Discourse Analysis of Selected Kenyan Leader’s Utterances During COVID-19 Media Briefings

Authors

  • Owala Silas Lecturer, Department of Language, Literature and Culture, Maasai Mara University Narok Kenya
  • Kenneth Odhiambo Senior Lecturer, Department of Language, Literature and Culture, Maasai Mara University Narok Kenya

Keywords:

Discourse, covid-19, leaders, statements, power, social class, CDA

Abstract

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

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Dimensions

References

Achuka, V. & Langat, P. (2020 April 17) Mixed results in Covid-19 battle as nightly curfew enters fourth week. Daily Nation, p.2.

Achuka, V. (2020, April 15) We will arrest you for not wearing a face mask in public. Daily Nation, p.7.

Atieno, N. & Hussein, F. (2020 April 24) Spike in virus cases in Mombasa raises alarm. Daily Nation, p. 5.

Bird, C. (2011). The discourse of American tragedy: An analysis of President Clinton's rhetoric as it functions to construct reality, shape community, and display presidential eloquence. [Unpublished M.A. thesis]. Central Michigan University.

Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and power. London: Longman

Fairclough, N. (1995b) Critical discourse analysis. London: Longman.

Gee, J.P. (2001) An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. London and New York. Routledge

Kabale, N. (2020, April 3) You’re dancing with death, Kagwe warns Kenyans as cases rise. Daily Nation, p. 2.

________ (2020, April 24) Community infections now fuel Covid-19 spread as cases hit 320. Daily Nation, p.5

Kamau, J. (2020, April 8) Uhuru faces litmus test as Covid-19 burden sits heavily on his shoulders. Daily Nation, p.2.

Luo, A. (2019) Discourse analysis: A step by step guide with examples. https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/discourse-analysis/

Nation team (2020, April 15) Five hotspots mapped out as Covid-19war moves to the counties Daily Nation, p. 4.

Okeyo, V. (2020, April 5) Kagwe: Four more have tested positive, taking the number to 126. Daily Nation, p.2.

Owala, S., Indede, F. & Mohochi, S. (2013) Study of terrorism discourse in TaifaLeo newspaper of Kenya, Mediterranean journal of social sciences vol 4 No 4 https//doi10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n4p283

Owino, S. (2020, April 7) Total lockdown: Opinion divided as MPs weigh in on ‘extreme measures.’ Daily Nation, p.5.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of critical discourse analysis. Discourse and Society, 4(2), 249-283.

______ (2001). Multidisciplinary CDA. In Wodak, R., and Meyer, M. Methods of critical discourse analysis. SAGE Publications, Great Britain.

Published

2020-09-30

How to Cite

Silas, O. ., & Odhiambo, K. . (2020). Discourse Analysis of Selected Kenyan Leader’s Utterances During COVID-19 Media Briefings. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 3(9), 124-130. Retrieved from https://al-kindipublisher.com/index.php/ijllt/article/view/452