Deconstructing Functional Organisation of Newspaper Discourse

Radzuwan Ab Rashid, Kamariah Yunus, Zanirah Wahab


This paper aims to shed light on the functional organisation of language in the reports published in Malaysian newspapers. Adopting Halliday’s (1970; 1990; 1994) systemic functional grammar as its analytical lens, two text extracts, one from New Strait Times (NST) and one from The Star, were scrutinized. Both reports cover an urge to improve the standard of sub-standard National Service camps. The analysis shows that NST report uses a serious and aggressive tone while The Star report is less serious and less aggressive. Interestingly, both The Star and New Strait Times are considered as right-wing and formal Malaysian newspapers instead of the ‘Tabloid’ ones. This paper argues that even though the differences in the organisation of the language are subtle, the two reports convey different messages to readers and possibly leave different impacts on them.       



Halliday, functional grammar, newspaper discourse, New Strait Times, The Star, Malaysia

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