Ideology has been described as “the ideas which legitimise the power of a dominant social group or class” (Thompson 1990). The first article is from the Irish Examiner “FF rebels vow to block drink law change” (Irish Examiner 2009). The second is the article titled “FF backbenchers criticise plan for lower drink-driving limits” from The Irish Times (The Irish Times 2009). Firstly we will analyse the ideological nature of the articles taking into account codes and discourse. Discourse is “the analysis of text and talk” (Devereux 2007). We will explore if any of Thompsons ideological devices used, compare and contrast the articles and explore if there are dominant or counter ideologies present. Analysis
Both articles are based on the government’s proposal to introduce new lower drink-driving limits. We will first discuss the lead article on the Irish Examiner “FF rebels vow to block drink law change”. The author uses sensational language to draw in the reader such as “block”, “hard-core” and “stormy”. We can see legitimation in the last paragraph of this article where they try to persuade us to accept the new plan. We can also see an example of fragmentation where one group are in agreement with Brian Cowan and the other group are against his idea. Language such as “rebels” and “hard-core” is used to denounce the oppositional group. The article “provokes” sympathy towards the Fianna Fáil Minister and describes him “appealing” to both sides. I would see most people adopting a negotiated reading to the text. The Irish Times
Secondly is the article “FF backbenchers criticise plan for lower drink-driving limits”. This article appears as the tertiary article on the front page of The Irish Times. This is a much more balanced article and gives a more objective view. The author is laying out the facts of what happened at the meeting. The Irish Times could not be described as partisan.
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