News Reporting in Uganda: a Cross-Linguistic and Textual Exploration of Newspaper Genres


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Lingusitics & English Language Studies


The study interrogates the nature of linguistic mechanisms newspaper writers invoke to recount issues of conflict in the Ugandan print media. It employs a multi-dimensional approach to discourse analysis to examine hard news and editorial reports in English and Runyankore-Rukiga across government and private newspapers. It demonstrates that despite sharing similar generic properties and textual organisation with the Anglo-American news stories, Ugandan news stories exemplify distinct generic features. Moreover, the strategies that news reporters employ to express value positions towards news events or news actors are at variance with those invoked by news reporters in Anglo-American journalistic tradition. Assuming Genre theory and Appraisal theory, the study presents the textual architecture and lexico-grammatical properties that define hard news reports and editorials. It also explicates the nature of both overt and covert linguistic resources that news writers invoke to express notions of conflict in news events recounting corruption, war and political violence.