Contrastive news discourse analysis
from a pragmatic perspective
This paper explores the possibilities of a combined methodology of contrastive pragmatic ideology research and critical news discourse analysis. Concrete methodological tools from social actor’s analysis, as designed by Van Leeuwen (2008), are integrated into a framework of linguistic pragmatics, proposed by Verschueren (1999, 2008, 2012). By contrasting topically-related news reports concerning the Kenyan post-election crisis from American, British, and Kenyan newspapers salient patterns of unquestioned meaning are scrutinized via an analysis of the representation of social actors. The differences in representational strategies are given ideological interpretations, as they result from different worldviews and contribute to a tribal versus political frame of interpretation. Finally these (sometimes evaluative) interpretations are nuanced and tentatively explained by aspects of the context.