Textual analysis and critical political economy

This essay will highlight the following news items based on textual analysis and critical, political economy. The news item addresses the issue related to war in Sri Lanka between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Tamil tigers. An online news publication and video reports is compared in this essay.

The video news report by Al Jazeer reported on 12th May “Concerns rise over Sri Lanka civilian deaths ” and the news article published by CNN on May 5th “Sri Lankan president declares success over rebels ” is more likely to give its readers with different opinions based on textual analysis as well as the critical, political economy. The video report shows concern towards the war and death of civilians, which a viewer will instantly get by the title itself and in depth after viewing the report and listening to the report saying that Tamil tigers using civilians as human shields and government attacking them.

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However the CNN report title seems to give another impression as it says the crisis is more successfully tackled which however doesn’t seem to take into account the government’s failure to provide civil safety due to war. As in textual analysis, there is no absolutely accurate or wrong answer. The readers based on the cultural background, general understanding of the crisis or social background reflects the text at their ideological understanding. The news publisher as in this case, Al Jazeera and CNN both have their own aspects of presenting the news. Based on the Critical, Political and Economical factors later discussed.

The Medium used is also a vital thing which also affects the delivery and understandability of the text. Video by Al Jazeera and written news by CNN is having its own ways of conveying the text. However textual analysis helps analyze the text in relation to the text as a whole. This basically means getting the overall message in the text. In the CNN news article, the components of speech on Independence Day and addressing by the president, as well as the less information provided about the civilian status gives an understanding to the reader as if the war is going at its best conditions.

How ever the video shows more on the civilian disaster rather than the success of the war in just taking control over the rebels. As news is said to inform us about events taking place, its gives its own interpretation of these events in a way that make sense to people which might be inaccurate or accurate. However they also mirrors the reality but anchored by the ideology of its producers as well the readers. The whole text, genre of the text and the whole view must be taken into account when analyzing the text.

The CNN news can be misunderstood if we do not take the whole view as it also talks somewhat about the humanitarian group’s messages about unprotected civilians. The video text also must be analyzed in the same aspect. As there are so many sources reporting the same event, it is more relevant to understand the event by viewing and reading other news before a textual analysis is done. It is also necessary to take a look at how the news is then selected and reported. When selecting news, policy, media, corporate and public agenda is amplified.

Like CNN having its own agenda on corporate and policies while maybe different from of what of AL Jazeera. Critical Political Economy as defined in Media Studies as the theory which emphasizes how media production in an industry dominated by those who are the most powerful in society, who commoditize media products to generate profits and spread their ideology. The elite person does this. The Al Jazeera and CNN has agenda’s which are shaped according to the ownership and the background of the company.

The politics which is everywhere, it’s the science and art of governing a country and maneuvering for power within a group, it influences on over the media. The economics is the science concerned with earning profits or maximizing it by delivering the news as the products or good. The textual analysis did the possible meanings from the text, the political economy approach more concerned with how the political or economical forces framing the media. Political economy is further contrasted into Liberal political economy and Critical political economy.

Liberal political economy focuses on market exchanges, mechanisms and sovereignty of the individual consumer. And consumers are supposed to choose based on their satisfaction and have greater individual consumer choices. However critical political economy does not focus on individual consumers but on the wider sets of social relations and the play of power. The making of meanings comes through this contrast. The CNN is accused of being biased and in favor corporate bodies and government; the news item also seems to be presented in a shallow aspect giving with less depth information about the civilian death.

The main reasons argued can be corporate ownership, advertiser influence and official agendas. The corporate ownership of CNN is by AOL Time Warner. The goal of profit maximization has been in conflict with practice of responsible journalism. CNN and such companies becoming larger and fewer in numbers also reduce the diversity of the media voices. The official agenda more argued as the critical political economy of CNN more involved with the government which usually follows it obviously in war n foreign policy coverage. CNN entertains political parties in the news media as well receiving large income from these political advertisements.

As the issue highlighted in the compared news item from CNN and Al Jazeera is of foreign policy for both CNN n Al Jazeera which are foreign bodies reporting international news. As it seems when comparing these two texts, CNN one seems more biased of the other Al Jazeera news report. However the Al Jazeera news body was know to practice freedom of speech when it began in 1996 in the middle-east. Having previous controversial views it is still though remarkably a reputed news agency. The corporate background from Qatar Emir and the growth of Al Jazeera into the international journalism was in a very short period.

However the political economy of Al Jazeera seems to be more liberal. The outstanding coverage of the Iraq war and more recent activities ranked it higher on the best sources. Less politically influenced though earns from economical activities such as advertisements. The news covering war in Sri Lanka is more accurately brought by Al Jazeera on this video report as compared to CNN on the same issue. Which is with my argument of textual analysis which maybe accurate or not. Unduly influencing what people see, hear and think can be done by news proprietors. The CNN might be potentially abusing power by sending biased coverage to wide audience.

Compared to Al Jazeera, CNN has wider network. As the critical political economists are more concerned presenting their views over of the other cultural forms. The understanding of the text also depends somewhat on the medium. Printed publication is less effective than the video or visual mediums. In this case CNN with a written news and Al Jazeera with a video report. The CNN publication needs to be read and understood which requires, reading capacity to the audience. However the video showing footage of the action scenes obviously makes sense to the audience without reading capacity.

The written news needs to be read for understanding; however more visual as image gives the audience a quick meaning based on their ideology and social background. Sounds also add life to the images or video. It can be consumed then by people who might not have eyesight or read if deaf. As a conclusion, it seems for me that the Al Jazeera news video report is more accurate and provides with a clear reality. CNN has biased and incomplete presentation of the news, which is more influenced by the ownership policy and political agenda.


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