Rhetoric of power; power of rhetoric discourse implication of mass media jingles on hivaids

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Rhetoric of power; power of rhetoric discourse implication of mass media jingles on hiv aids

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Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is a theory of language study that deals with how language relates to the social structure in term of power and dominance. It also investigates how ideological messages are passed on to the people through texts. This work has focused on the analysis of four selected media jingles (Couch Couples, Gender Equity Campaign, Peer Pressure and Stigma) using CDA with the aim of discovering how the media jingles influence HIV awareness and eradication. The work has adopted Fairclough’s (1995) method of CDA. It has been discovered that the jingles are very influential in the HIV eradication campaigns. The textual analysis has shown how the linguistic elements have helped to entrench the ideological message of HIV eradication .The analysis further reveals that media jingles use short drama pieces as effective means of spreading the message. CDA, therefore could be seen as a rich research tool for investigating text in relations to social structure.



Table of Contents



1.0 Background of the Study

1.1 Aims and Objectives

1.2 Justification of the Study

1.3 Scope and Delimitation

1.4 Research Methodology



2.1 Critical Discourse Analysis

2.2 Fairclough’s Method of CDA

2.3 Rhetoric

2.4 What Mass Media is

2.5 Component of Mass Media with special focus on Advert

2.6 The place of Radio and Television Advert on intensifying HIV/AIDS Campaign 2.7 Conclusion



3.0 Introduction

3.1 Data Presentation

3.2 Data Analysis

3.3 Conclusion



4.1 Summary

4.2 Findings

4.3 Conclusion





Human beings usually employ language for the primary aim of communicating their messages and feelings among themselves. The receivers of the messages are often expected to understand the intentions of the senders through the choices of linguistic form made by the senders. This expectation is a very important facet of communication. Whereas scholars have spent centuries discussing the nature and form of language; very little appear to have been done in analyzing the use of language to be able to bring out the successful or unsuccessful degree of its deployment and the consequences of each outcome. Until Austin (1962), Searle (1969, 1979), and Grice (1975) came to limelight, it would seem that the scrutiny of the pragmatics use to which language is put in communication was simply without any seat not to talk of having a back seat in the journey towards unveiling the complex phenomena of language.

In the ‘Preface’ to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) ‘HIV&AIDS Research Report and Media Guide’, Gabriel Ayite Baglo, IFJ Africa Regional Director, argues that the media have a crucial role to play in the battle against HIV&AIDS in Africa, because in the United States and India, for example, television, radio and newspapers have been key sources of information on HIV&AIDS. The ‘Foreword’ to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV&AIDS (UNAIDS, 2005, p. 5), explains the rationale for mobilising the media in combating the scourge:

Knowledge is power in the struggle to cope with and contain HIV. People who are well informed about the epidemic are able to assess the threat posed by the virus and to know how best to avoid infection, or, if they are HIV positive, how to look after themselves and their partners and families. But for individuals to be able to act effectively on what they know, they need an enlightened environment. The mass media have a huge contribution to make on both fronts.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV&AIDS Reports (UNAIDS, 2005), there are a number of things that the media can do to stem the tide of HIV&AIDS. They include: talking about it; creating a supportive and enabling environment; challenging stigma and discrimination; putting HIV&AIDS on the news agenda and encouraging leaders to take action; promoting HIV&AIDS services; and educating and entertaining (UNAIDS, 2004, pp. 14-24). It is noteworthy that edutainment programmes on radio and television in some African countries like Botswana and South Africa have largely served to inform people about the pandemic.

Efforts have been made by various private bodies, NGOS, Organisations, etc via adverts on bill boards, photographs, media stations etc. to enlighten people on the aftermath of casual sex and other forms of transmission. The effectiveness, efficiency and capability of the media to affect the development of the country largely lie in its communicative, rhetorical and expressive strategies especially in relation to the presentation of jingles and other mass media activities. The major ingredient for carrying out this undertaking is language, in the sense of the deployment of linguistic and communicative facilities in projecting the news and jingles.

The mass media (print and electronic) play a very significant role in disseminating HIV/AIDS messages across to the entire public by acting as a primary agent in fostering it in addition to establishing a campaign to improve reproductive health in the country. It is playing an increasing role to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission routes and prevention.

As the watchdog of society, the mass media subtly dictate the pace of the health sector (and other sectors) and development of any society. This attribute of the mass media springs mainly from its mass reach, communicative verve and the persuasiveness of its reports. Essentially, these features, which draw principally from the communicativeness and expressiveness of its language use, largely mark and define the acclaimed power of the mass media.

This fact and stance inform the position of this essay, which is to examine the discourse implications of mass media jingles as a form of social practice and outcome of power relations. Implied here is the fact that the ideological propositions of media language and the expressiveness of its reporting styles have deep social implications for the sustenance of good health services/awareness. The essay adopts such a stance that the media through the manner of couching its reports and the management of its information dissemination strategies either make or mar a nation, especially a fragile and sensitive democracy such as Nigeria’s.

Considering the centrality of language in human relations, this essay examines language mainly in terms of its functions as a primary device for exercising control and authority i.e. power relations, in other words. This attribute of language enables it to play a more heightened role particularly in media activities. It fundamentally serves as a basic facility of media operations. As such it deserves a prominent place in the examination of media role and effectiveness especially as they relate to its usefulness and effectiveness in the sustenance of health status of the country.

The aim of this study is to show the influence of the mass media jingles on HIV/AIDS awareness, its implication for HIV/AIDS awareness, service delivery and how it is attributable to its creative and ingenious deployment of effective communicative strategies and rhetorical dynamics.


Findings of this study and its possible recommendations are expected to contribute at least in giving the general picture of how people perceive mass media jingle on HIV/AIDS.

It will also help mass media organisations to understand how audience perceives their message so that they can produce appropriate messages.
It will contribute to the available stock of knowledge on media and HIV/AIDS .
3.It can be used as a baseline study to help other researchers on the area.

To sum up, media campaigns and interpersonal communication complement each other in the development of communication intervention for HIV/AID prevention and care. The mass media can convey information effectively and thereby by provide effective support for face to face communication. The combination of mass media with interpersonal communication allows for addressing diverse individuals and group concern while honoring the delicate private nature of human sexuality. In addition, Simon-Morton, Donohew, and Crump (1997, pp. 544-554) point out that a one dimensional approach to health promotion , such as reliance on mass media campaigns or other single component communication activities has been shown to be sufficient to achieve programme goals.

Successful health promotion efforts increasingly rely on multi dimensional interventions to reach diverse audience about complex health concerns and communication is integrated from the beginning with other components such as community based program, policy changes and improvements in services and the health delivery system.


The range of work to be done in data gathering encompasses commercial advertising media. Hence, radio and television advertisements shall be relevant in the study of communicative strategies and rhetorical dynamics of the language use under study. Radio and television adverts will be used for the study, the following stations are; TVC, AIT, Channels, Raypower, Cool FM e.tc therefore the following adverts “Couch Couple”, “Stigma”, “Peer Pressure” and “Gender Equity Campaign” exploring how the deployment of jingles underlie its communicative essence.

The delimitation of the data to just four jingles is informed by the fact that they are quite representative of the general contents and forms of the discourse in that they have the trappings of the recurring subjects and techniques that have become the defining characteristics of the advertisements. Also, we chose to limit our source of data to the TVC, AIT, Cool Fm and Raypower in view of the fact the jingles are aired on all other radio and television stations, the only difference being that they may not come on air simultaneously. This is constrained by the respective programme schedule for the stations for each week or quarter.


To substantiate the assumptions upon which the subject of this essay is premised, an analysis of some jingles in radio and television whose themes are considered relevant to the subject of our investigation is undertaken. The idea of using radio and television jingles as items of analysis in this essay was informed by the quest to examine how they can serve as key instruments for effective dissemination of information that is vital to the understanding of the masses. This is done in the belief that the data derived from this exercise would provide necessary insight into the implications of media discourse as a veritable means for studying the impact of the mass media on HIV/AIDS as well as gaining some understanding of the rhetorical and discoursal elements of media activities as the main ingredients of its operation and power relations.

The approach therefore is to attempt to account for the notion that media discourse serves as a means of articulating power and sustaining health sector through its mass reach and persuasive and expressive skills. Doing this entails examining the discourse implications of media reports, not only as a communication and information dissemination instrument, but as a discourse form that has diverse rhetorical and power implications. This undertaking is carried out through an examination of some radio and television jingles. It explores the extent to which such jingles contribute towards determining the level of awareness, prevention and impact it has on HIV/AIDS, as well as serve as pointers to the direction of health trends in the country to effectively undertake this assignment. Four (4) sampled jingles would constitute the data for this study.

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