Full Project – Analysing the theme and rhyme in selected news report in the Nation newspaper

Full Project – Analysing the theme and rhyme in selected news report in the Nation newspaper

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This research delves into the intricate role of theme and rhyme in news reporting, with a particular focus on selected news reports from The Nation newspaper. The study aims to comprehensively examine the utilization and implications of theme and rhyme within the context of journalism, offering valuable insights into their impact on audience engagement and comprehension. The research addresses a significant problem in the field of news reporting by investigating the often-overlooked literary elements of theme and rhyme. While news articles are typically scrutinized for factual accuracy and timeliness, the role of theme and rhyme in news reporting remains relatively unexplored. This research bridges this gap by shedding light on their significance and the impact on news reporting. The theoretical framework underpinning this study draws from linguistic theories, including Halliday’s functional grammar, which defines theme as the point of departure for the message and rhyme as the point of arrival. Functional grammar provides a lens through which to analyze how theme and rhyme are employed in news reports. The research methodology adopts a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. Data was collected from a diverse range of news reports published in The Nation newspaper, covering various themes and topics. Thematic analysis of the headlines and thematic content of news reports was conducted. Furthermore, alliteration, a form of rhyme, was analyzed in the headlines to identify patterns and trends. The findings revealed a diverse range of thematic content in news reports, spanning economic policies, national celebrations, education, security issues, and political developments. While traditional rhyme schemes were not prevalent in the headlines, subtle alliteration was used to create a sense of rhythm and emphasis. This use of alliteration enhances the readability and memorability of headlines, influencing readers’ engagement with news reports




1.1 Background of the study

In linguistics, a theme is the part of a sentence or clause that establishes the topic or subject of the sentence. It usually comes at the beginning of the sentence or clause. The rhyme, on the other hand, is the part of the sentence or clause that provides new information about the topic or subject. It usually comes after the theme. In news reports, the theme is often the headline or the first sentence of the article, while the rhyme provides additional information about the topic or event being reported. The theme and rhyme are important in news reports because they help to structure the information and make it easier for readers to understand the main point of the article. By using clear and concise themes and rhymes, news reports can effectively communicate important information to their readers. News report on the other hand is a summary of current event that is presented in a factual and unbiased manner.

For Halliday and Matthiessen (2014) the theme is “the point of departure for the message”, while the rhyme is “the point of arrival, the new information that is being conveyed”. In news reports, the theme is the main idea or topic being discussed in the article. It is usually presented in the headline or the first sentence of the article. The rhyme, on the other hand, is the information that follows the theme and provides additional details about the topic being discussed. The rhyme can include quotes, statistics, or other relevant information that supports or expands on the theme. Together, the theme and rhyme help to structure the article and provide readers with a clear understanding of the information being presented by reporters.

Brown (2015:232) states that a study of language includes four skills, they are listening, writing, speaking, and reading. Among the skills, writing is the most difficult skill to be learned and used because it needs hard thinking in producing ideas, words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs at the same time. Journalists face many difficulties when they begin to write; for instance, it is difficult for reporters to think about what they will write, and the words that they should use, because they cannot get ideas and information about some news quickly, also they have so many errors and mistakes in their writing especially in breaking news. It is because they practice writing text rarely and not carefully correct their writing. Writing becomes the most difficult part for many reporters. It is a work of inventing ideas, thinking about how to express the ideas, and organizing them into sentences, into paragraphs that will be clear for the readers (audience). To be able to write effectively, journalists should have sufficient knowledge of what to write and how to organize the language. Knowing what to write will enable the flow of ideas, whereas, knowing how to organize will help them to convey the ideas in a clear way to the readers. Reporters must know how to organize Theme and Rhyme in writing. The Theme represents “This is what we are talking about” while Rhyme is “This is why we are talking about it.”

To assess the journalists’ ability and difficulty in writing, analyzing the way they organize Theme and Rhyme and also the interaction of a Theme and Rhyme on their writing is one of the best ways. The Theme is the starting point of a clause; that is what the clause is about. The remainder of the   clause is the Rhyme (Partridge, 2006:145).

Michael Halliday (1970) defined theme as “the starting point of the message” and rhyme as “the point that the speaker is trying to make about the theme”. Another definition of theme and rhyme comes from functional grammar, which defines the theme as “the point of departure for the message, the element that establishes the topic or subject of the clause, and the rhyme as “the point of arrival, the element that provides new information about the topic or subject”. According to Sinclair and Coulthard (1975), the theme is “the starting point of the message”, while the rhyme is “the point that the speaker is trying to make about the theme. In some linguistic theories, the theme is also known as the topic, while the rhyme is known as the comment. In a news article, the theme is often the headline or the first sentence of the article, while the rhyme provides additional information about the topic or event being reported. The theme and rhyme are also important in spoken discourse, where they help to structure the message and make it easier for listeners to understand the main point of the conversation. Finally, it’s worth noting that the definitions of theme and rhyme can vary depending on the linguistic theory or framework being used. However, in general, the theme is the starting point or point of departure for the message, while the rhyme is the point of arrival or new information that is being conveyed.

In Halliday’s functional grammar, the theme is defined as “the point of departure for the message, the starting point for developing the message, the point of departure for the clause”. The rhyme, on the other hand, is defined as “the point of arrival for the general, the theme is the starting point or point of departure for the message, while the rhyme is the point of arrival or new information that is being conveyed’.

1.1.1 Brief history of The Nation Newspaper

The Nation newspaper is a daily newspaper published in Lagos, Nigeria. It was first published on July 31, 2006, and is owned by Vintage Press Limited. The newspaper was founded by a group of journalists including Sam Amuka-Pemu, who is also the publisher of the Vanguard newspaper. The Nation newspaper is known for its focus on politics, business, and current affairs, and has won several awards for its journalism. It is one of the most widely read newspapers in Nigeria and has a reputation for being objective and balanced in its reporting.

The launch of The Nation newspaper was a response to a recognized need within Nigeria’s media landscape. It aimed to fill the gap for a high-quality, independent newspaper capable of delivering objective and insightful coverage of Nigerian politics and society. Since its inception, The Nation has played a significant role in the country’s media sphere, contributing to the diversity of voices and perspectives available to readers.

Published primarily in English, The Nation boasts a daily circulation of approximately 100,000 copies, making it accessible to a substantial readership. Beyond its print edition, the newspaper has expanded its reach through an online platform, where it provides a comprehensive array of news, opinion pieces, and analytical content across a broad spectrum of topics. This online presence ensures that its content is readily available to a wider audience, both within Nigeria and internationally.

What sets The Nation apart is its reputation for investigative journalism. Over the years, it has broken several major stories, bringing to light critical issues and uncovering hidden truths. Additionally, The Nation has garnered recognition for its unwavering commitment to shedding light on human rights concerns and its dedication to advancing the principles of democracy and good governance within Nigeria. Through its reporting and commentary, the newspaper has contributed significantly to fostering transparency and accountability in the country’s political and social spheres, earning its place as a reputable and influential publication within Nigeria’s media landscape

1.1.2 Overview of the Nigerian Media Industry

The Nigerian media industry is a diverse and dynamic sector that includes print, broadcast, and digital media. It has a long history dating back to the colonial era, when newspapers and radio stations were established by the British authorities. Today, the media industry is a vital part of Nigeria’s democracy and plays an important role in shaping public discourse, promoting accountability, and providing information to citizens.

The Nigerian media industry holds a prominent position on the African continent, boasting a diverse array of media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, television stations, radio stations, and online platforms. This vast landscape reflects the country’s robust media presence and its commitment to disseminating information to a broad and varied audience.

Regulation within the Nigerian media industry is overseen by two key bodies: the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Press Council (NPC). These regulatory bodies play a vital role in upholding ethical standards and ensuring that media organizations adhere to professional codes of conduct. Their efforts are instrumental in maintaining the integrity of the industry.

Despite the vibrancy and competitiveness of the Nigerian media landscape, there are challenges that warrant consideration. Media ownership often falls into the hands of a select group of influential individuals or corporations, which can raise concerns about potential biases and the lack of diversity in media representation. Striking a balance between a competitive media environment and safeguarding against undue concentration of ownership remains an ongoing challenge.

Moreover, the Nigerian media industry confronts a range of obstacles, including financial difficulties, censorship issues, and threats to the safety of journalists. Recent years have witnessed high-profile cases of journalists being harassed, arrested, or tragically killed due to their reporting, highlighting the perilous nature of their work.

In spite of these challenges, the Nigerian media industry remains a crucial source of information and a cornerstone of the country’s democratic fabric. Many media organizations have embraced digital technologies and social media platforms to reach new audiences and engage with readers and viewers in innovative and dynamic ways. This adaptability showcases the resilience and determination of the Nigerian media to continue fulfilling its vital role in disseminating information, fostering dialogue, and contributing to the nation’s democratic discourse.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The study presented here addresses a significant gap in the existing research landscape, particularly within the context of news reporting in Nigeria. While news articles are primarily scrutinized for their factual accuracy and timeliness, the literary elements, such as theme and rhyme, employed in these reports have received minimal attention. Existing research has explored the use of such literary devices in various textual forms, including academic writing and literature. However, their application in the domain of news reporting remains relatively uncharted.

The utilization of theme and rhyme in news reports is a noteworthy area of investigation, as it has the potential to significantly impact the comprehension and reception of the information presented. These literary devices can contribute to the narrative structure, engagement, and even memorability of news stories. By analyzing the use of theme and rhyme in selected articles from The Nation Newspaper, this research endeavors to shed light on their influence within the context of news reporting.

To fortify the research, it is essential to integrate insights from existing scholarship. Scholars such as Griffiths (2018) have explored the role of literary techniques in news reporting, emphasizing how elements like theme and rhyme can shape the tone and impact of news stories. Moreover, Smith (2016) has investigated the use of rhyme in news headlines, highlighting its potential to enhance reader engagement. Additionally, Jones (2020) has examined the role of thematic consistency in news narratives, revealing its significance in conveying information effectively.

One of the primary objectives of this research is to delve into the specific ways in which theme and rhyme are employed in news reports, shedding light on their impact on narrative structure and audience engagement. For example, the strategic use of theme can help news reporters frame stories, making them more relatable or emotionally resonant for readers. Likewise, rhyme, when used judiciously in headlines or subheadings, can enhance memorability and readability, potentially affecting the overall reach and influence of a news article.

By identifying these nuanced practices and their potential effects, the study seeks to provide valuable insights that could benefit both journalists and news consumers. News outlets may refine their reporting strategies based on the findings, optimizing the use of theme and rhyme to convey information more effectively and engage their audiences more meaningfully. To close the identified research gap, this study will employ a mixed-methods approach, combining textual analysis with surveys or interviews of both news producers and consumers. This multi-pronged approach will offer a comprehensive understanding of how theme and rhyme are incorporated into news reporting and how these practices impact the interpretation and reception of news stories. The research endeavor to investigate the use of theme and rhyme in news reports fills an essential gap in the current literature.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the predominant themes or topics being discussed in the news reports under consideration?
  2. How are themes and rhyme schemes utilized as literary devices in the news reports to convey information and engage the audience?
  • How does the use of themes and rhyme in news reports influence the way readers and viewers interpret and perceive the information presented?

1.4 Aim and Objectives

The aim of this study is to analyze the theme and rhyme in selected news reports in The Nation newspaper. The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To identify the main ideas or topics being discussed in the news reports
  2. To analyze the way that the theme and rhyme are being used to convey information in the news reports
  • To examine how the use of theme and rhyme affects the interpretation of the news reports

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study holds significant importance as it delves into the nuanced application of theme and rhyme in news reports within the Nigerian context. The insights garnered from this research will be of immense value to journalists, editors, and media practitioners, offering them a deeper understanding of how these literary devices can enhance the quality and clarity of their reporting. Additionally, it extends its relevance to students aspiring to refine their writing skills, providing them with practical insights from the world of news reporting. Furthermore, this study contributes to the broader body of literature by shedding light on the use of theme and rhyme in various textual forms, enriching our understanding of their role in communication.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study’s scope is intentionally focused on a specific analysis of theme and rhyme within a defined set of parameters. It centers on the examination of theme and rhyme utilization in a selection of news reports exclusively from The Nation newspaper between September 2, 2023 and October 1, 2023 serving as the textual foundation for analysis, to the journalists whose bylines have graced these reports, forming the creative minds behind the content.

However, it is important to acknowledge certain inherent limitations within this study. Firstly, the sample size, being confined to a specific newspaper and a single year, may not capture the entirety of thematic and rhyming variations present in Nigerian news reporting. The study’s findings, therefore, may not be entirely representative of the broader media landscape.

Additionally, the analysis of theme and rhyme remains subjective, as individual readers may interpret these elements differently. The diversity of perspectives in news readership may result in varied interpretations, affecting the study’s generalizability to some extent. Despite these limitations, this study offers a valuable and in-depth exploration of theme and rhyme within the context of news reports, providing insights into their usage and impact within a specific newspaper and time frame.


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Full Project – Analysing the theme and rhyme in selected news report in the Nation newspaper