An Analysis of Western and Nigerian Media Depictions of President Jonathan’s Presidential Bid

Ayodeji O. Awobamise, Adebola A. Aderibigbe


Nigeria is once again in the news, not for the nations problems with the terrorist group Boko Haram, nor our mirage of economic problems plaguing Nigeria; rather we are attracting the attention of the world because we are on the verge of another major election in the country. An election that might see a change in leadership, thereby removing President Goodluck Jonathan from Aso Rock Villa, or one that might win him a mandate to remain for another four years as president of one of the richest countries in Africa. This election holds a lot of meaning for Nigerians, and for Africa generally, due to the fact that there has been an incessant call for change of leadership or leadership style as the incumbent has maintained a seemingly lackadaisical attitude in the face of rampant corruption and Boko Harams continued reign of unabated terror on Nigerians in the north. Both foreign media and local media alike have reported numerous bombings, killings and corruption cases in Nigeria as well as having shown keen interest in the outcome of the next general election in Nigeria. On November 11, 2014, President Jonathan declared his intention to run for re-election come February 2015. This declaration has elicited different responses from different media outlets all over the world as there has been some doubt about the Presidents intention to run. This paper examines both Western and indigenously owned media depictions of this declaration. The author has made use of Van Dijks Social Ideological Discourse Theory and Ideological Square Theory. It was found that although both news articles reported on the same issue, they are still very different with regard to macropropositions and Local meanings. The ideology and personal perception of the writers is reflected clearly in the way the news articles are written.

Keywords: Discourse analysis, ideological square, semantics, macrostructures, macroproposition and superstructure, Nigeria elections 2015.

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