THE DISCURSIVE IDENTITY OF
THE JAKARTA POST
ON THE FUEL
ISSUE OF INDONESIA 2012 IN THE SELECTED EDITORIALS
A Research Paper
Submitted to the English Education Department as a Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for SarjanaSastra Degree
MEIKE TRI YURINDA
ENGLISH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND ART EDUCATION
The Discursive Identity of The Jakarta
Post on The Fuel Issue of Indonesia
2012 in the Selected Editorials
Oleh Meike Tri Yurinda
Sebuah skripsi yang diajukan untuk memenuhi salah satu syarat memperoleh gelar Sarjana pada Fakultas Pendidikan Bahasa dan Seni
© Meike Tri Yurinda 2013 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Hak Cipta dilindungi undang-undang.
PAGE OF APPROVAL
THE DISCURSIVE IDENTITY OF THE JAKARTA POST ON THE FUEL ISSUE OF INDONESIA 2012 IN THE SELECTED EDITORIALS
MEIKE TRI YURINDA
Dra. Sri Setyarini, M.A NIP. 196312291990022001
Muhammad Handi Gunawan, SPd., M.Pd NIP. 197301132009121002
The Head of English Education Department Faculty of Language and Art Education
Indonesia University of Education
The research paper is entitled The Discursive Identity of The Jakarta Post on the
Fuel Issue of Indonesia 2012 in the Selected Editorials. It is aimed at investigating
how the discursive identity of The Jakarta Post on the fuel issue of the first semester of Indonesian government 2012 is constructed in the selected editorials and discovering its ideological message on that issue. Two data sources of editorials, Editorial : Huffing and puffing over fuel and Editorial : Only an
ad-hoc fuel measure, were taken from on-line version of The Jakarta Post related to
the chosen issue. The Fairclough’s approach to Critical Discourse Analysis (1995) was employed as the basic framework to analyze the tools of modality and evaluation (Halliday, 1994; Martin, 1995; Martin, Matthiessen, & Painter, 1997; Fairclough, 2003; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004; Eggins, 2004) in the area of Systemic Functional Grammar (Halliday, 1994) in examining the identity of The
Jakarta Post on the chosen issue discursively. The results of the study show that The Jakarta Post tends to construct its identity on the fuel issue by showing
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.4. Significance of the Study ... 4
1.5. Scope of the Study ... 5
1.6. Methodology ... 6
1.7. Key Terms... 7
1.8. Organization of the Paper ... 7
1.9. Concluding Remark ... 8
CHAPTER II 2.1. Discourse, Discourse Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis ... 9
2.4. The Discursive Construction of Identity... 14
2.5. The Concepts of Polarity and Modality ... 16
2.6. The Concept of Evaluation ... 22
2.7. The Meaning of Ideology ... 24
2.8. Previous Research ... 24
22.214.171.124.1. High Epistemic Modality ... 36
126.96.36.199.2. Median Epistemic Modality ... 39
188.8.131.52.3. Low Epistemic Modality ... 41
184.108.40.206. Deontic Modality ... 42
220.127.116.11.1. High Deontic Modality ... 43
18.104.22.168.2. Median Deontic Modality... 44
4.1.2. Evaluation ... 53
22.214.171.124. Evaluative ... 54
126.96.36.199. Deontic Modality ... 57
188.8.131.52. Assumed Values ... 59
184.108.40.206. The Occurrences of Evaluation in Two Selected Editorials ... 60
4.2. Discussions ... 66
4.2.1. The Discursive Construction of Identity of The Jakarta Post ... 69
4.2.2. Ideological Message of The Jakarta Post on the Fuel Issue ... 72
4.3. Concluding Remark ... 74
CHAPTER V 5.1. Conclusions ... 75
5.2. Suggestions... 76
BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 77
This chapter provides several aspects of introducing this study briefly. It contains
the background, research questions, aims of the study, significance of the study,
and scope of the study. Besides, it presents how the study is conducted, the list of
key terms and organization of the paper.
Mass media has a strategic position in one country. It is considered as the fourth
pillar of modern democratic country besides legislature, executive and judiciary
(Joshi, 2000). It has a function as a bridge between people and policy makers by
providing information of, for instance social and political issues.
According to Van Dijk (1995) media has symbolic and persuasive power.
It has an influence to control to some extent the minds of readers or viewers,
but not directly their actions. It leads the idea that mass media generates and
mediates public text and talk to deliver certain ideology for influencing their
minds. It addition to that, Eriyanto (2001) notes that in critical paradigm, media is
not free and neutral. It is owned by certain group and used to dominate other
What becomes the concern is what is written in mass media especially in
an editorial. The editorial, as explained by Lagonikos (2005), has potency to
shape opinion, create reality and convey ideology. It is in line with what has been
delivered previously that media mediates public text and talk to deliver certain
ideology (Van Dijk, 1995).
The purpose of the editorial is to stimulate readers into action that is
implicitly expressed (Hulteng, 1973 & Stonecipher, 1979 in Lagonikos, 2005).
Expert voice is used in the editorial to interpret the news and at the same time to
construct reality implicitly from a particular worldview for the reader (Jaworski &
Galasinski, 2002: 643 in Lagonikos, 2005). Hutleng (1973: 13 as cited in
Lagonikos, 2005) argues that another function of the editorial is to provide
benchmarks for readers to test thinking against and shape conclusions about
events and their meanings. In other words, editorial in mass media can be
categorized as a discourse since it produces others such as notion, concept, and
effect (Foucault in Eriyanto, 2001).
Furthermore, editorial board in mass media decides what its stance will be
on certain issues (Hutleng, 1973 in Lagonikos, 2005). It leads the idea that
editorial in mass media becomes the identity of that media on certain issue. It is in
line with Fairclough (2003, 160) who says “Identity is often said to be an effect of
discourse, constructed in discourse”. In other words, editorial treated as discourse
Some studies have been conducted related to identity constructed in
discourse, specifically to subject position, such as Eduardo Godeo (2006)
investigating subject position on a certain magazine. However, those studies
investigated the identity of relevant participants in those discourses, not the
authors of the discourses themselves. Meanwhile, a study investigating the author
himself has been done by Rahmat (2010) in relation to discursive identity of the
author of ‘Malaikat Juga Tahu’.
To make this paper different from previous studies, the paper examines
the identity of media institution as the author discursively. In addition, it uses
some selected editorials as the sources of data since editorial is the reflection of
the author’s voice representing media institution. Although the research in relation
to ideology in editorials has been conducted, such as Lagonikos (2005) regarding
to a comparison selected editorials after September 11, the present study sees the
discursive identity of the media institution in the selected editorials before it
reveals ideological message contained in the selected editorials.
Furthermore, the raised issue that the present study uses is different. The
present study uses the fuel issue in the first semester of Indonesian government
2012. It deals with Indonesian government’s plan to raise fuel price in April 2012.
Whereas, referring to Domino theory, fuel price has big impact on other economic
sectors. Consequently, there was big demonstration of, either support or refusal,
for the plan. However, by the end of March 2012, the House of Representatives
and government decided not to raise fuel price in next six months (Detikfinance,
By considering that there were pros and cons of the plan of raising fuel
price and fuel price has big impact on other economic sectors, it can be inferred
that fuel problem can influence social life in community. Therefore, this problem
can be concluded into a social issue.
1. How is the identity of The Jakarta Post constructed discursively on the
fuel issue in the first semester of Indonesian government 2012 in the
2. What is the ideological message of The Jakarta Post contained in the
selected editorials toward the chosen issue?
1.3Aims of the Study
1. To reveal how the discursive identity of The Jakarta Post on the fuel issue
in the first semester of Indonesian government 2012 is constructed in the
2. To discover its ideological message contained in the selected editorials
toward the chosen issue.
1.4Significance of the Study
a. Knowledge in the area
In this point of view, this study can enrich the literature on discursive
identity and ideological message in mass media analyzed from the concepts of
Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Grammar.
b. Practical Guidance
It is expected to provide a good practical guidance in analyzing text by
using Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Grammar to reveal
discursive identity, especially the identity of certain mass media and to find out its
c. Professional Significance
Mass media has big power over the people. The journalists have an
important role in delivering news and ideology, especially concerning to social
issue. They should have no bias on certain issues, in order to keep balance in
1.5Scope of the Study
The focus of the study is on finding how the identity of The Jakarta Post on the
fuel issue of Indonesia 2012 in the selected editorials is constructed discursively.
It is applied in the perspectives of modality and evaluation with the employment
Systemic Functional Grammar by M.A.K Halliday (1994). Then this study is
expected to reveal The Jakarta Post’s ideological message contained in the
selected editorials toward the chosen issue.
The present study employs a descriptive qualitative method. To support the
method used, it uses Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 1995) as the basic
framework of the study. It applies the tools of modality and evaluation (Halliday,
1994; Martin, 1995; Martin, Matthiessen, & Painter, 1997; Fairclough, 2003;
Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004; Eggins, 2004) included in the area of Systemic
Functional Grammar to examine the identity of The Jakarta Post on the fuel issue
of Indonesia 2012 discursively. By relating the tools of modality and evaluation to
Critical Discourse Analysis, it is expected to reveal the ideological message of
The Jakarta Post toward the chosen issue contained in the selected editorials.
In conducting the research, the paper followed several steps such as data
collection and analysis. In terms of data collection, it took several editorials
related to the chosen issue from the on-line version of The Jakarta Post. They
were Editorial : Huffing and puffing over fuel (dated on March, 2nd 2012) and
Editorial : Only an ad-hoc fuel measure (dated on March, 31st 2012). Afterwards,
these editorials were analyzed by using the tools of modality and evaluation in the
framework of Critical Discourse Analysis to achieve the aims of the study. The
more elaborative and detail explanation about the methodology of the study is
- Discourse is viewed as a form of social practice framed by particular
discursive event and the situation, institution and social structure.
(Fairclough & Wodak, 1997, cited in Wodak & Meyer, 2009)
- Mass media is largely seen as the fourth pillar of a modern democratic
country. (Joshi : 2000)
- Editorials are public, mass communicated
types of opinion discourse par excellence. (Van Dijk : 1996)
- Discursive identity is a way of being of
an author or involved participant constructed in the discourse and text. It
can be identified by the analysis of modality and evaluation presented in
the text and discourse.
- Ideology is representation of aspects of the world which can be shown to
contribute to establishing, maintaining and changing social relations of
power, domination and exploitation. (Fairclough : 2003)
- Fuel issue is related to the plan of raising fuel price in April 2012 by
Indonesian government, but the House and government decided not to
raise fuel price in six months. There were pros and cons of the plan, as
well as, of the decision. The present study identifies this phenomenon as a
The paper is organized into five chapters. Chapter I (Introduction) focuses on
presenting general introduction of presented study. It consists of the background,
research questions, and aims of the study, significance of the study and scope of
the study. It also provides how the study is conducted, the list of key terms and
organization of the paper.
Chapter II (Theoretical Foundations) discusses the concepts of discourse,
Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis, Fairclough’s approach to CDA,
media discourse and editorial, the discursive construction of identity, polarity and
modality, evaluation, ideology, and the previous research related to the study.
Research Methodology is presented in chapter III explaining how the
study is conducted. It describes the focus of the study realized by the formulation
of problem. In addition, it presents the explanation of research design, data
collection and data analysis employed in this study.
Then, Findings and Discussions will be provided in chapter IV. It provides
the data obtained from the study, as well as the analysis of the data.
The last chapter presents the conclusions from the present study. It also
offers the writer’s suggestions for further research.
Brief explanation of this study has been highlighted in this chapter. It has
presented the background, research questions, and aims of the study, significance
This chapter presents how this study is conducted. It elaborates the focus of the
study by elaborating the formulation of the problem. Besides, it provides several
parts of finding the answers of formulation of the problem. They are included in
the explanation of research design, data collection and data analysis employed in
3.1 Research Design
The study is largely qualitative but some descriptive quantification is also
employed. Bogdan & Biklen (1992) state that qualitative research is concerned to
‘meaning’ in the ways different people make sense out of their lives. It is relevant
to the study that goes to meaning-making in discovering how The Jakarta Post
constructs its identity discursively and its ideological message on the chosen
The research employs Critical Discourse Analysis as the analytical
framework proposed by Fairclough (1995). Fairclough (1995, cited from
Paltridge, 2006: 184) suggests that the focus of Critical Discourse Analysis
(CDA) is the uniting of texts with the discourse and socio-cultural practices that
the text reflects, reinforces and produces. This ‘three-dimensional’ framework can
Figure 3.1 Fairclough s three-di e sio al fra ework (Fairclough, 1995: 98)
With regard to the present study, the selected editorials of The Jakarta Post are in
the first dimension of text. Text is described linguistically by considering the
features of language that are owned by the selected editorials. Then, the process of
interpretation of the text in the second dimension interprets text by considering
discourse practice where text is seen as a product of production process and a
resource of interpretation process. And the last, the process of explanation in the
third dimension explains what is interpreted in the second stage by considering
social context to reveal the discursive identity of The Jakarta Post and its
ideological message on the chosen issue.
3.2 Data Collection
In terms of data collection, the paper uses purposive sampling. Maxwell (1996,
settings, persons or events are selected intentionally to provide information that
cannot be obtained as well from other choices.
In connection with the research, the data were collected from the on-line
version of The Jakarta Post website. The Jakarta Post has been chosen since it is
considered as one of famous English mass media in Indonesia. The selected
editorials were Editorial: Huffing and Puffing over Fuel (dated on March, 2nd
2012) and Editorial: Only an Ad-hoc Fuel Measure (dated on March, 31st 2012).
The first editorial was published when the plan of raising fuel price got pros and
cons; meanwhile the second one was published after reaching decision not to
raise fuel price. These editorials are analyzed to reveal the discursive identity of
The Jakarta Post, as well as, its ideological message on the chosen issue.
3.3 Data Analysis
The present study investigates the discursive identity by relating it to style. It is in
line with what Fairclough (2003) states that style is the discoursal aspect of
identity. It means that discursive identity can be revealed through style’s analysis.
The selected editorials of The Jakarta Post become the sources of data.
The data are analyzed by investigating the modality and evaluation that occur in
the editorials. The analysis of modality and evaluation can investigate The Jakarta
Post’s commitment so its discursive identity and ideological message on the
chosen issue can be revealed.
It draws upon three stages of text analysis proposed by Fairclough (1995).
descriptively. The discursive identity can be examined by considering the level of
commitment of the author. In this stage, the level of commitment of The Jakarta
Post can be examined by the analysis of modality and evaluation.
Analysis of modality is applied to examine The Jakarta Post’s tendency,
judgment, and attitude on the chosen issue. It begins with the identification of
modality that occurs in the selected editorials. Then, it goes to the classification of
the type of modality and the level of commitment.
In addition, the stage of description is concerned with the analysis of
evaluation. It is applied to examine how The Jakarta Post commits itself to the
values in the selected editorials towards the chosen issue. It is realized by the
identification of evaluation that exists in the selected editorials and the
classification of evaluation’s type.
Interpretation is the second stage of analysis after the stage of description.
In this stage, linguistic features gained in the previous stage are interpreted on the
basis of discourse practice where the relationship between text and interaction is
examined. And the last stage, explanation, has a purpose to explain what is gained
in the second stage by considering the interaction and social context. In this stage,
ideological message is revealed by considering the linguistic features obtained and
the interpretation towards the features. Therefore, these three stages of analysis
are used to reveal not only the discursive identity of The Jakarta Post but also its
3.4 Data Presentation
The analyzed data in the first stage are in the forms of words, group of words and
clauses. It means that the markers of modality and evaluation in the clauses are in
the forms words, group of words and clauses. They are underlined and bold. Each
text is divided in order of clause since Systemic Functional Grammar talks about
clause, not sentence (see Gerot & Wignell, 1994).
The markers of modality and evaluation are presented by using coding in
terms of clause. The coding consists of two variables, in which the second
variable shows whether the clause is involved in the first editorial (a) or the
second editorial (b).
The example of data presentation in the category of modality is:
- Median Deontic Modality
[2.a] (a government coalition) that is supposed to control more than 75 percent of seats in the House of Representatives
It also applies the same way to present the data concerning to the analysis
of evaluation by using coding in terms of clause, such as following example:
[3.b] The lame-duck government surrendered to the populist fury against the proposed fuel-price rise by increasing fuel and electricity subsidies.
Then, the occurrence of modality and evaluation is summarized in the table, such
The Occurrences of Deontic Modality in the First Editorial
No Contents High Median Low
1 The representation of government
- controlling seats in DPR 1 (+)
- making decision quickly on fuel problem 1 (+)
Sub Total - 2 -
Furthermore, the information and levels of commitments, either in terms
of evaluation and modality, are presented in quantification to discover the
percentage of each information and level. It applies the formula:
P = x 100%
Notes: f : Frequency (of the information or a level of commitment)
N : Total (of the information or level of commitment in each category) P : Percentage (of the information or a level of commitment)
3.5 Concluding Remark
This whole chapter has presented how this study in conducted. It has discussed the
formulation of the problem and several parts of finding the answers of formulation
of the problem. The next chapter will present the findings and discussions of the
study. It will consist of the presentation of data followed by the interpretation and
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
This chapter provides the answers of research questions and conclusions of the
present study. In addition, it presents some suggestions for further research.
The present study is an analysis of two selected editorials of The Jakarta Post
toward the fuel issue of Indonesia 2012. By using Fairclough’s approach to
Critical Discourse Analysis (1995), it is aimed at investigating how The Jakarta
Post constructs its discursive identity on the fuel issue of Indonesia 2012 and its
ideological message on that issue.
It is revealed that to deliver the message of opposing fuel subsidies to its
readers, The Jakarta Post constructs its identity on the chosen issue by showing
its three commitments, namely: 1) to several good possibilities if the option of
raising subsidized fuel price is chosen; 2) to the policy of maintaining fuel
subsidies labeled negative things and impacts on Indonesia’s economy, energy
industry and people’s negative perception of government; and 3) to the
importance of the role of relevant parties, especially the representation of
government to realize medium-term program of phasing out fuel subsidies, to take
The present study would like to recommend some suggestions for further
research. It is recommended to investigate editorial by coupling verbal grammar
with visual grammar (i.e. the editorial with anecdote or cartoon visual) to reveal
how media convinces its readers by providing the picture. It is also recommended
to use other tools of evaluation, such as core evaluative and peripheral evaluative
parameters (see more Bednarek, 2006) to avoid some overlaps in evaluating
between what is good and what is important, comprehensible or expected. Last, it
is suggested that the further research can consider the structure of editorial
proposed by Bolivar (1994) to make the analysis toward editorial deeper and more
Oxford Learner'S Pocket Dictionary - 4Th Edition. (2008). Oxford University Press.
Bednarek, M. (2006). Evaluation in Media Discourse - Analysis of a Newspaper Corpus.
Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (1992). Qualitative Research for Education - An Introduction
to Theory and Methods (2nd ed.). United States of America: Allyn and Bacon.
Brown, B. A., Reveles, J. M., & Kelly, G. J. (2005). Scientific Literacy and Discursive
Identity: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding Science Learning. Wiley
Periodicals, pp. 779-802.
Brown, G., & Yule, G. (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - Third Edition. (n.d.).
Detikfinance. (2012). Retrieved April 12, 2012, from
Eggins, S. (2004). An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics (2nd ed.). New York:
Continuum International Publishing Group.
Emilia, E. (2008). Menulis Tesis dan Disertasi. Bandung: Alfabeta.
Eriyanto. (2001). Analis Wacana : Pengantar Analisis Teks Media. Yogyakarta: LKiS.
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Longman.
Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing Discourse - Textual analysis for social research. London:
Gerot, L., & Wignell, P. (1994). Making Sense of Functional Grammar. Sydney:
Antipodean Educational Enterprises.
Godeo, E. d. (2006). Critical Discourse Analysis as an Anah tical Resource for Cultural Studies: Exploring the Discursive Construction of Subject Positions in British
Men's Magazine's Problem Pages. Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 10,
Grad, H., & Rojo, L. M. (2008). Identities in discourse - An integrative view. In R. Dolon, &
J. Todoli (Eds.), Analysing Identities in Discourse (pp. 3-28). Amsterdam: John
Halliday, M. A. (1994). An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd ed.). London: Hodder Headline Group.
Halliday, M. A., & Matthiessen, C. (2004). An Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rd
ed.). London: Oxford University Press.
Hart, C. (2010). Critical Discourse Analysis and Cognitive Science - New Perspective on
Immigration Discourse. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hohulin, E. L. (2003). Review of : Evaluation in text: Authorial stance and the
construction of discourses, Susan Hunston and Geoff Thompson. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from http://www.sil.org/silebr/2003/silebr2003-023
Joshi. (2000, December 3). Discourse Analysis of Media. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from
Lagonikos, I. T. (2005). Ideology in editorials: a comparison of selected editorials in
English-medium newspapers after September 11. Master Thesis, Rhodes University.
Lekoko, R. N. (2008). PRACTICE AND PREFERENCES OF SIGN LANGUAGES IN THE INSTRUCTION OF DEAF STUDENTS: SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE MAINSTREAM
SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF BOTSWANA. ASIA PACIFIC DISABILITY REHABILITATION
JOURNAL, 19 No.1.
LintasMe. (2012). Retrieved April 12, 2012, from
Martin, J. R. (1995). Interpersonal Meaning, Persuasion and Public Discourse : Packing
Semiotic Punch. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 15 No.1, 33-67.
Martin, J. R., Matthiessen, M. I., & Painter, C. (1997). Working with Functional Grammar.
London: Arnold, a member of The Hodder Headline Group.
Paltridge, B. (2006). Discourse Analysis - An Introduction. London: Continuum.
Rahmat. (2010). Identitas Diskursif Penulis Cerpen Malaikat Juga Tahu Terkait Isu
Penyandang Cacat Mental. Master Thesis, Indonesia University of Education.
Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2002). Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and
Applied Linguistics (3rd ed.). London: Pearson Education.
The Jakarta Post. (2012, March 31). Editorial: Only an ad-hoc fuel measure. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from http://www.thejakartapost.com
Tim Jurusan Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris. (2010). Pedoman Penyusunan Skripsi (2nd ed.).
Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. (2010). Pedoman Penulisan Karya Ilmiah.
Van Dijk, T. A. (1995). Power and the News Media. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from
Van Dijk, T. A. (1996). Opinions and Ideologies in Editorials. Retrieved March 20, 2012,
Van Dijk, T. A. (Ed.). (1997). Discourse as Structure and Process - Discourse Studies : A
Multidisciplinary Introduction (Vol. 1). London: Sage.
Van Dijk, T. A. (2009). Critical Discourse Studies : A Sociocognitive Approach. In R.
Wodak, & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (2nd ed., pp.
62-86). London: Sage.
Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (2009). Critical Discourse Analysis: History, Agenda, Theory and
Methodology. In R. Wodak, & M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse