chapter  5
The media Anne O’Keeffe
Pages 14

This early study still has resonance for the study of media discourse today in that our relationship with media personae has, if anything, grown and deepened, compared with the days of Johnny Carson, and this is very much linked to how we use language in the creation, expression and maintenance of pseudo-intimate relationships (see O’Keeffe 2006). Ideology has also had a major impact on the study of language in the media. O’Halloran

(2010) explains that ideology is about looking at representations of aspects of the world which contribute to establishing and maintaining social relations of domination, inequality and exploitation. White (1997), for example, claims that by ‘severely’ circumscribing subjective interpersonal features in hard news reports, journalists can, through ‘objective’ language, purport to be neutral, essentially where formal language provides the veneer of neutrality. The dominant methodology which addresses this within media discourse studies is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), which we shall discuss further below. Van Dijk (2001: 352) offers the following definition of CDA:

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context. With such dissident research, critical discourse analysts take an explicit position, and thus want to understand, expose, and ultimately resist social inequality.