Comparative Analysis of the Reportage of the Guguletu 7 Events in the South African Press in 1986 and 1997

By Lubbe, H. J. | Critical Arts, July 2007 | Go to article overview

Comparative Analysis of the Reportage of the Guguletu 7 Events in the South African Press in 1986 and 1997


Lubbe, H. J., Critical Arts


Abstract

On 3 March 1986, a fatal confrontation occurred between the police and the inhabitants of Guguletu, a residential area near Cape Town. Seven inhabitants were killed. The incident was not without controversy, and received wide coverage in the press. A decade later, in 1997, the events were recalled when two members of the police who had been involved in the confrontation applied for amnesty before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Once again, the hearing received wide coverage in the press. In this article I will perform a comparative analysis of the reportage in the South African press in respect of the event in 1986 and the 1997 amnesty application within the framework of Critical Linguistics. It is hypothesised in Critical Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis that the public media can convey their ideology in a subtle manner through language use. Because news discourse does not occur in a vacuum, but is the product of the social and political system in which journalists operate, the way in which the different socio-political contexts of the two events found expression in media reports will also be indicated.

Keywords: Guguletu 7, Cape Town, police, reportage, Critical Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, news.

Introduction

At about 7.30 on Monday morning, 3 March 1986, a fatal confrontation between the police and local residents occurred at an intersection on the way to Guguletu, a residential suburb near Cape Town. Two members of the police were wounded, and seven Guguletu residents were killed. The incident is therefore referred to as that of the 'Guguletu seven'. The incident, which received wide coverage in the local press, and even overseas, was not without controversy. Allegations of irregularities on the part of the police were made, and a legal investigation, which ultimately failed to satisfactorily resolve all the questions, was instituted. A decade later, the events were recalled when two members of the police task force who had been involved in the events appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and applied for amnesty.

In the time that elapsed between the incident in 1986 and the hearing in 1997, the political and social situation in South Africa had changed radically and these changes found expression in the tone of reporting in the press.

In this contribution I aim, within the framework of Critical Linguistics, to provide a comparative analysis of the reporting on the Guguletu 7 events in the South African press, on the basis of a comparison between news reports issued at the time of the original incident in 1986, and reports concerning the hearing before the TRC in 1997. In Critical Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis, it is hypothesised that the public media convey their ideology in a subtle manner through the use of language. The objective in this contribution is to determine whether ideology is conveyed in the media and, if so, to explain how this happens. Before the comparative analysis of the reportage is carried out, the theoretical framework within which the analysis is to be conducted will be explained, while the role of the press will be elucidated and an overview of the political context within which these two events took place will be provided.

Theoretical framework

Mainstream schools of thought in Linguistics, (1) namely structuralism and generativism, are often accused of not displaying sufficient social involvement, and there is a growing belief that linguistic analyses should, and can, render a contribution to other social disciplines. Within this trend of thought, Critical Linguistics developed from mainstream linguistics. (2)

As a subdiscipline of Linguistics, Critical Linguistics investigates the interrelationship between language and society, which includes the deliberate, as well as the unconscious misuse of language in the manipulation of power relations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comparative Analysis of the Reportage of the Guguletu 7 Events in the South African Press in 1986 and 1997
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.