Constructing the Iranian nuclear program: Media contents, DTA, CDA, and Appraisal theory
The purpose of this study is to employ Carpentier’s concept of Discourse Theoretical Analysis (DTA), Van Dijk’s concept of ideology (linked to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)), Martin and Rose’s Appraisal system and the analytical frameworks of Fairclough to analyse three elite online newspapers—Tehran Times, The New York Times and European Voice—related to Iran’s nuclear program. An estimated 300 articles, 100 from each online newspaper, will be collected. Using DTA and CDA, this study attempts to elucidate the ideological representation of Iranian, European and American perspectives on Iran’s nuclear program in the news discourse and editorial positions of three elite newspapers. Within the empirical research, the study will focus on two basic realizations of discourse—form and content. Using the theory and methodology developed by J. R. Martin (2000), and the Martin and Rose (2003) appraisal system, the research will analyse the media at the micro level. Thus, the study will pay special attention to the explicit and implicit way in which ideology is expressed using Carpentier’s DTA (Nico Carpentier and B. De Cleen (2007), Fairclough’s (1995, 1998) analytical construction and Van Dijk’s (1997) framework. The following questions will be discussed: How do the The New York Times, European Voice and Tehran Times construct the Iranian nuclear program and the national, institutional and popular identities of the involved actors? How do these newspapers construct the national identities of the main countries involved? How do they construct the identity of the national and international institutional actors involved? How do they construct the identity of the people’s and civil societies of the main countries involved? How are these identities constructed as antagonistic, Orientalist and/or Occidentalist? How do the newspapers construct the (nuclear) technology itself? The presentation will show that ideology, using discourse, tends to emphasize good things about us and bad things about them and de-emphasize bad things about us and good things about them in each publication respectively. Since DTA and CDA view discourse as both produced and shaped by ideology, they stress the essential linguistic characteristics of social relationships, social structures and the power distributed among them.