Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis of CNN and Fox News Headlines: A Case of Immigration Detention in the US

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Stockholms universitet/Engelska institutionen

Sammanfattning: Immigration policies and border control in the US were hardened significantly more ever since the new government’s immigration executive order in 2017. A series of massive raids and immigrant detentions were carried out which got the attention of both human rights activists and the news media. How these immigration detention events are portrayed in the news media reflect, moreover, a series of discourses which seem to attract audiences from either left-wing or right-wing political ideologies, specifically to read CNN and Fox news respectively, according to previous survey-based research. This paper aims to identify through Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) how those in detention are represented in the news headlines of Fox News and CNN, and secondly, identify what possible left-wing and right-wing political ideologies about immigration are expressed in the news outlets. Reference strategies and transitivity will encompass the micro-level analysis, which focuses on language construction. For the macro-level analysis, on the one hand, discourse practices like process of production and consumption will be considered, and on the other hand, American foreign policy viewed from the left-wing and right-wing perspectives will be discussed to consider differences in style, tone, and perspective in CNN and Fox News’ headlines in relation to immigration detention events. Results show that CNN, tied to left-wing audiences, portray the immigration detention events from the perspective of immigrants who are in a vulnerable position since they are detained with their families. Moreover, Fox News, tied to right-wing audiences, show the events more from the viewpoint of the government and the public entities in charge of the immigration policies, who are in need to restrain, detain, and deport immigrants for the sake of the country’s security. This paper aims to contribute further to the research on political ideologies as a relevant factor to understand differences in discourse in the news media for future research.

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