Ideology in Reporting the ‘Operation Cast Lead’, a Transitivity Analysis of the Arab News and New York Times Reports

Umar Bello


This paper attempts to use Transitivity and Critical Linguistics to demonstrate that news is (or can be) socially constructed and that reality in the press is more about opinions and propositions than facts. The language that is used to represent people and events is chosen from options and choices within the linguistic system that may not be value-free or coincidental. These choices can seek to represent the world in a particular ideologically-enforced manner. The analysis done in this paper using transitivity framework indicates how grammatical resources like agency deletion, negative/positive representation of actors, foregrounding/backgrounding, nominalization and so on are used by both the New York Times and Arab News to foster ideological interests and to underscore their favored worldviews. In the Operation Cast Lead war between Israel and Hamas, the Arab News reports are shown to be very critical of Israel while defending Hamas. The New York Times, on the other hand, is shown as mitigating Israeli assaults and indicting Hamas mostly for the overall negative consequences of the war.



Operation cast lead, Gaza, Newyork Times, Arabnews, transitivity, critical linguistics, critical discourse analysis, nominalization, ergativity

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