Crystallizing the Official Narrative: News Discourses About the Killings from the Philippine Government’s Campaign Against Illegal Drugs

ASOG WORKING PAPER 19-001

35 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Cheryll Ruth Soriano

Cheryll Ruth Soriano

De La Salle University

Clarissa C. David

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Jenna Mae Atun

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Date Written: January 7, 2019

Abstract

The aim of this study is to show the media’s role in shaping, crystallizing and legitimizing a state­driven discourse of fear of illegal drug use, crime, and dehumanization of drug users. Drawing from a discourse analysis of news reports about the killings connected to the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs, the paper argues that privileging a single source (state authority) and taking an “event­-focused” slant which were found to dominate the character of the reports, unwittingly give the state narrative control leading to the justification of a state­-led policy of zero-tolerance policing towards illegal drugs. As we critically examine how drugs, drug use, and the zero-tolerance policy are positioned through discourse in news texts, the paper raises important implications to the ethics and role of journalism in politics and provides explanations relating to crime reporting norms, values, and media organization realities.

Keywords: crime reporting, authorial neutrality, news source, anti-drug campaign, critical discourse analysis

Suggested Citation

Soriano, Cheryll Ruth and David, Clarissa C. and Atun, Jenna Mae, Crystallizing the Official Narrative: News Discourses About the Killings from the Philippine Government’s Campaign Against Illegal Drugs (January 7, 2019). ASOG WORKING PAPER 19-001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3311422 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3311422

Cheryll Ruth Soriano (Contact Author)

De La Salle University ( email )

2401 Taft Avenue
Manila, Metro Manila 1004
Philippines

Clarissa C. David

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Fr. Arrupe Road
Social Development Complex, Loyola Heights
Quezon City, Manila 1108
Philippines

Jenna Mae Atun

Ateneo de Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Fr. Arrupe Road
Social Development Complex, Loyola Heights
Quezon City, Manila 1108
Philippines

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