This article addresses the lack of work on media and crime in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), using an example of a factual television crime report. The existing research in media studies and criminology points to the way that the media misrepresents crime by distorting public understandings and backgrounding structural issues, such as poverty, which are related to crime thereby legitimising a criminal justice system that serves the interests of the powerful in society. Using social actor and transitivity analysis, this article shows how multimodal CDA can make an important contribution as it reveals the more subtle linguistic strategies and visual representations by which this process is accomplished, showing how each plays a part in the recontextualisation of social practice. This programme backgrounds which crimes are committed but foregrounds mental states and the neutrality of policing.
Bibliographical noteSpecial Issue: Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies
- multimodality, crime
- critical discourse analysis