Kanjuruhan tragedy in the New York Times: A critical discourse analysis

Achmad Arinal Qowim, Agwin Degaf



On October 1, 2022, the Kanjuruhan Football Tragedy in Malang, Indonesia, marked a poignant event, drawing significant media coverage, particularly by The New York Times. This incident, involving the police, supporters, and the government, unfolded amidst complex dynamics of action and response. This paper aims to dissect the media portrayal of these entities, examining the nuances of representation in news narratives. Adopting Van Leeuwen's (2008) Critical Discourse Analysis framework, the study employs a qualitative methodology to analyze how Social Actors are depicted through inclusion and exclusion strategies, alongside the portrayal of Social Actions through action and reaction approaches. The analysis of The New York Times' coverage reveals that the police were frequently portrayed as the enforcers of security, often resorting to measures like firing tear gas, while the supporters were depicted as reacting to these measures and significantly impacted by the tragedy. The government was represented as the overarching authority, responsible for managing the situation and its aftermath. This study uncovers a multi-layered narrative in the news discourse, highlighting the complexity of representing different actors in high-impact events. It concludes that media narratives in such scenarios are intricate, often shaped by the interplay of various actors' roles and actions. The findings emphasize the need for comprehensive discourse analysis in understanding media representations, suggesting future research should extend the scope of analysis by integrating broader elements from Van Leeuwen’s framework and other Critical Discourse Analysis theories to gain deeper insights into media portrayals in similar situations.


Critical Discourse Analysis; Representation; Social Action; Social Actor

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17509/ijal.v13i3.66957


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