An Investigation of Negative Representation in Media: A Case Study of Scrutator

Mokhoele A. Hala-hala, Maboleba A. Kolobe


The aim of this paper was to investigate negative representation of the National University of Lesotho (henceforth NUL) by the Scrutator in the weekly newspaper, the Lesotho Times. With a view that negative representation is a form of the media framing which seems to be increasingly taking up different dimensions worthy of attention for further conceptual understanding, we set out to examine the phenomenon. We set out with an assumption that the findings of the study would shed light on media operation, in general, and also help the media audiences observe how one of the local print media houses, the Lesotho Times, represents certain groups of Basotho society. The concept of negative representation is probably one of the phenomena which have drawn much attention from scholars of different disciplines within the social sciences, linguistics and communication studies. Adopting Content Analysis as a research instrument in selected issues of the Lesotho Times from 2010 to 2011, we investigated the Scrutator‘s negative representation of the NUL community in this particular newspaper. We, therefore, observe that negative representation is a perspectival projection of the newspaper; it is probably a strategic tool of manipulating people and making them develop a certain attitude towards the University as well as the University community despite its role as a leading tertiary institution in the Kingdom of Lesotho.   


Keywords: media production, negative representation, framing, agenda- setting, gate-keeping, manipulation 

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