Critical Discourse Analysis

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Critical Discourse Analysis

Critical Discourse Analysis


Two texts are selected for this study one is an article from and the other one is from China Daily. Guardian news is reporting an event of a train crash, whereas, China Daily report is the follow-up of the same event documenting the rise in death toll.


1). Summary of analytical patterns

Genre analysis

The first news article is taken from Guardian, which is an example of hard news genre. The news is reported the same day as an update, and fall under the news value categories of impact and human interest. The collapse of the twin towers in New York, the first man on the moon, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, income tax goes up by a penny. All these are examples of a hard news story (Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 2010) (Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 2010). All journalists recognize a hard news story the minute they hear one, but it's less easy to generalize than you might think.

News itself has been defined in a variety of memorable ways. The first rough draft of history, according to Ben Bradlee, former editor of the Washington Post; 'anything that makes a reader say “Gee Whiz!”', according to Arthur McEwen; 'something someone, somewhere doesn't want you to print' (Anon) or more prosaically as 'that which is new, interesting and true' (Zhenghua & Dingding, 2011). Importance, significance, relevance and immediacy also play their part and generally, the more important, significant, relevant and immediate something is, the better the story and the stronger its claim to being hard news (Pini & Gorostiaga, 2008). In this connection, the news from Guardian can be termed as an example of hard news because it fulfils all the definitions mentioned above.

A study by Moufahim et al. (2007) pointed out how difficult journalists themselves find it to categorize news because often stories will fall into more than one category. Thus, many may argue that this news cannot be termed as hard news; however, chances are very rare for contradiction.

Image Analysis

The image used in this news story is placed at a crucial place, right after the headline, which conveys half message what news story will describe further. The image shows wreckage of rail compartments, hanging down from the bridge of railway track. The picture is perhaps taken at Dawn time, immediately when the accident was occurred (Herbel-Eisenmann & Wagner, 2010). The image plays crucial role not only in transmitting the severity of the image, but also stimulate viewers to read the whole story. (For image from Guardian see Appendix A)

Visual Analysis

Visual analysis demands examination of visuals on three factors, including Representation, Orientation and Presentation. As already mentioned, the image is positioned right after the headline, which is an example of narrative image unlike analytical, because the image in this news story clearly create a background of the event in readers' mind. A sever accident can be witnessed in the image, because of the depiction of wreckage of ...
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