A Multimodal Study of the Online Versions of Three Nigerian Dailies
This paper carries out a multimodal analysis of the homepages of the online versions of The Nation, The Guardian and Nigerian Tribune. Each of the newspapers is published in Nigeria, dominating the Nigerian news scene. The texts are representative of the current wave of online newspaper publishing, which is gradually edging out the print medium. Most researchers have concentrated on the print versions of newspapers with many researchers paying little attention to the online versions. This paper notes that the online versions are different in many important respects from the hard copies. The online medium incorporates many modes which interact to construe meaning. With the foregoing, the multimodal nature of texts observed in the data calls for further inquiry into the way writers and newspaper publishers have deployed various resources to communicate and interact with their audience. The data collected are sourced online and printed in hard copies to facilitate analysis. Observations are interpreted using Halliday’s model for semiotic studies. Attention is given to the ideational, interpersonal and textual meanings constructed by the newspaper publishers. The study concludes that publishers deploy a combination of verbal resources and images to construe meaning. Furthermore, newspaper publishers use the texts to achieve social functions by creating a platform for social interaction, a purpose achieved through the interactive design of the homepages. Moreover, thumbnail images are deployed to relate the stories with the social actors identified in them. With the new art of newspaper publishing through a multimodal approach, the linguist is faced with a new challenge of developing more adequate tools for studying this new text.