Framing and Perspective
Exploring the Discourse Functions of Thematic choices in Newspaper Editorials on Terrorism in Nigeria
This paper explores Nigerian media’s choices of themes in editorials on terrorism in Nigeria. The study relates to how well Nigerian newspaper organisations attempted to reveal or mask security cases across different regions of the country through thematic choices. The editorials were sourced from The Punch and The Guardian (South-Western region), Vanguard and The Sun (East Region) and Leadership and Daily Trust (Northern Region) between 2014 and 2016. Our findings show that preposition-headed adjuncts occurred the most in thematic positions. Marked adjuncts were used to substantiate claims, inject prejudices and mark varying degrees of commitments. Marked complements were thematised to project the sufferers/victims of violence, thus achieve emotive effects on the readers. The multiple themes were made to function as adversatives, correctives, emphases and stance markers on security measures in the editorials. All the newspapers employed thematic relations that explicitly projected negative disposition to the violent activities of cattle herders, Boko Haram insurgents and Niger Delta militants in Nigeria.
discourse in Nigerian Newspapers. Journal of the Nigeria English Studies
Association (JNESA), 13(1), 17-32.
Bloor T., & Bloor M. (1995). The fundamental analysis of English. London: Edward
Chinwokwu, E. (2012). History and dynamics of terrorism in Nigeria: Socio-political
dimension. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 1(11), 419-449
Dankano, S. (2010). U.S listing of Nigeria as terror state: matters arising. Retrieved from
Downing, A., & Locke, P. (2006). English grammar – A university course. New
Ekeanyanwu, N., & Jokodola, O. (2009). Analysis of the content of Nigeria’s
newspaper editorials. Oko Journal of Communication and Information Science, 1(2), 73-103.
Fries, P. (1995). Personal view of theme: Thematic development in English text. In
Ghadessy, M. (ed.), Register Analysis, 335-359. London: Pinter.
Halliday, M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar.
London: Hodder Education.
Halliday, M. (2014). Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar. New York:
Huddleston, R.(1988). English grammar – An outline. Cambridge: Cambridge
Igwebuike, E., & Taiwo, R. (2015). Representation of Bakassi Peninsula conflict in
Nigeria and Cameroon print media: A critical discourse approach. Linguistik online 73, 4(15), 29-45.
Lafrue, G. & Dugan, L. (2007). Introducing the global terrorism database. Terrorism and
political violence, 19: 181-204 DOI: 10.1080/09546550701246817
Ojeme, V. (2011). Nigeria still on European terror watch list. Vanguard. Retrieved from
Osisanwo, A. (2016). Discursive representation of Boko Haram terrorism in selected
Nigerian newspapers. Discourse and Communication, 1-22.
Osisanwo, W. (2001). Textuality and Nigerian newspaper editorials: The example of
The Guardian. Ife Studies in English Language, 5, 1-9.
Owolabi, D. (2016). Perception of English usage in expressing validity on products
and services. Papers in English and Linguistics (PEL), 17, 241-254.
Taiwo, R. (2001). Thematic structure in English-medium Nigerian newspaper
Reports. Ife Studies in English Language, 5(1), 58-67.
The Ghana Journal of Linguistics is published by the Linguistics Association of Ghana, P. O. Box LG61, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
© Linguistics Association of Ghana and individual authors, 2019.