The British media portrayal of an “American Royal” : A critical discourse analysis of the articles published by the British press covering the Duchess of Sussex during the Royal Africa tour 2019

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/HLK, Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap; Högskolan i Jönköping/HLK, Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap

Abstract: This is a study about how Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was portrayed in the media coverage by BBC News and the Sun during the Royal tour of Africa in September 2019. By conducting a case study, using a Critical Discourse Analysis, four articles from the public service news site BBC News and 14 articles from the daily tabloid the Sun are analysed. These articles are then examined according to Fairclough’s three-dimensional model, firstly on a textual level, secondly a layer of discursive practice, and finally the third dimension, social practise. With the help of previous research on the British Royal Family, British identity, tabloids and public service, the results of the study are then put into context and explained.  The study finds that because of the two news outlets background, they portray Meghan very differently, the Sun uses strategies such as personalisation and focuses more on the Duchess as an individual. The image of Meghan as a mother and wife is portrayed. BBC News, on the other hand, is committed to the principles of public broadcasting and seems to portray Meghan more as a part of an institution, the monarchy. Another result shown is that the Sun focuses a lot on Meghan’s appearance and fashion, which may lead to the belief that women need to look a certain way for men is being reproduced and reaffirmed by the discourses used. Furthermore, it is stated that this research agrees with earlier studies made on British identity in media, it is impossible to definitely tell what it means to be British and how this is reflected in media, the modern Britain is made up by multi-ness.

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