British Journal of English Linguistics (BJEL)

EA Journals

Linguistic Features and Structures in Newspaper Headlines of the ‘The Standard’ and ‘Daily Nation’ on Banditry, Kenya, 2023


This article aims to look into the linguistic features and structures used in The Standard and Daily Nation Newspaper Headlines on the subject, banditry and the possible implication that it has to the shaping of public perception, informing government responses and raising awareness about the challenges posed by banditry. The study adopted systemic functional linguistics framework, introduced by Michael Halliday in the 1960s. It also adopted analytical research design. Data collection involved the development of a coding sheet. A coding sheet was developed to guide the systematic categorization and analysis of linguistic features and structures present in the newspaper headlines. Content analysis was employed to examine the functions, themes and the rhetorical devices used in the headlines to portray banditry incidents. The data analysis procedure entailed a systematic analysis of the newspaper headlines, aiming to examine the ways they reflect the realities on reporting of banditry in the study regions. The findings revealed that there is a nuanced interplay of linguistic features that significantly shape the construction of public perception. The headlines employed vivid verbs, descriptive adjectives, and metaphors to convey the actions, attributes, and causes associated with banditry. Rhetorical questions, emotive language, personalization, and attributions to sources engaged readers emotionally and conveyed the stance of news sources. The recommendations from this study suggests that newspapers should use varied linguistic elements to offer readers with a more comprehensive knowledge of banditry, editors and journalists should also be creative and precise in their terminologies, use language appropriately when reporting difficult themes and the media should employ rhetorical questions and emotive language with caution. There should be a balance to ensure that emotions do not overpower accurate reporting.

Keywords: Devices, Headlines, Linguistic feature, rhetoric, structures, word choices

cc logo

This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License


Recent Publications

Email ID:
Impact Factor: 7.79
Print ISSN: 2055-6063
Online ISSN: 2055-6071

Author Guidelines
Submit Papers
Review Status


Scroll to Top

Don't miss any Call For Paper update from EA Journals

Fill up the form below and get notified everytime we call for new submissions for our journals.