Media Coverage of the Baltimore Unrest in the Op-Ed of “The New York Times”: A Case Study

Nashwa Elyamany

Abstract

Newspaper Op-Ed articles are an important form of intellectual debate that communicate views on public policy matters and help shape public opinion. They are challenging, information-rich and persuasive short media texts imbued with worldviews, arguments, sarcasms and biases, hence providing salience cues regarding key national and international affairs. Recent police killings of citizens in the US have attracted mass coverage in the media, predominantly in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times in 2015. Informed by Critical Discourse Analysis, this case study is a multi-layered qualitative analysis of the Baltimore unrest media coverage, particularly in one article authored by a guest contributor in The New York Times. To identify how the nation-wide case of the Baltimore unrest is rhetorically represented in media discourse, the study is premised on Appraisal Theory and Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The paper aims to: first, pinpoint the inherent appraisal resources used by the author to frame his argument and dialogically position the intended audiences in (dis)alignment with his worldviews; second, showcase the metaphoric repertoire that serves his ideological stance.

Keywords

appraisal; attitude; conceptual metaphor; engagement; graduation

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