Xenophobia and the media: an investigation into the textual representation of black ‘foreigners’ in the daily sun, a South Africa tabloid (February 2008 - December 2008)
This mini-thesis is a discourse analysis of the representations of black ‘foreigners’ in the media with reference to xenophobia. In this specific context, the study investigates and analyses the textual representations of black ‘foreigners’ in the Daily Sun, a South African tabloid newspaper during the period February 2008 till December 2008. For the theoretical and systematic framework, the study essentially combined critical discourse analysis (Van Dijk, 1993, Wodak, 2012) and the notion moral panics to explain the language used and subsequent impact of the media in shaping xenophobic attitudes (Goode and Ben-Yehuda, 1994). This investigation into the representations of black foreigners examines the media coverage of black African immigrant stories that appeared in the Daily Sun in the designated time period. A total of one hundred and twenty-four (124) news articles were selected from the files reserved at the South African National Archives in Cape Town. These data are extracts of news articles from the Daily Sun newspaper collected during the progress of the study. The main focus of this investigation is on how the Daily Sun portrayed and depicted black foreigners and the violence perpetuated again them. This study found that, on the one hand the Daily Sun, portrayed black foreigners as victims and on the other hand as aggressors or abusers of the social and legal system in South Africa. This ambiguity reflects the relationship between black foreigners and black local citizens. Black foreigners themselves are a diverse group and the Daily Sun depicts these nationalities in different, often stereotypical ways. This study contributes to our understanding of black African immigration to South Africa as well as the responses of local citizens to this process. By focusing on how representations of African immigrants are constructed in this specific South African tabloid newspaper, we are given insight into the xenophobic attitudes of many ordinary South Africans.