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Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background
In modern times, with the development of Internet, western mass media, such as newspaper, English broadcasts etc. can be easily accessed. Media discourse has consequently become a major source of people’s information, knowledge and attitudes. As an important channel of information transmission, media discourse, news report in particular, is usually presented as the unbiased recording of ‘hard 留学生新闻媒体学专业硕士论文定制facts’ and newspaper reporters always claim that what they spread to the public is objective and neutral. This is just one side of the coin, and news is in no way like what is mentioned above. Inevitably, this type of biased report will insinuatingly impose greater influence on people’s life and mind.
News discourse has inspired critical studies in many disciplines. Linguistics, semiotics, pragmatics and discourse analysis have produced a number of critical studies of news reporting or other programs. Since its emergence in the late 1970s, with its counterparts in “critical” developments in sociolinguistics, psychology and the social sciences, critical linguistics, or otherwise known as critical discourse analysis has developed rapidly in the past three decades or so. Critical discourse analysts regard language as a form of ideology and view linguistic activity as a social practice. They attempt to discover the ideology and power relations concealed in news discourse and the counteraction of discourse in the formation of ideology by means of not only analyzing texts or probing how texts are produced and interpreted, but also investigating the relationship between texts, processes of text production and social conditions as well as examining the political, economic and cultural contexts. The overriding objective of CDA is to reveal the discursive sources of power, dominance, inequality, and bias and how these sources are initiated, maintained, reproduced, and transformed within specific social, economic, political and historical contexts (van Dijk, 1988).
According to Fowler (1991), news is a practice, a product of social and political world on which it reports. News discourse, especially those issued by public service agency is always and inevitably influenced by the domain ideologies. News can influence and control people’s cognitions directly and indirectly and thus play a significant role in forming people’s ideologies and attitudes. And this is the very reason why news reports are the most salient type of discourses which CDA is applied to (Fowler, 1991) and are chosen as the research object here.
One year has elapsed since the eruption of Lhasa Riots, many stories and comment on it have appeared in media, some of these reports and comments are even contradictory to each other. Until recently, despite the extensive coverage of the Lhasa Riots home and abroad, no analysis of the nature and the quality has been conducted, let alone the analysis of the coverage of them under the theoretical framework of CDA. Therefore, the present thesis is of some significance and will make humble contribution to CDA.

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