Discourse Analysis of Selected Kenyan Leader’s Utterances During COVID-19 Media Briefings
Keywords:Discourse, covid-19, leaders, statements, power, social class, CDA
When Corona virus was discovered in Wuhan China, many countries, Kenya included, did not have a lot of information about the virus. Despite that, the citizens were looking up to the government together with other leaders to provide information about the virus. In Kenya, after sometime, leaders started issuing statements about the virus with an intention of providing public education to help contain the virus. Some of these were government officers while others were members of parliament and other pressure groups that deal with human rights. The purpose of this research was to look at the way the Kenyan leaders used language to communicate to the masses about Covid-19. The approach used was that of Critical Discourse analysis (CDA). Chunks of utterances from selected leaders that appeared in a Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation between 1st April and 30th April were analyzed using CDA parameters. The findings revealed that the utterances showed underlying social issues and disparities together with power relations and domination. A number of the utterances did not take into consideration the needs of the people or even the effects of the statements on the masses. Some appeared to give orders to people that did not resonate well with the masses. There is need for the leaders making statements to be more considerate, educative and diplomatic in their approach to make their messages more effective and to obtain the desired result. This could be done by allowing those who are experts in a given field to take charge in disseminating information to the populace
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