HomeAdvancing Literature and Communication Researchvol. 1 no. 1 (2012)

A Semiotic Analysis of Five News Stories in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star

Maria Elena C. Reyes | Mary Ann T. Galdo | Reeham B. Mabandus | Tizziana M. Mojica | Kirk R. Carvero

Discipline: Journalism

 

Abstract:

The study shed light on how the Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Philippine Star differ in their treatment of each controversial news story. Specifically, it determined the (1) the narrative codes employed by the Inquirer and The Philippine Star, (2) how they treat each controversial issue, and the (3) implications of the uses of these narrative codes in highlighting controversial issues on the journalistic practices of Filipino news writers. The researchers selected and examined carefully five (5) similar news stories from the Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Philippine Star, namely: Maguindanao Massacre, Hostage Fiasco, Acquittal of Webb and et al., Car traders’ murder, and Angelo Reyes’ suicide. In analyzing the news stories, the researchers employed the comparative semiotic analysis. They set a common time to read the news stories and studied carefully the treatment of each code. Afterwards, selected texts were carefully analyzed and interpreted based on how it would affect the Filipino readers. The narrative codes used by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star were the linguistic style, typography style, and the graphic style. The linguistic style is employed in the selected texts of each news story, in the form of camaraderie, familiarity, informality, connotation and denotation. Also, the typography style, bold typeface headings, and one-word subheadings and the graphic style, camera angle, shot size, composition, focus and light. As revealed in each of the news articles analyzed, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Philippine Star have an inherent style in writing their news stories. However, the use of these codes revealed excesses in journalistic practices, veering away from objectivity, fairness, and balance. The connotations produced by the selected texts are based on the Filipino culture. The complacent use of figurative or colloquial expressions can distort the real score of the event, and it can portray a different scenario compared to what really happened. Nonetheless, it cautions the writers to avoid using informal languages in writing their news stories so to gain the reader’s trust and confidence. Lastly, the depiction of the use of sensationalized languages may suggest a possibility of compromising objectivity in journalistic practice.