaneous and self explanatory?(Cornboy, 2007: 65). The word regime also used could be seen as another form of nominalization as it probably means the presidents tenure but is not directly saying that due to reasons unknown. A lot of modal words have been used in this article and it has given the reporter a lot of opportunity to give their opinion. An example is where the reporter say ??the Syrian regime bows to pressure yesterday and said that Baroness Amos...would be allowed to visit Damascus on Wednesday?. (Sherlock and Blair, 05.03.12) The modality is mainly expressed through verbs in this case. There is some fact but mainly third party facts not from people who were directly involved in the incident. The orientation of the media is based on the cultural and current political system so I believe that is why the president has not been greatly condemned in this article because the opinions of powerful people in the society is reproduced by journalism. ...read more.

Conclusion

She claimed 35 other men and boys had been detained and killed in the same attack. These accounts cannot be independently verified. Since its capture last week after 26 days of continuous bombardment, Baba Amr has been sealed off. In this blackout, rumours have swirled of "massacres" committed by the Syrian regime. The numbers have fluctuated wildly, with claims that dozens of civilians had been found hacked to death. But videos posted online and the accounts of civilians who have fled into neighbouring Lebanon leave little doubt of the violence they have left behind. One video, posted the day after Baba Amr was captured, shows a pile of male corpses in a truck. Their bodies are wrapped in blankets and carpeted by falling snow, their faces bearing what appear to be stab wounds. The top of one man's skull has been removed, a wound that seems too clean cut to have been inflicted by shrapnel. Many of the accounts focus on a government co-operative building in Baba Amr where hundreds of detainees are allegedly being held. Last week, reports suggested that ten prisoners were executed at this location. While keeping aid workers out of the most sensitive areas, the Syrian regime bowed to pressure yesterday and said that Baroness Amos, the United Nations under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, would be allowed to visit Damascus on Wednesday. She is expected to press for aid agencies to be free to deliver help wherever it is needed. Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general who has been appointed an envoy to Syria, will also be permitted to visit Damascus on Saturday. ...read more.

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