While the importance of journalism in memory studies has often been overlooked in academic scholarship, media discourses can be considered ‘memory’s precondition’ on both active and passive levels. First, journalists record events as they happen building on narratives and testimonies. Second, sometimes decades later, these can be invoked in legal and social post-dictatorship processes. Applying the theoretical framework of critical discourse analysis to memory studies, this research explores the relationship between counter-journalism and counter-memories as a response to and rejection of the ‘echo chamber’ of authoritarian discourse which dominated the mainstream media and promoted official memory during Argentina’s last dictatorship. The methodological approach of the study is mixed, combining qualitative synchronic-diachronic text analysis with a corpus analysis of concordance lines to trace strategies of counter-discourse in two newspapers which opposed the dictatorship. The motivations of their editor-journalists for challenging official discourse and institutional memory in the climate of state terrorism are framed in the context of Margalit’s ‘moral witnessing’.
- critical discourse analysis