Volume 23, Issue 1, 2013
Culture, Communication and Cognition
The Potential Relevance of the Test of the News by Lippmann and Merz for Critical Discourse Analysis
This paper attempts to signal the potential relevance of A Test of the News, written by Lippmann and Merz, for Critical Discourse Analysis. It seems that the study is overlooked by CDA’s experts as a pioneering work in press analysis. In order to demonstrate links between CDA and the research, in the first part, the work of Lippmann and Merz is situated within a wider picture of the theoretical and historical background as well as common views on politics and the role of the press. Then, the reasons for the choice of the Times as a medium of research and the Russian Revolution as a topic are stated. The authors’ methodological assumptions are discussed in brief. The second part begins with an attempt to define the concept of CDA. The next section presents a theoretical framework of CDA in order to indicate that Lippmann’s and Merz’s analysis demonstrates a similar theoretical approach. Additionally, the tools used by authors are compared with those used in CDA. The parallel between the central role of the media discourse in CDA and the concern of the authors of the role of the press is also discussed. Since the active role of the reader and the hearer in constructing the meaning of the text corresponds with the views of the authors on the discrepancy between the real world and its representation, the next section is devoted to this issue. Finally, readers’ abilities, discussed by Lippmann and Merz, are viewed in relation to the significance of reader’s experiences in constructing the meaning of a text.