Critical Discourse Analysis of Representation of Celebrities on TV Programs: Case study: "20:30 News Reports" of Channel 2, IRIB

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.A. Graduate of Social Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associated Professor of Social Communication Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This study aims to analyze how celebrities are “represented” on the 20:30 news section, channel 2 of IRIB. IRIB is the main national state-controlled media corporation for promoting and consolidating the official discourse. Since the celebrities' activities such as political comments, charity, and lifestyle in many cases might contradict the official discourse, the way in which they are represented in official media like IRIB is important. 20:30 News section as one of the leading IRIB news programs, cover celebrities in their news and reports on various occasions. In the way of representing celebrities, these programs have repeatedly tried to define "celebrity" which is somehow contradictory scientifically. In this study, three 20:30 news reports were analyzed according to the Fairclough critical discourse analysis method in three dimensions including description, interpretation, and explanation. The results show that the 20:30 reports’ definition of the celebrities is more ideological based, rather than being scientific in nature. While they have no fixed definition of celebrity, their approach seems to be a "constructivist" representation. The purpose of these programs are to strengthen current, dominant discourse and deepen the created dualization of “us” (proponents) vs. "others" (opponents). Considering the two types of "readings" of celebrities, the 20:30 reading should be considered a "functional" reading rather than a "critical" reading. One of the main consequences of such reading is the increase in attention and the fame of some celebrities who, according to scientific definitions, do not fall into the category of "celebrity" and therefore, negatively affect the cultural, social, and even political aspects of the society.