A Critical Discourse Analysis of Mainstream News Headlines Covering the Panama Verdict in Pakistan


Mehboob Ali Golo, Rubina Arain, Hyder Ali


This study presents an analysis of newspaper’s headlines from critical discourse analysis of the newspaper about the Panama verdict. The examination of the issue of power struggle amongst state institutions has been a highly contested topic among linguists worldwide in recent decades. The Panama leaks controversy triggered a power struggle between the Supreme Court and the government at the time, ultimately leading to the disqualification of the Prime Minister. The entire matter was extensively covered by the Pakistani print media.  The judgement of the Panama case was officially declared on the 28th of July, 2017. The study investigates the narratives of different newspapers from different print media including Urdu, Sindhi and English media sources by using Olowe (1993) model of analysis and Vaidik’s (2013) approach of surface structure analysis and linguistic analysis of news headlines. In this regard, 6 different newspapers of Pakistan were selected including Sindhi, Urdu, and English to investigate the ideologies framed in news headlines about “Panama verdict pronounced by Supreme Court of Pakistan on 21/14/2017. The study's findings suggest that the issue is portrayed as a power struggle between dominating institutional authorities using specific linguistic strategies, such as metaphors, metonymic expressions, modality, passivation, and nominalization, in an ideological manner.