Strategic Functions in CNN’s Media Discourse: An Ideological Method to Convince People

Hanan Al-Radhi


The current research paper concentrates on the possibility of utilizing the four strategic functions of political discourse initiated by Chilton and Schaffner (1997) to analyze media discourse. More directly, the research is dealt with how Cable News Network (CNN) establishes the four strategic functions within its media discourse to convey its media message to its readers, reflecting its “Self” and “Other”. To go deep further, it focuses to know whether the four strategic functions of political discourse can be applied and utilized with media discourse or not. Hence, this research contributes to the realization of strategic functions notion in media discourse, in general, CNN news discourse, in particular. Thus, it seeks, mainly, to answer the following question: Can strategic functions be established and utilized within the media discourse to convey ideological media message to the recipients? The linguistic analysis of CNN’s news text that concerns with Arab spring events in Bahrain approves that the strategic functions concept can be detected within the analyzed data. Thus, this concept can be established and detected within the media news discourse, in general. As such, this study is designed to identify the prevailing strategic functions enacted through linguistic choices to reflect “Self” and “Other” ’s constructions in the CNN’s Arab spring news text by analyzing presupposition and the hidden ideologies behind. Fairclough’s 2-dimentional approach for CDA (1995) will be employed to organize the process of analysis. Wodak’s historical discourse approach for CDA (2009) will be integrated during the analysis to provide the readers with the background information necessary to understand the selected news texts. Square van Dijk’s theory of Ideological (1998) will be utilized to clarify CNN’s presentation of positive “Self” and negative “Other” (in and out groups).

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