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Title:Newspapers as 'community members': editorial responses to the death of Eugène Terre'Blanche
Authors:Smith, Jade
Adendorff, Ralph
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1022-8195)
Geographic term:South Africa
language usage
About person:Eugène Ney Terre'Blanche (1941-2010)ISNI
Abstract:This article uses the appraisal system to expose covert meanings surrounding white supremacist Eugène Terre'Blanche's murder in editorials from three South African newspapers: The Citizen, Sowetan and The Times. Following J.R. Martin and P.R.R. White's framework, inscribed and evoked Attitudinal meanings are identified to prove an 'us versus them' perspective of Terre'Blanche's death. Graduation and Engagement strategies supplement this, illustrating how meanings are modified or organized to align readers. The analysis reveals surface attempts to present a 'balanced view' of this racially-sensitive event; however, beneath this is clear blame allocation. Additionally, the covert evaluation is explained by C. Coffin and K. O'Halloran's theory of 'dog-whistling', where only aligned readers can detect underlying meanings. This creates the imagined community - 'us' - of which the newspaper is seen as a trusted member. Print media, it could be inferred, is symbolic of other South African community members, who mask their evaluations with a politically correct façade. App., bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]