Transitivity Analysis of BBC and CNN Political News’ Headlines about Christchurch Mosque Massacre in New Zealand: A Stylistic Perspective


The present study aims at investigating the style of reporting in the political news headlines. It deals with the headlines that tackle the issue of the Christchurch Mosque Massacre in New Zealand, 2019 from two Western news agencies, namely BBC and CNN online websites. The objective of this study is to illustrate how a reader can capture the experience by attending to the author’s style and linguistic choices. The data of the study was collected, classified, segmented, and further analysed in terms of the six types of processes of Halliday’s (2004) transitivity system to Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). The results showed that the verbal processes dominate the other types of processes, which helps at putting thoughts into words. It was also found that the style of modeling verbal experiences in news reporting serves to facilitate the attribution of the given information to authentic sources i.e. officials and eyewitnesses. However, other types of processes such as: material and mental processes are stylistically used in order to construe quantum of changes in the physical world and in the world of consciousness. While the behavioral processes help the news’ reporters to make sense of human physical actions or reactions towards the event that are psychologically motivated.


Mohammed Al- Badawi and Ibrahim Al Najjar


political news headlines, style, stylistics, systemic functional linguistics, transitivity